MANGALURU: Customers who were planning to buy high-end luxury cars this year may have put their plans on hold due to restricted travel plans.
For instance, a doctor from Puttur booked a top-end SUV costing around Rs 33 lakh before the lockdown and even sold the midsize SUV he owned for Rs 10 lakh.
However, during the lockdown, he started travelling in an entry-level hatchback owned by his wife that forced him to change his car purchase plan.
Since travel is restricted to work only, he has decided to invest in a new car only next year so that he can get an upgraded model and save on depreciation.
On one hand while many have put plans to upgrade cars on hold, on the other, there is a huge demand for entry-level cars and used cars within Rs 5 lakh budget.
A reputed used car dealer said, “With the lockdown, there is a spike in inquiries for used cars especially below Rs 2 lakh and during discussions, customers said that they are willing to invest up to Rs 2.5 lakh. However, there is a shortage in supply because many who had planned for an upgrade have put their plans on hold.”
Generally, used cars were sourced from Bengaluru. Dhiraj, an agent said, “During pre-covid days we used to get used cars from Bengaluru. Due to a rise in demand for used cars in the state capital, supply to the coastal city is affected“.
Siddiq, proprietor, Royal Cars, said, “We never experienced such a huge demand for used cars, but unfortunately, vehicles for sale are not available. The demand for used cars between Rs 3-Rs5 lakh has increased by almost 50%. Social distancing norm has forced many customers to go for a used car”.
Vinayak, assistant manager, Mahindra First Choice, said, people are apprehensive about travelling in public transport. The demand for used cars costing Rs 3 lakh has increased by 25-45%. However, the movement of used cars in the Rs 8-10 lakh segment is slow, he said.
Those in the business feel customers who are selling cars are mostly those struggling to pay EMIs. Meanwhile, it is not only about cars.
Last month, the city recorded a rise in two-wheeler registrations and many garage owners have said that there is a spike in demand for used two-wheelers. Due to the rising demand, vehicles that were dumped as scrap, are now being repaired in many garages.

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