Dilemma of Keeping a New Car in Pakistan

Buying a brand new car is a dream for many. The charm of an untouched car with everything that feels and smells new is unbeatable. There are many advantages of having a brand new car. First & foremost is the fact that new cars come with a warranty. They are likely to have very few repairs in the first few years so you only have to spend on running & routine maintenance.

Related: New vs Old- What Do You Prefer?

Another advantage is that the new cars will have the latest technology, which will mean that you may find cars with safety equipment, better fuel consumption and lower emissions. Additionally the new cars tend to hook up to your phone and other devices with more ease.

It all seems quite simple to buy a new car. You have money, you go to the showroom, buy your brand new car and drive it back with a smile on your face and live happily ever after… well.. it’s not so. Buying and keeping a brand new car in our country unfortunately isn’t that easy. New car owners tend to face plenty of problems which aren’t usually faced by the owners of older cars. And it makes them to worry for a lot of things, making their life… well, not so easy.

Very Few Options

An old car buyer has plenty of options in a given budget (including the used JDMs), contrary to this a new car buyer in Pakistan has little or no options available in a certain budget. In most cases, you are bound to buy a specific car because that’s the only one that fits in your range. The market is dominated by three players (Toyota, Honda and Suzuki) and their lineup is distributed in such a way that no other car rivals the other in terms of price, due to Oligopoly!

Prolong Delivery Period

Even if you book you car today, its most likely that you will get the delivery date several months from the booking date. Which means you have to wait for couple of months, sometimes even up to 6 months to get the delivery of your vehicle.

The Premium/ Own Money

It is generally believed that the delayed deliveries are interlinked with another problem, the premium. Also commonly referred as own money, it is the extra (undocumented) amount you have to pay if you wish to get quicker delivery of your car. This has been in practice since more than a decade and often you have to pay up to 100,000 more to get the delivery of your car. Investors, dealerships and hot shots make good money this way.

Related: Tenure of Ownership: New Cars vs Old Cars

Recently Indus Motors (IMC), the makers of Toyota cars in Pakistan canceled more than 1300 bookings stating that disparity by some potential investors was found as they were aiming to resell the cars after buying from them. However the menace still exists as customers are yet unable to get deliveries, unless you have some ‘good connections’ within that company.

Poor QC

People who often buy new cars can confirm the fact that you have to inspect the brand new car probably the same way you check an old car before buying. Thanks to the illegitimate quality control, most (not every) new cars are outfitted with imperfections and flaws, which if aren’t identified at the showroom floor before delivery, can make your life a lot difficult in later days of ownership. And worst of all, the dealerships refuse to cover these issues under warranty. There are more interesting stories, one of which is mentioned here when new cars came with problems later caused troubles for their owners.

10th generation Honda Civic (when launched) came with innumerable quality issues- Pictures: Pakwheels

Incompatibility with Local Fuel Quality

And the problems for the new car buyers just doesn’t end it. Once taken the delivery, you need to fill up the fuel tank. Unfortunately the quality of fuel sold in Pakistan is yet to meet international standards. If you have bought a modern car that comes with a sophisticated engine technology such as the new Honda Civic, you might experience engine knocking and other potential issues due to the bad quality fuel.

Related: Honda Says Fuel from Shell, Total and PSO Harms its Engines

Honda Atlas also filed a complaint against fuel companies in Pakistan stating that their low-quality fuel is damaging the engines in their cars. The company also had to discontinue the flagship Civic 1.5 Turbo variant (which was later re-introduced) due to similar reasons.

Watch Out for Your Side Mirrors!

One of the most agonizing thing is to see your car’s side mirrors stolen. These mirrors can easily be snapped off your car and are sold in spare parts market. Since the brand new mirrors are quite expensive, people often look for used side mirrors from spare parts market and no wonder they keep on buying their own stolen mirror again n again. You may have seen modern cars like Vitz, Aqua or even new Prius installed with ordinary side mirrors of Cultus & Mehran, which speaks itself of the pain new car owners have to go through.

Side mirrors stolen from new cars

It’s not Safe Inside too!

Well side mirrors remain outside your car, but the interior components aren’t safe either. As its common to see the center console panels and multimedia systems stolen from the new vehicles these days.

Several cases being reported with new cars deprived off their multimedia panels

So it’s not that easy to buy and keep a new car as you might have thought it would be. New car buyers tend to go through their own set of problems which the owners of older cars are carefree about.

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