Now that Unlock 1.0 has been implemented, any pending purchases might be fulfilled. These may include luxury items like the long-delayed car or perhaps a new model cellphone. While if its a cellphone, there isn’t much that we can say about it. However, if its a new car purchase, you have come to the right place. Post lockdown, most of the showrooms will still want lesser physical footfalls compared to the ones earlier. Digital inquiries are being entertained more. Buying a family car can be both exciting and stressful as you need to consider many things and the choices can be overwhelming. Whether it’s for commute or only for the weekend trips, a car is an extension of your personality. To make sure you get the right car for the right price, research and preparation is key. Here then are the five things that may help you along the right road.
Technology and features
Most cars these days, even the basic ones, are crammed with features. A philosophy once followed by Hyundai is now being emulated by every other carmaker. Technologically advanced features and connected cars are the flavour of the season. In an age where internet-connected vehicles are available in the market, the first thing you want to consider is the features the car comes with. For instance, choosing a car from Hyundai or MG Motor will give a bigger infotainment system as well as connected car features. Moreover, these manufacturers also offer a panoramic sunroof – something that is more of a bragging right than necessity. Mahindra too is another one maker that brings in these kinds of features. In the unfortunate event of a crash, a connected car will be able to call the authorities and inform them about the disaster. This will bring in timely medical aid.
What are the features if the car itself isn’t comfortable enough. When you go and check a particular car in the showroom or at a friend’s, ensure that elders from the family too are there. Make them sit in the car. A car that hugs the ground will be more comfortable to get in but is equally difficult to get out for the elderly. Tallboy design or that of an SUV helps work better. There are usually side-steps provided in SUVs that help ease ingress and egress. Inner door grips too are available in most SUVs. Check the AC cooling capacity and see if the car has rear vents.
Dual front airbags, child seat anchors, rear parking sensors, curtain airbags, electronic stability control, traction control, hill hold control, reverse parking camera are some safety features that you should look for. Most cars these days come with the government-mandated driver airbag, ABS with EBD and rear parking sensors. We will suggest, choose a car that has a minimum of two airbags. Usually, in the case of airbags, the more the better. The car should also have a three-point seatbelt for all seats. Check the crash safety rating of the car as well. There are offerings like the Tata Nexon or even the Mahindra XUV300 that are recommended by Global NCAP for their crashworthiness.
Not all buyers will be enthusiasts. The latter breed actually knows what they want and will have already done extensive research on this. Buy a car with an engine that puts you at ease, depending on what you expect from the car. For example, some engines develop power higher in the rev range. Highway cruising for these will be a no-issues affair. At the same time, few engines are tuned to making mincemeat of city driving conditions. These might struggle to climb triple-digit speeds, depending on the tuning. If you’re going to do a lot of bumper-to-bumper driving, an automatic transmission makes sense. Most carmakers these days offer an automatic transmission and these work well. You are left to enjoy the drive and not worry about getting the clutch position right or stalling the car.
As far as possible, be best buddies with the service personnel. Once the buying process is over, these guys will be looking after your car. It is helpful to go for an extended warranty or like in few cases, cars that come with a standard five-year warranty like the MG Hector or even the upcoming Hector Plus. Skoda gives a six-year warranty but that is optional, yet worth considering. If the manufacturer offers an all-inclusive service package that only a few offer below the Rs 30 lakh mark, take it up. Ask around about a particular car that you’re eyeing and its general maintenance costs.
Bundling all this within your budget is the most important. Stretch your budget, if you’re getting a car that is closer to the parameters mentioned above. After all, a car is a very personal thing and when it comes to the family or self, we want the best.