More often than not, it can be noticed that first time car buyers often have a dilemma of choosing a new car or an old one. This has been extensively covered in some of the earlier discussions. Right now, the second hand car market in India is more of a minefield. Cars which would have been considered out of budget some good 3-4 years ago are now suddenly viewed with a renewed vigor and with the same budget in hand. Due to this, many new car buyers gravitate towards a second hand buy just to satisfy their so-called carnal desires. Like the title says, if you have the particular amount of cash (read Rs 8 lakhs), we have the right car suggestions for you. This would apply both to the enthusiasts as also ones who are not so enthusiastic and just want a point A to point B machine.
Hyundai Santro (2003-2010) :
This is a popular choice for a first time buyer since this car is a tall boy which means that one can easily look around the corners and have an easy access to the interiors. Over the time that it has being in India, it has achieved a near cult status. The reliability quotient that it comes with and the running, servicing costs which border on the affordable end mean that this is the right choice for a first time buyer. However, some of the spare parts are really expensive. People on the prowl for a used Hyundai Santro should take a close peek at the driveshafts. If at all, there is a noise coming in from there, it would only loosen your purse strings. Ensure that the parts used in the car are original and not some fake counterfeits. Second hand Hyundai Santros with CNG and LPG kit fitted on as additions need to be checked thoroughly. Check if an RTO endorsement certificate has been issued to this car or not. If not, then this should be the deal breaker. Typically, used Hyundai Santro price should be around the Rs 1.2-2.7 lakhs mark. As an other alternative, its identical Maruti cousin, the Maruti Wagon R can be looked into.
Hyundai i10 (2007-2010) :
The natural replacement for the Santro would be the i10. Check out the tips on buying a used Hyundai i10. It is a highly recommended second hand car buy and especially so due to its reliable and almost flawless nature. However, like most of the i cars, even this one has a steering rattle problem. A badly maintained i10 will also need some looking into its tie rods, which in turn would affect its handling. Check for some other vital signs on the used Hyundai i10 that you are eyeing. A common practice noticed amongst Hyundai i10 owners is that they tend to fix on the 1.2 Kappa badge on cars with 1.0 liter engine. Don’t be fooled by this and check the RC book carefully for the engine displacement details. Since the i10 is a new product, resale values are also very good. A used Hyundai i10 price would vary from Rs 2.0-3.3 lakhs. A worthy competitor is the Nissan Micra.
Maruti Alto (2000 – 2010) :
Since the time the car was launched, Maruti have been constantly giving it some botox treatment. The exteriors were touched upon minimally and it was more of the interiors thing receiving the bounty of Maruti’s upgrade formula. Some bits like the tail lamp bezels as also the head lamps received a minor upgrade throughout the life cycle of the car. However, this same thing makes it easy to check a second hand Maruti Alto in the used car market. An Alto should have matching head lamps as after an accident, owners tend to put on the more modern shape of head lamps and end up having one head lamp of different size and other of different. If the color of the body panels differ, then it is a sure sign of a shunt. The coil and condenser need to be checked closely in carbureted versions of the Alto as though not costly to replace, if ignored, they do tend to leave one stranded on the middle of nowhere. The head gaskets should also be inspected closely for leaks or stuff. Other than that, there are no major issues creeping in a used Alto. If the head gaskets lack uniformity, it means that the engine has been taken apart at some point of the time or other. Used Maruti Alto prices would hover around the Rs 80k to 2 lakhs mark. The other alternative would be discontinued stablemate Maruti 800.
