Tips on buying a used Skoda Octavia

I always dreamt of owning a Skoda Octavia for just the way it looks. Way back in 2001 when the company started their Indian operations, I was every bit drooling over their cars especially the Octavia. So much so that every time a Skoda Octavia used to pass by, I would be left transfixed. I vowed to buy a Skoda as soon as I have enough moolah. Not that I have got it now and it’s a long way off however recently I was reminded of my admiration by some one in our office going in for a second hand Skoda Octavia. It is more like you always keep Pamela Anderson as your pinup girl in your growing up years however as the years pass by, you realize that not all things are what they seem to be. Moreover, your choice would also change with the time. But then one visual of your old crush and you are bound to go weak in your knees for a split second. This is what happened to me and me being the opportunist, every ready to convert every bit of thing into an article for Indiandrives, couldn’t resist from asking my friend about the tips he followed while buying the used Skoda Octavia. Here are some of the tips that I garnered from him.

First of all, the Skoda Octavia that is sold now in India is in exactly the same form that it was when it was launched in 2001. Come to think of it, this car is more like the Royal Enfield bikes which never seem to metamorphose. The head lamp glass of older cars would have blackened out by now and it would be good to check those out before buying a used Skoda Octavia. Replacing them wouldn’t be a costly affair however it is better to get them checked. Paint work in early Skodas weren’t too glossy however they weren’t too bad either. The paint job should stand up pretty well and a simple wash and wipe job should help restore the paint job of the car. The ageing silhouette of the car still has many fans, me included. Doors should close with a solid thunk sound and if they don’t then it means that the car has been in a shunt and the repair work has been carried out shoddily. Replacing the front door would cost a whooping Rs 14k whereas, the rear ones would go for around Rs 11k. Some minor scratches in and around the body of the car are to be expected since the rear visibility from inside the car is poor. Expect scratches more on the rear bumper.

On the inside, the second hand Skoda Octavia would look dated however those are highly functional parts. Some earlier cars did report some electrical wiring problem which lead all the electrical parts inside the car to go kaput. Do check if any electrical work has been carried on or not. Also check if the indicator stalks and all are working properly. The car that my friend had purchased had its backlighting turned off. Moreover, the interiors do feel cramped with the use of an all black theme. Quality of plastics and all was a bit of an issue earlier on but for the cars which were built after 2004, it was well taken care of and the legendary Skoda quality that we all know has been put back on track. Front seats require a bit of tinkering before one can get into the ideal driving position whereas the rear ones are utterly cramped. If one is above the 6 feet mark, I would refrain you from going for this car. It can seat 2 easily at the rear however three along would be a close affair and more so with the little leg room and head room available. The boot though is cavernous however one would need to use it too often since there are not many cubby holes available in the cabin. Check for the power window switches as they are more prone to failure. Check for the AC alternator as it also reportedly had problems and a complete AC servicing should be done at around the 30k mark. Check the service history to see if it was done or not. If not, then you are looking at a 15k bill just for the AC servicing.

Maintenance costs with a Skoda are on the higher side due to the higher price of spares. Moreover Skoda authorized service stations have a notoriety of overcharging customers. However with the launch of the new Skoda Fabia, it has been reported that things have changed for the better. Spares are now reasonably priced however procuring them still seems to be a problem. The 1.9 liter PD diesel engine of the Skoda Octavia is a rather trouble free unit however some earlier units have reported timing belt issues as also some problem with the overheating of the car. Check out if the service books mention any such work carried out. While test driving the car do note that car shouldn’t pull to the left side. Many of the cars have been reported at service centers with a tendency to pull towards the left side. Serious alignment issues is what used to cause this problem. Moreover, the clutch action would be on the heavier side however that shouldn’t be a deterrent. The gears should slot in smoothly otherwise it would be a case of the latent pin in the gear shifter gone awry. Fixing it is a minor thing but then the availability of the pin is a big issue. The engine has decent pickup and also good highway cruising capabilities. Brakes though a bit wooden have good stopping power. Ensure that the brake pads have been replaced after the 30,000 mark. The 1.8 turbo petrol was good enough for 150 Bhp and is a rare find. If you do find one, check the underpinnings of this car as due to its low ground clearance, the front chin is more bound to hit the speed breakers. Go for the turbo petrol only if you are convinced of the availability of parts. It is a discontinued model and hence chances are that spares wouldn’t be readily available. Fuel efficiency for the diesel is excellent which is the reason why almost all the diesel cars would have done their fair share of logging in kilometers. Going in for the top end L&K cars is a good choice as they came with many goodies inside out.

The turbo petrol for the second hand Skoda Octavia on the other hand, though very powerful is also frugal when driven with a light foot. It returns 9-10 kmpl. Coming to the used Skoda Octavia price, from the 2001 batch, would go for Rs 1.75 – Rs 2.25 lakhs whereas the turbo petrol from the 2006 batch is available for Rs 5.45 lakhs. It is advisable to check the inventory of popular cars dealers as also ones listed on the Indiandrives used cars section for Skoda Octavia.

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