Will you drive in a new car this festive season?

With offers and discounts galore on new cars at this time, buyers can be spoilt for choice, but don’t rush in without knowing the pros and cons of buying at this time


Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Pradeep Gaur/Mint

The festive season is upon us and many of you would be planing to make big-ticket purchases, such as a house or a car. In fact, car sales usually jump up during this time, with almost a third of the year’s sales coming in the three-month period between September and November. Many buyers wait for this time of the year, in part due to the deals and offers that manufacturers usually offer.

“Buyers have an extensive range of special offers and discounts waiting for them. Since it is considered auspicious to buy metal around Dhanteras and Diwali, a lot of users opt for four-wheelers,” said Rishab Malik, co-founder and vice-president, business development, Droom, an online marketplace for automobiles.

This time around demand is expected to be higher, as the monsoon has been generous and government employees have also got additional liquidity with the 7th Pay Commission payouts. “We have had a good season this year and the sale of four-wheelers has picked up from Ganesh Chathurthi onwards. The same movement will gain further momentum as the festivities continue,” Malik added.

Is this a good time to buy?

You might be someone who is looking to buy your first car, or looking to upgrade to a better car, or planning a second car. For all of you, here’s a look at the deals and discounts this season, and some tips on buying your dream car.

Brands roll out some of their best offers at this time. “But there are also two other times of the year when consumers can get equally good offers: end of the calendar year and the period around April-May,” said Dhruv Chopra, chief marketing officer, CarWale.com, an online marketplace for cars.

Many buyers tend to hold off buying towards the beginning of the calendar year, so as to get a better price when they sell it. In April and May, demand tends to dip as it is just after the financial year has closed and many buyers also feel they should not buy a car just before the monsoon. “In both the above seasons as well, brands roll out aggressive offers to entice buyers,” Chopra said

What should you look out for

While discounts on many cars are high in the market, it is not right to expect a discount on best-selling new models. Another simple parameter is the waiting period for a car. If the car you are looking to buy has a waiting time of more than 4 weeks, it is unlikely to have a discount. Cars such as Maruti Suzuki’s Baleno, Tata’s Tiago and Renault’s Kwid are much in demand and customers have to wait for weeks to get deliveries. So, no discounts here (see table).

Apart from simple cash discounts, you can expect a host of other benefits. “Buyers should openly ask dealers for additional discounts in the form of insurance premium reduction, lower interest rates on loans, special financing schemes, exchange bonuses, loyalty bonuses and discounts on accessories,” Chopra said. More schemes are likely to be introduced by manufacturers as the festive season progresses.

According to CarDekho.com, exchange bonus is currently available on 68% of the cars being sold in the market while loyalty discount is available on 8% of the models.

“Buyers can get the loyalty discount if a same-manufacturer car is available with any of their blood relatives,”said Umang Kumar, president, CarDekho.com. If you don’t qualify for loyalty discount, you can also negotiate with dealer to convert this discount to a cash discount.

Beware

While the auspiciousness factor is taken care of when you buy a car during this season, there is a possibility of having to pay a small premium for that. “As a car is purchased towards the end of the year, its resale value will be less, compared to one purchased in January (next year),” Kumar said. Moreover, as a large number of buyers opt for specific delivery dates, it could have an impact on the delivery experience as well.

So, study the market and make the most out of the deals available this season.

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