With the arrival of new emission norms, a lot of people have been sitting on the fence WRT their car buying decisions.
The Indian automobile market will see the arrival of BS6 emission norms from 1st April 2020. Ahead of this, a lot of manufacturers have already started updating their vehicles to comply with these norms while certain companies are still in the process of making their vehicles compliant. However, there are actually a lot of vehicles whose diesel variants will be completely discontinued by April.
In Mumbai, petrol costs Rs. 80/- (approx.) while diesel costs around Rs. 70/- a litre and the price difference between both the fuels isn’t as high as it used to be earlier. However, where diesel cars shine over petrol cars is the range that you get on a full tank; while petrol cars usually deliver 400-500 kms on a tank of fuel, diesel cars easily go up to 650-700 kms too.
A lot of people keep asking us whether they should buy a diesel car right now or wait for BS6 cars or skip diesel altogether and buy a petrol car. We’ll look at some possibilities here and analyse what can be done.
Buying A Diesel Car
If your usage is very high and you clock a lot of kms every month, it does make financial sense buying a diesel car. Diesel cars offer good efficiency even in traffic and the high range does come in to be useful. Diesel cars don’t disappoint on the efficiency front even if you tend to drive in a not-so-sedate manner.
If your priorities are lower running costs due to high usage, there is no harm in buying a diesel car now. However, automakers are likely to offer higher discounts on BS4 diesel cars as we inch closer to the April 2020 deadline. But, if you’re planning to buy a BS6 diesel car only, do keep in mind that your options might get limited because a lot of popular models are going to get discontinued.
Also, in the mass-market segments whatever diesel cars do get updated to BS6 will also see a significant increase in prices. Expect cars like the Toyota Innova Crysta to cost at least a couple of lakhs more than their BS4 diesel counterparts.
Therefore, if you’re really keen on buying a diesel car and are fine with a BS4 vehicle (there won’t be any issue), you should totally scout for some good deals and get your car home.
Buying A Used Diesel Car
Now, things get tricky if you’re planning on purchasing a used diesel car. I’m not too sure about how the arrival of BS6 norms will affect the resale value of these cars but I have a hunch that demand for used diesel cars will go up slightly, especially for cars which aren’t too old.
In Delhi, registration of diesel cars is only valid for 10 years as against 15 years for petrol cars, however, in every other state the registration for both fuel type cars is valid for 15 years. It remains to be seen whether other state governments too reduce the validity of diesel cars from 15 years to 10 years. If this happens, resale value of diesel cars will take a hit.
Buying A Petrol Car
Unlike diesel, BS6 petrol cars won’t be significantly pricier than BS4 models. In fact, companies like Maruti have already upgraded their petrol engines to BS6. So if you’re looking to purchase a petrol car and are in no hurry, we suggest you buy a BS6 model. But, if you do get some really good discounts on BS4 stock, no harm in picking one!
Since so many diesel cars will be discontinued from April 2020, manufacturers will launch CNG variants too. We know that Maruti is going to introduce CNG variants of many of their cars and this could be a good alternative for people who seek lower running costs. But the downside of CNG is that frequently the wait times at CNG filling pumps are very high and we’ve seen people even spending close to half an hour at CNG pumps. CNG cars also have a lesser range than petrol cars and on an average, a CNG car can go about 150 kms on a full tank.
I know buying a car can be challenging when there are so many options available and you’re unsure of whether you should wait for the new norms or buy existing models. There are a lot of permutations and combinations to consider so if you guys have any doubts or suggestions, do comment below and we’d be happy to join the conversation.