Used car for a new driver for Rs 2 lakh: What are my options

Should I get an ageing WagonR or go with a Swift that has run for over 70,000 km?

BHPian shresan23 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

The thing here is that my dad owns a Nissan Kicks 1.3L Turbo petrol (ownership review coming soon). I am a newbie driver despite having my Driving License for over a year. My dad downright refuses to give me the Kicks in the city (rightfully so) and I get to drive it only on the highways. I want to get a used car. Budget is capped at 2 lakhs.

Now, I have no idea what to look for in a car at that price point.

I have a few queries, options and preferences. Please help me out.

  • Do I get a moderately driven 10+ year old WagonR, Alto, Santro etc
  • Do I get a heavily driven 10-year-old Swift, WagonR, Beat etc
  • If a car has run more than 50k kms, can I trust it to handle my noob driving? (slips, hard brakes, improper gear shifting etc)
  • If a car has run less than 30k kms, can I trust the owner?
  • Can I choose a Swift that has run for over 70k Kms?
  • Do I get Petrol or Diesel?
  • Are Olx or Facebook sales safe? Should I pay the premium for Mahindra First choice or Maruti True Value cars? Spinny is out.

Literally in a fix. Do help me out, veterans. My dad refuses to join me in the hunt. He says that I will appreciate the car more if I put in the effort to find it.

Here’s what BHPian 2000rpm had to say about the matter:

Just get a Maruti. A Swift preferably. You will get a very old car but it will teach you the mechanical aspects of driving a vehicle much better.

People who learn now and start with new-age cars, will never even learn to reverse without a reverse camera, unfortunately.

A wild card entry will be a 2010/11 Polo Comfortline, which will be a car you will definitely cherish.

Here’s what BHPian –gKrish– had to say about the matter:

I’d suggest an Alto K10. They are peppy, compact, easy and fun to drive in the city. They are fairly reliable and even if you have to take care of some wear and tear parts like clutch, struts or brake, it won’t be heavy on the pocket. First gen Alto K10s also ride a bit better than WagonRs in my opinion.

Used car prices of Chevy Beat might be tempting but stay away. Besides its appearance which might appeal to some people, there is hardly anything in them worth the hassle and expense of upkeep now after Chevrolet’s exit.

The Swift is a nice car to use in the city but most probably, only the first gens would fit within the Rs.2L budget. Steering rack is quite an expense that might come up. Gen1’s part costs 30k which is more than thrice that of Gen2.

Considering most of them would be over 10 years of age by now and would have clocked significant numbers on the odo, there are chances that you might be bearing the cost of replacement. So look for ones which have already undergone replacement. If opting for a Swift, pick one with a good history with the k12 engine. Also, look out for rust.

Inspect and assess the condition of cars thoroughly and make a choice. Car does not always age by years or miles. A well-kept 10-year-old might serve you better than a thrashed 5-year-old one.

If you can find a good and relatively newer car with low odo for a slightly higher price, do consider paying a bit more upfront for getting a car that would save you time and expenses later on. Sometimes it might take a while to find a good deal, so don’t rush.

Good luck!

Here’s what BHPian frewper had to say about the matter:

What an honest truth. Your dad just wants you to learn and you will. 2 lakhs is something that you can take risks with.

All I am gonna recommend is strictly based on your budget. I see you are a student. I am assuming you are still on a budget for a lot of other things right now. And if I were to go back to my student days, I know there many more nagging issues that will come your way once you have the car, date nights and goa trips and others.

Buy a Maruti, period. Anything reliable that you can buy in 2 lakhs other than a Maruti is a Hyundai. But there is nothing as reliable as Maruti and cheap to maintain. Fuel budget will be the same for all brands. What you need is to save money on maintenance.

Petrol or Diesel. Once you have a car you will go to places. Again it makes sense not to spend on fuel and to spend it on some fun things. If you come across a good diesel car and if you need to spend 20k more, pick the diesel.

You can buy a Swift or an SX4. Anything will work. You will have to buy something which is more than 5 years old because of the budget, but that is absolutely not a problem.

Good Luck.

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