Car prices in Pakistan have quickly gone out of the reach of many within the last couple of years. In fact, after 2018, ever since PKR started to slip against the US Dollar, and more rapidly after the curbs on used-car imports were put in place in 2019.
However looking back at the Musharraf era, which without a definite Auto Policy not only offered plenty of options for the masses, but prices of those cars were also very low, thanks to a much stronger Pak Rupee against the US Dollar compared to what it is today. Going through some of the comparisons below, it certainly looks like a dream that we were living in a much better time economically. In terms of price hikes, what looked almost impossible a few years ago has in fact become a harsh reality.
660cc Suzuki Alto in the price of 2.4L Hyundai Sonata
In 2006/07 Hyundai introduced the Sonata luxury sedan in Pakistan. Back then Hyundai used to be under Dewan’s umbrella. With a 2.4 liter engine under its hood, the Sonata luxury saloon was priced at PKR 18.99 lac for the manual and PKR 19.99 lac for the automatic version. Today, after the latest price revision, the 660cc Suzuki Alto VXL AGS is priced at PKR 18.86 lac.
1.0L Suzuki Cultus at the price of 2.4L Toyota Camry XV
In 2007, the Toyota Camry XV40 with a 2.4-liter engine was introduced in Pakistan with a price tag of PKR 27.5 lac. Fast forward to today, the price of the 1.0L Suzuki Cultus hatchback has already reached PKR 26.62 lac.
5-seater Suzuki Wagon R Tallboy Hatchback in the price of 8+3 seater Ssangyong Stavic
Among the many options available back then was the Ssangyong Stavic luxury MPV. It was priced from just PKR 18.25 lac for the manual 2WD version to up to PKR 26.7 lac for the flagship 4WD automatic. Today the price of the base model Suzuki Wagon R VXR starts from PKR 20.19 lac. And the price of the top-spec Stavic variant was equal to the price of the Suzuki Cultus VXL AGS of today.
Prince Pearl in the price of Honda Civic Reborn
Back in those days, the brand new Honda Civic Reborn (manual) was priced at PKR 13.29 lac, which means it was Rs 5,000 cheaper than the 800cc Prince Pearl hatchback of today which cost PKR 13.34 lac.
Toyota Land Cruiser Prado was Rs 1.1 million cheaper than Suzuki Jimny
The price of the 3.0L Toyota Land Cruiser Prado was PKR 46.5 lac for the manual and PKR 49.5 lac for the automatic variant, making the most expensive Prado cheaper by Rs 1.1 million compared to the Suzuki Jimny of today which cost PKR 60.49 lac.
Mitsubishi Pajero 2.8L in the price of Toyota Corolla Altis
Dewan Mushtaq’s imported Mitsubishi Pajero 2.8L A/T was priced at PKR 44.99 lac, making it Rs 1.5 lac cheaper than the 1.8L Toyota Corolla Altis SR of today which cost PKR 46.49 lac. For a comprehensive list of car prices from 2006/07, click the article link below.
New car prices in Pakistan have gone past the level of sanity with prices being revised after a frequent interval of less than 3 months reflecting a huge disproportion in forex fluctuations versus the impact on per unit price for end users. And with restrictions on car financing, its even impossible for many to get a decent new car via installments for family use.
Analysts believe car prices in our country will get another round of revisions amid the constantly slipping PKR value against the UD Dollar. And with the government already admitting its inability to control car prices, things aren’t looking too good for the auto consumers of Pakistan.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com