Car dealers laugh their way to bank

Used car outlets benefit as people look to sell their old vehicles at cheap prices

Over 20 car owners, with vehicles around 10 years old, have approached Ratan Motors over the past month. 

The dealer of the used car outlet in south Delhi’s Arjangarh claims the number is much above the average number of sellers that they get, especially of decade-old cars.

“Car owners of upper middle class families are now planning to get rid of old cars as they fear the market value of the vehicles will plunge in the coming months. We are getting queries to sell Maruti Zens, Maruti Swifts and Hyundai Santros,” says Aman Verma of Ratan Motors. 

He feels the order will only affect vehicle owners in Delhi as there are people who are still ready to invest in such vehicles from across the country. 

“But the original owners will not be able to get the money that they demand. We are also surprised by the number of people who have approached us to buy these old cars,” Aman adds. 

The owners are now looking to sell off their old cars, and use the money to buy a new one, before it’s too late for them.

And for some families who couldn't afford a four-wheeler earlier, the green tribunal's order also presents an opportunity to buy something within their budget – something which might still have five years or so before it needs to be legally scrapped.   

“These cars are not easy to be sold by individuals because of which owners are depending on used car dealers. We offer between Rs 50,000-Rs 75,000 depending on the model and condition of the car,” says Mahendra Singh of Apra First Choice in south Delhi’s Mehrauli.

The maximum price demanded at their outlet is Rs 1.5 lakh. “If the vehicles still go unsold, we will approach partners in other states,” he adds.

Dealers say there is a huge demand for second hand vehicles in the Northeast, Punjab and Haryana as the rules there are not strict when it comes to the vehicle’s condition. 

But they will have to compete with the market of stolen cars, which are available at cheap rates. 

“We will gain if the order is implemented as thousands of cars will then be illegal in the capital and owners will be looking at options to discard the vehicles,” says Chanderbhan of Gyan Motors in Mehrauli.

Due to the fear of ending up with illegal, old vehicles, owners are also looking at exchange offers provided by dealers across the capital. Dealers are now giving them the option of buying another used car, after paying the difference.    

“But the value of decade-old cars have hit rock bottom in the last month as these cars will now only be usable in the capital for just another five years. As taking them to another state adds to the transportation cost, we are not in a position to offer more than Rs 75,000 for such vehicles,” Mahendra says.

But disappointed with the price offered by the dealers, many car owners have told them that they would rather sell the cars themselves at their native places.

Many car owners are critical of the order saying that they have been maintaining the vehicles with proper service and timely pollution control checks.

 Several people who have approached the used car dealers say that they plan to protest against the order. They say it’s a disappointing decision that must be scrapped.

“The order is disappointing to law abiding citizens who follow the rules and maintain the vehicles by paying hefty taxes. I believe it has been passed without studying facts and we are made to suffer by scrapping our vehicles based on age and not considering the kilometres driven and the condition of the vehicles,” says Rakesh Kaim, a lawyer who owns a Maruti Swift.

Chanderban recalls that a client had purchased a Maruti 800 in 1996 and so far it has only covered 86,000 kilometres. 

“Such orders must not be applied on all vehicles as there are vehicles which are over 15 years old, but still in a good condition. Vehicle owners also claim that the vehicles have been running well without affecting the environment,” Chanderbhan says.

Vehicle owners say the order will definitely add up to the woes of the common man. They say a better option for the government would be to encourage motorists to opt for public transport more often. 

“Instead of passing such orders, the government should also be looking at the options for clean fuel or encourage people to use Delhi Metro,” Rakesh adds.  

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