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Car-buying guide: How to finalise your car budget

Car-buying guide: How to finalise your car budget

Snapshot: We discuss how to finalise your new car budget in our latest car buying guide.

Buying a new car is pretty easy these days, but that’s almost the final step in the process. What precede it are things like deciding the variant, the colour, the engine, the trim level, and more importantly, your budget. With the latest Car Buying guide, we try to make deciding your budget easier, by breaking the process in simple steps.

Buying Price

Most other expenses (be it the premium one might pay buying a diesel engined vehicle or the increased costs incurred running the car on petrol) are infinitesimal in comparison to the buying costs of a car. Along with finalising the kind (Body Style) of the vehicle, your budget needs to be determined first.

With that decided, it becomes easier to narrow down the cars that fit your criterion (budget here). It’s always nice to keep the budget a little flexible: by doing so not only could you get a wider gamut of cars to choose from, but also ensure that you get more bang for your buck.

Fuel type – Petrol, Diesel, Electric, CNG or LPG

The decreasing difference in fuel prices has certainly made the case for buying diesel powered vehicles somewhat weaker. While diesel engines offer considerably larger amounts of torque, better fuel economy, and better range than their petrol counterparts, it all boils down to your use which fuel type suits your pocket.

What needs to be kept in mind is that the buying cost for diesel vehicles is generally higher than the petrol variants.  Alternatives like LPG and CNG are also available on select models, again at a slight premium over the petrol versions they are based on, but fuel availability is still a concern.

But if your commutes are limited to within city limits, then you could also consider getting yourself an electric powered vehicle. Their infiltration in the market might not be as rapid and successful as that of other fuels, but the ridiculously low costs of running make electric vehicles worth a try. What mars them (electric cars in general) is the limited choice, low range, high buying price, and lack of an infrastructure that favours public and emergency charging.

Brand Value

As of today, Gold is listed at INR 2661 per gram, while Silver costs INR 36 per gram. Both of these are noble metals, and as can be seen gold has a much higher value than silver. Same is the case with brand value.

And it’s not a superficial thing, either. Companies work hard, offer great products and services to their customers, and all that combined eventually determines how much the customer value the brand. Higher the better, of course.

Products with higher brand value command a higher price, and can also fetch a better resale value, too.

Resale Value/Depriciation

Talking of which, if you have a habit of switching cars every few years, then keeping the resale value in mind is vital, too. This is a very market dependent thing, and more often than not, brand value determines the ability of a vehicle to retain its value. With that said, there are certain cars which fared nice in road tests, reviews, and as products on the whole, failed to offer great resale value.

Servicing, warranty, and spare parts prices

Running and maintaining a car is part and parcel of its ownership. Servicing costs, number of free services, and availability of service centres all rank high in priority. Higher the servicing costs, the more expensive maintaining the vehicle is going to be. Like servicing, costs and availability of spare parts is another concern. Some premium carmakers have spare part prices set notoriously high, which often ends up in affecting the service/repair bills.

With the option of choosing extended warranty (offered by most manufacturers), the servicing and spare part costs can be reduced to an extent, especially in case of a faulty part.

These may not upset your daily expense, but remember getting your vehicle serviced regularly is essential. And the increased price (spares/service etc.) can add to the monthly/quarterly expense.

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