Such a conundrum can often arise while we consider purchasing a product that comes with a cost-effective alternative. The substitute, in this case, would be a second-hand car that can possibly save a huge proportion of your budget. However, the question stands, are used cars worth the gamble?
Car enthusiast Shadman Zawad, proprietor of Global Automotive, believes that the reliability of a second-hand car depends entirely on its condition and the price it comes at.
"Many people expect old cars to be in good shape. It would be wise not to do so. If you consider buying a second-hand car, you should set aside a portion of your budget that will go into repairs and servicing," said Shadman to The Business Standard.
The conversation with this correspondent took place earlier this week when Shadman pulled in at Kabab Ghar with his "Storm" - a 1990 Toyota Corona GX Saloon. When the Storm pulled over, it seemed as if it has just been brought out of a dealership.
A car, in its thirties, in such good condition can hardly be seen on the streets. Shadman says the secret behind Storm's elegance is maintenance.
He said, "Old cars are very prone to problems so, if you want to buy an old car, I would suggest getting all the major work done at once. This will ensure ceaseless performance in the long run. Apart from that, an old car usually needs some maintenance work from time to time."
The robustness of an old car also depends on the number of owners it has had; the fewer the better. Up until this 1990 Toyota Corona became Storm, it only had one owner who had been using the car for 27-long years.
"When I bought this car from the first owner, I was in a very good condition. The previous owner had maintained it nicely throughout. The car did not have any major problems. There was some dent and paint work that need to be done. The suspension needed to be changed as well," said Shadman while talking about Storm's sturdiness.
Fortunately, unlike most old cars, the Storm's engine did not need any repair work. In fact, it is still running on its factory engine. When Shadman bought this car, it came with the stock 1500cc, 5AFE engine that had only covered 115,000 kilometres over 27 years. On this note, Shadman said, "It has been driven on octane throughout its life which is why the engine is very well-running."
Shadman grew up amid the likes of such classics. He learned to drive using a Toyota AE 100. He bought the 1990 Toyota Corona in December 2019 merely out of his passion for old cars. "The concept of purchasing a second-hand car can be very subjective; many like it, many do not. I like old cars and hence, could not resist buying Storm when I saw her," said Shadman.
Though Shadman sells new cars for a living, his affection for classics cannot be replaced with a new car. "New cars are very reliable but I think we should preserve old cars. Cars like Storm built by Toyota are the perfect Japanese machines - this will run smooth for another 50 years if maintained properly. I like news cars too, but this car attracts me more," he said.