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ARAI reveals why it is expensive to own a car in India

Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) has conducted a study on cost of vehicle maintenance in India as compared to its foreign counterparts. This report depicts how both fuel expenses and bad road conditions across the country can escalate vehicle maintenance costs to a great extent.

Besides the cost of EMIs, vehicle insurance, taxes, regular maintenance and unscheduled repairs and servicing along with toll tickets and parking fees, it is also the enormous amounts of fuel utilized and bad quality of road in India that also escalate costs of vehicle maintenance.

Taking only fuel expenses into account, it is these costs that actually comprise about 30% of operational costs of running a vehicle in India. Besides the ever increasing prices of both petrol and diesel, bad road conditions in India, traffic snarls and start/stop driving also enhances cost of vehicle maintenance.

Bad road conditions also result in higher pollution while the average speed of vehicles in India is also lowered to a great extent when compared with that in other developed nations. Lack of road sense, non compliance to lane discipline also makes it close to impossible for vehicles to gain the required fuel efficiency as promised at the time of purchase.

This in quite the opposite in foreign countries where excellent road conditions prevail allowing better fuel efficiency and optimum fuel efficiency while auto emissions are also well within stipulated standards.

On similar lines, earlier this year, a global survey conducted by Ford found that car buyers in India paid more attention to fuel efficiency rather than engine power, features, size, safety or stance.

The survey spanned Asia Pacific region and it was noted that fuel efficiency is a developing economy phenomenon with cost of ownership being a vital factor in deciding choice of vehicle being purchased. Higher congestion in these region also played a major role as buyers were aware that power packed cars was of little use.

The survey which spanned 9,509 respondents in 11 markets estimated that 6 out of 10 buyers in India preferred higher fuel efficiency. 72% buyers seek to save money while only 33% stated that they would pay more attention to engine power. Indian buyers were concerned about fluctuating fuel prices while 60% estimate that there will be no stability in prices over the next year at least. It is with this in mind that 56% of Indian car buyers would prefer more fuel efficient vehicles over those models that boast of higher capacity engines.

Sentiments of Indian car buyer were also mirrored by buyers in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan and New Zealand. In these Asia Pacific markets as well, it was noted that more than 80% of car buyers paid more attention to mileage. What was seen at a mere 66% in India rose to 80% in these regions while even Vietnam was at 69.3% and Thailand was at 78.70%.

Those buyers in India who opted for more powerful vehicle were ruing over their choice and regretted not purchasing a more fuel efficient car. In fact, buyers in India scored the highest with 52% regretting their choice over 43% in Thailand and 42.30% in Vietnam. The survey also concluded that those buyers in India who opt for more engine power and performance are doing so for lifestyle reasons.

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