You don’t need to break the bank for a safe, contact-free commute
The coronavirus has locked us up at home. Even when we’re allowed to step out, social distancing and avoiding human contact is critical. In such a scenario, depending on a crowded bus, metro or a train for your daily commute means putting yourself and your family at risk.
You might have considered getting yourself a two-wheeler for a hassle-free commute. But, what if you could get a set of four wheels for the same price? What’s more, these cars are known to be reliable and easy on the pocket to fix, should something go wrong.
Before we list out your options, here are a few points you need to know:
Cars here are likely to be well over 10 years old.
As that might be, they still have the upper hand compared to motorcycles in shielding you from external contact on your commutes whilst being relatively safer too.
You may need to renew the fitness certificate of the vehicle based on age.
A few replacement parts might not be easily available.
With that out of the way, here are five of the best used car options you can consider for under a lakh:
Maruti Suzuki Alto
Model Years: 2005 – 2008
Price Range: Rs 45,000 – Rs 80,000
The spiritual successor to the legendary Maruti 800, the Alto carries forward the same simple recipe. It’s super fuel-efficient, spares are reasonably priced, and the hatchback is known to be among the most reliable cars in the country. Compromises come in the form of iffy build quality and a slightly cramped cabin. But those aren’t deal-breakers in any manner, considering the price you pay for it.
Model Years: 2008 – 2012
Price Range: Rs 30,000 – Rs 80,000
This cute little city runabout can be had for less than a brand-new scooter. The Nano offers ample seating for four, a relaxed but efficient 624cc engine, and low maintenance costs. Sure, the feature list is bare basic, but for a city commuter, you’d barely want anything extra. If you can extend your budget by a bit, you could look towards the Nano Twist that got a mild facelift and features such as power steering and a Bluetooth-equipped music system.
Maruti Suzuki WagonR
Model Years: 2000 – 2006
Price Range: Rs 50,000 – Rs 100,000
Maruti Suzuki’s WagonR has redefined the term ‘cheap and cheerful’ for over two decades now. For as little as Rs 50,000, you could drive home a first-generation WagonR. Yes, the car will be old enough to have its own driving licence. But the engine is known to be smooth, reliable and super-efficient. Plus, there’s enough space for the family and the boot will happily take in the week’s shopping. Considering its mechanical parts are shared with other Maruti Suzuki models, you won’t face any issue with spare part availability. Even friendly neighbourhood garages are more than happy to service them.
Hyundai Santro Xing
Model Years: 2004 – 2010
Price Range: Rs 55,000 – Rs 100,000
Much like the Wagon R, if you want a small car that doesn’t feel small on the inside, Hyundai’s Santro Xing is worthy of consideration. This small hatchback popularised a now common feature, power steering, back in the day. The light controls and relatively higher seating position means it’s friendly for new drivers too. With its compact proportions and quick steering, the Xing continues to be a solid city companion. It’s not too adept at tackling the highways, though.
Model Years: 2006 – 2009
Price Range: Rs 75,000 – Rs 100,000
For about the same price of a used Santro Xing, you could get the base variants of the Hyundai i10. This small car gives you a little more in terms of cabin quality and comfort. The first generation models were criticised for a bouncy ride on the highway, but otherwise, they’re known to be reliable with practically no major issues cropping up.
Maruti Suzuki A-Star / Zen Estilo
Model Years: 2007 – 2010
Price Range: Rs 100,000 (± Rs 30,000)
Here’s where you take advantage of a product being a market dud. Both the Zen Estilo and the A-Star were colossal flops when they were initially introduced. That also means that they aren’t all that desirable in the used car market. You use this to drive a hard bargain, and get a younger, less-used car for a low sum. Both the A-Star and Zen Estilo are perfectly good city hatchbacks, let down primarily by the way they look. If you can get around that, no reason not to consider these instead of a motorcycle!
There you have it. A conclusive list of vehicles you could buy for the price of a motorcycle. All known to stand the test of time, and not break the bank either. Turns out, you can have your cake and eat it too!
For more affordable used cars within your budget, take a look at the TrustMark range by CarDekho Gaadi.
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