Budget 3 lakh: Need a car for daily 2km commute to metro station & back

The car will be strictly for very short usage inside city and NOT for any speed above 20-30 kmph.

BHPian petrol_power recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Dear all,

I have a GT TSI and a GTI at home. Earlier, both the cars were used by me, but now wife takes GT TSI most of the days and I am left with GTI only. I prefer to go to office via metro and I need a car to take me to the nearest metro station which is less than 1 km away.

I am a die-hard fan of automatics and here I am ready to forgo my automatic as driving distance is too less. It will be strictly for very short usage inside city and NOT for any speed above 20-30 kmph.

My requirements:

  • It has to be dirt cheap (preferably 2 to 3 lakhs, or even cheaper).
  • Manual is fine.
  • I don’t want the main stream cars like Alto/Santro etc.
  • I don’t want ANY driving thrills/ excitement/ cornering/ steering feedback/ power / safety airbags / mileage, etc. All I need is that old world looks I can’t take my eyes of, something which I saw growing up in my school days. The car just need to have some character and decent brakes not to hit others.
  • Cars I can think about – My fav designs from childhood – Tata Sierra, Tata Estata, SRV. Others – Old Pajero, Outlander, GrandVitara, Kizashi, if they are available for less than some 4 lakhs (I don’t like the old accord and civic, but can look at accord if it is soo good).
  • One issue is that I don’t want to spend much time searching for spare parts and all. Is it possible to get OEM parts for Sierra, Estate from Tata showroom. I know this puts my favorite SRV out of my scope, but is it possible to get SRV parts in Kochi, Kerala?
  • Cheap maintenance and parts, so I do not want the Old W124 Benz and similar vehicles.
  • No old THAR, old jeeps/ Mahindra classics, Gypsy please as I am not a big fan of them.

As per the 15 year rule, cars beyond 15 years cannot be renewed? Or can they be?

Any other suggestions or guidelines as to how I can proceed for the purchase.

Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:

I have a rule for trips around my area. Anything under 1 – 1.5 km, I walk. I think you should follow it too. Will also help your back. A car for such a short commute will take up more than it gives you (maintenance, parking etc.).


  • Leave the laptop at office. Or buy a second laptop from the money you saved by not getting a car.
  • On the days you are really tired, hail a cab / rickshaw.

But seriously, even 2-km walking per day has enormous health benefits . Add it to your schedule. This is an opportunity more than a dilemma.

Here’s what BHPian antz.bin had to say on the matter:

Please walk. Or ride a bicycle. That’s the best way to get to the metro station that’s just 1 km away. I read that Bengaluru metro has allowed folding bikes on board the metro, check with Kochi metro if they will allow the same so you will have transportation on the other side as well.

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

Since you already have 2 cars, why not go with a 2 wheeler? A good scooter like Activa or Access can be had for around 70-120k. Also look at entry level bikes from the RE Stable. As another bhpian has pointed out, a bicycle would also do the trick.

Here’s what BHPian shankar.balan had to say on the matter:

Why not an old Maruti 800 or a Zen or an A Star? Timeless looks. Unusual in today’s world. Fuel efficient, no electronic gizmos. manual. Reliable. Parts easily available. Small footprint. Easy to drive and park. Etc.

And if a car is 15 years old yes its fitness certificate can be renewed for another 5 years subject to passing the fitness inspection at the RTO.

The other option is to get an used S Presso or WagonR or similar.

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

Given that this is Kerala with no age or fuel related restrictions, and your back issues, I’ll say let’s approach this like BHPians. Look for a Pajero Sport, or perhaps even the old Pajero. The car that will always have a special place in our hearts. The fact that it is inherently reliable and that parts are available online is a big plus. Ditto for the Outlander. Both of them may not exactly fit your budget criteria. However, they do drive like a true Mitsubishis, the ride and handling will put your Cretas, Harriers and Fortuners to shame.

Don’t think you’ll get spares for the old TECLO cars, they have been dead for over 25 years now. SRV may yield more positive results. What was sold as Optra and SRV in India continue to be hot sellers in some central Asian markets. Support is a possibility.

Here’s what BHPian Axe77 had to say on the matter:

Interesting suggestion by GTO.

Adding a minor tweak to the above as another similar food for thought. For about 30k or similar (I’m not exactly sure of price), I think you can get a decent’ish folding bike from Decathlon. Perhaps consider buying that instead of a car. If walking is logistically not ideal you can always consider riding on a folding bike. With time, you may feel encouraged to use it for slightly longer (5-10k) routine commutes as well. Similar health benefits, much lower cost than a car, and can be adapted to cover slightly longer distances too if you take to it.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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