Maruti Swift (2005- 2010) :
One of India’s favourite hatchback, the Maruti Swift is just going to enter a new phase of its life and resale values for the older ones would definitely fall down. As of now, the used car markets are flooded with Swift models. It is available in both the diesel and petrol trims. Reliability as also fuel efficiency are the trademarks of both the engines. However, there are some things to look out for in it. First up is high mileage cars definitely need to be given a pushover. Front suspension has known to be troublesome for some earlier cars and this can be diagnosed by the unearthly sounds that the car makes when going over potholes. Tie rods are another area of trouble for this used Swifts. A suspension overhaul would be on the cards if there is a wood gnashing against wood noise coming from the front. The Swift has had some variations in its lights and do check if all the lights match each other on the exteriors. A used Maruti Swift price would vary from Rs 3.0 lakhs and going upto Rs 4.3 lakhs, depending on the variant and model selected. An alternative to this would be the Tata Indica.
Maruti Swift Dzire (2008-2010) :
Just like its smaller cousin, the Swift, the Swift Dzire also sells well and it also has its fair share of niggles or issues, usually associated with Maruti rather than the car itself. Suspension is the primary suspect here and all the checks done for the Swift would also need to be performed for the Dzire. The steering column usually develops play and there are some noises to be contended with. Replacement would be the order of the day for the joints and worn out bushes. Due to its peppy performance, the second hand Maruti Dzire that you may be eyeing would have being involved in accidents. Best way to check is the spare tyre recess. The paint needs to be checked and if there is any doubt in the shades, be wary. Under the bonnet, the strut braces also need a careful inspection. If both the ends don’t seem the same, then it is very obvious that the car has been in a shunt and the repair work was done shoddily. Alignment is also an issue with the Dzire cars and hence this also needs to be checked properly. See if the car is tracking a straight line and if its not, then better move away coz the chassis may have been damaged. The second hand Maruti Swift Dzire price would be in the Rs 4.3-5.4 lakhs bracket or even more. A worthy alternative to it would be the newly launched Toyota Etios.
Mahindra Scorpio (2002-2010) :
This is one SUV which has constantly been upgraded throughout its life cycle. If things weren’t enough, it get both engine as also cosmetic upgrades. Many Scorpios are now available in the used car market and hence choosing the good ones from the lemons is a difficult thing. The earlier generation of SUVs, though available dime a dozen are best left untouched. They were a tad unrefined and also had problematic electricals. Prices are very tempting but then after the initial purchase, you would be left with a problematic vehicle. The newer lot need to be checked for smoke from the tail pipe. If its profuse enough, then the air mass sensor needs to be replaced and it is a very costly thing. Taxi duty Scorpios would have to excused as they would be have been driven rashly. Steering pump as also the suspension need to have a thorough overall look. Engines though are reliable enough. Depending on the condition and goodies on offer, a used Mahindra Scorpio price would be between Rs 3-7.3 lakhs. The worthy alternative to it is the Tata Safari or even a Toyota Innova.
Honda City (200-2010) :
The ever looked upon Honda City is a hot favorite in the Indian car market. However, this doesn’t mean that the car is without its faults. Spare parts are more on the costlier side of things for a used Honda City and even the windscreen wiper costs a bomb to be replaced. Engines, however, are bulletproof and don’t tend to have any problem. Hassle free service is what the engine of the City is known for, be it whichever generation. The electricals, however need to be thoroughly assessed. The aircon system and the power window modules need to be given more than a roving eye. Throughout its lifecycle, only the latest generation City was recalled to have the Motion Spring replaced in its engine. Do checkout if the recall has been adhered to. Do steer clear from Vtec modified cars with many racing accessories added to them. The earlier Vtec engined cars also gave lesser than expected fuel efficiency but would be high on the smiles front as far as driving pleasure is concerned. The Honda City holds on to its resale value very nicely. The used Honda City price would vary from Rs 2 – 7.5 lakhs. An alternative to this would be the Hyundai Verna or Maruti SX4.
These are some of the cars which one can buy in the used car market depending on what their preference is. The more flamboyant ones would go for the City or the Scorpio while newbies would prefer the Santro or Alto. Enthusiasts would keep a sharp eye on the Swift and also its booted sibling along with the Vtec variants of the City.