Car purchase budget: Did you go under, over or stuck to original plan

For our most recent purchase (Superb L&K), we went way over the intended spend. Idea was to spend 20-lakhs and get a Seltos, but its GNCAP rating eliminated the car from our shortlist.

GTO recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

It’s a total seller’s market out there, discounts are slim on good cars, waiting periods are long and prices have just gone insane! So many Team-BHP Review Posts I see, where the OP states he had to revise his budget upwards to get the car he really wanted.

For your cars, did you go over budget? Or did you stick with the original plan?

For our most recent purchase (Superb L&K), we went way over the intended spend. Idea was to spend 20-lakhs and get a Seltos, but its GNCAP rating eliminated the car from our shortlist. After driving lots of cars, my kid bro finalised on the Superb L&K, a 60% jump from the original 20-lakh intention. For my 530d, I’d thought of getting a good pre-worshipped example for ~30-lakhs, yet when I saw an almost-new 16-month old M-Sport for 42.5 lakhs, I knew I just had to get her home. A whopping 40% jump. On the other hand, my used Civic V-MT & used City Vtec were bought within the original budget of 7 – 8 lakhs.

Even if you go over-budget though, don’t fret, as long as you got the car of your dreams. Keep it for 10 years and you’ll be happy – be sure to read this article of mine on expensive cars. Moderator Crazy_Driver recently jumped a full segment up from the Taigun to the Compass, but I know he’s going to keep the Jeep for 10 years. Ditto with Mod Vid6639 who simply couldn’t resist the allure of the Skoda Kodiaq.

Adding a picture of the car I consider to be the “BAAP” (Father) of price hikes, the mighty & unbeatable Fortuner. The GR-S Variant costs 58-lakhs on the road, Mumbai! The Legender 4×4 AT is 54 lakhs:

Here’s what BHPian androdev had to say on the matter:

I have become more open to pre-owned route as upward revision of budget is a very painful pill to swallow, especially given the lack of VFM aspect these days.

For example, you go to the shop to buy a Honda City and you end up liking a Camry Hybrid. Even if budget is flexible, it’s hard to be convinced about the VFM aspect. The prices have certainly crossed the psychological barrier of being sensible. I think this was not the case some 10 years back where jumping a segment seemed like a good value proposition.

One can argue that the price increase is in inline with inflation and growing income levels but I feel psychologically it’s hard to justify the prices now. Especially the current market scenario is just too wild.

Here’s what BHPian CFF_Beasts had to say on the matter:

I have become more open to pre-owned route as upward revision of budget is a very painful pill to swallow, especially given the lack of VFM aspect these days.

For example, you go to the shop to buy a Honda City and you end up liking a Camry Hybrid. Even if budget is flexible, it’s hard to be convinced about the VFM aspect. The prices have certainly crossed the psychological barrier of being sensible. I think this was not the case some 10 years back where jumping a segment seemed like a good value proposition.

One can argue that the price increase is in inline with inflation and growing income levels but I feel psychologically it’s hard to justify the prices now. Especially the current market scenario is just too wild.

Here’s what BHPian Vid6639 had to say on the matter:

Saw my name in the opening post. lol.

Wayyyyy over budget. The whole premise of changing a car was triggered with the launch of the Kia Seltos.

I had settled on changing my Ecosport with the Seltos. Then slowly I got over the Seltos and was hell bent on getting a Euro brand. The most vfm option was the Octavia 1.8L TSI. But my dad vetoed it off saying he didn’t see the point over the Octavia over the Altis. It’ didn’t as such feel like an upgrade.

The only car which I always liked in the back of my mind but was way over budget was the Kodiaq. Thanks to Manson and GTO who managed to convince me to get something which you will never think of replacing even after 5 years, I ended up getting the Kodiaq. And I am sure glad I did!

Even after 2.5 years nothing close has been launched to match the Kodiaq. Had I picked the old Octavia, I would have really regretted with the launch of the Octavia 2.0L TSI 1 year later on.

So yeah way over budget but worth every rupee extra paid for it for that feeling nothing can replace it.

Here’s what BHPian Shreyans_Jain had to say on the matter:

Voted for under the budget

My most recent purchase was the Jeep Compass, bought pre loved.

We were originally looking at the new Creta, who’s top end diesel automatic was costing 20L back then. I just happened to stumble upon the Compass listing out is sheer good luck. I liked the car, had it evaluated, negotiated the price and wrote the cheque. All in a couple of days. The car finally bought was cheaper than the one we were originally considering.

Our purchase before this was Hexa, back in 2017. Here, we were originally sold on the Ford Endeavour 2.2 automatic. The deal fell through during negotiations, and we went with the much cheaper but equally competent Hexa.

It is common sense to not spend huge amounts on depreciating assets like cars unless you can truly afford it or you actually get appreciable value/utility benefit out of it. Especially in today’s world where car prices have crossed the realms of reasonable. Law of diminishing returns catches up very fast if you become too flexible with your budget.

Here’s what BHPian WhiteKnight had to say on the matter:

I’ve been buying used cars for almost 15 years. This time, there was not particular reason to change cars. Given covid, both my cars were mostly resting in the garage.

The idea was to replace ageing Verna CRDI Automatic with another automatic SUV, that can also do highway duties. My wife is not keen on driving manual transmission vehicle (read Laura TSI), which puts a mental load on me while we’re on road trips. Verna, while being trustworthy throughout, was now creating a bit of paranoia on the safety front.

I started with used-car route with ~18 Lakhs budget. With that, of course, options were plenty. While on it, it struck the family that we’ve never brought a new car. The lucrative car lease plan offered by my company also fuelled the thought, as the tax benefit was substantial.

Now, with the plan of buying new, we started plan to test drive every SUV under the sun, starting with Nissan Kicks and Mahindra Thar. Unfortunately, that Kicks test drive never materialised. Thar was rejected the moment my family stepped into, or rather stepped up to the Thar. I’ve learned driving Mahindra CJs and MM540 as a kid. I found them comfortable those days. However, I found the Thar to be too high up. May be age?

To cut the story short, on a casual call, PPS Jeep team brought Jeep compass to my home, and gave us a long test drive. To make the matter worse, Kia Seltos was next, and we drove through the same stretch the next day. The result- family unanimously voted for Jeep compass. My wife, who was reluctant to drive the Compass, was so elated post the drive. She drove the Seltos for 5 min and rejected it immediately.

So, the idea was sown and now it is the matter of how deep one go into the pit. Eventually we went the deepest, with Jeep compass 4×4 S, crossing 36 lakhs on road. To be frank, once I overcame the middle-class guilt, we’re loving it!!

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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