Buying a Car

Hundreds of people buy cars every day in India – who would have thought that the process was so crazy – or maybe it was just me. My tryst with this process started about 10 months ago:

I had just landed myself with a job in Gurgaon, and anyone who’s been in Gurgaon knows that you cannot survive here without a means of transportation – as there is no public transportation to speak of. I had seen the Ritz while in Shimla a couple of days earlier, and had liked the car. It was the “new kid on the block” and everyone was after one – and hence the models we wanted weren’t available. We scoured through the showroom in Gurgaon till we found one which had what we wanted – a Blue Ritz Ldi (diesel) model. We promptly booked the car – using Sonali’s debit card – and then started the looooong process.

The showroom managers had told me getting a loan was very easy – and I was pretty confident that it should not be a problem – I had a substantial income before ISB, and my accounts had money before I went to ISB – but there lay the fallacy. The money was in my account one and a half years back, and during the previous year in ISB, I had whittled down my savings and in effect there was no money in my accounts now. Also since I had just joined the workforce – I could not back it up with 6 months of payslips – someone please explain to the banks what a sabbatical means and how you do not earn money while studying!! So – my initial applications through the car dealership to HDFC, Kotak, SBI were rejected summarily. I decided to take matters into my hands and applied directly to ICICI – I had an account with them for the past 5 years and had maintained a healthy balance all throughout (except the last one year – of course); and the officials decided that they would see only the last one year’s statement. So there was another rejection . . . . however after endless negotiations, and providing statements of my joint account with papa, the loan was finally approved – albeit for 85% of the ex-showroom price instead of the normal 90-95%.

So with an SMS approval in hand – I went to the showroom; and lo and behold – the process had taken so much time – they had sold “our” car to someone else and now there was a waiting for 2 months for a “Blue Ritz Ldi”. Till now the showroom manager was after my life to take the car, and now the bank officer was after my life – unfortunately before there was a car and NO loan approval; now there was a loan approval by NO car.

To make matters worse – the officials at ICICI bank checked my IT returns in Delhi and found no record – obvious to me as they were filed in Shimla. So they came back to me and revoked the loan application saying that I had forged my IT returns!! Now NO loan AND NO car. So we had to cancel the booking – leading to another issue – the booking was in the name of “Dushyant Ahuja” and the payment was made in the name of “Sonali Mehta”. They didn’t have any problems while taking the money – but to refund they needed a “relationship proof”. Wonder what happens to people who’re living together or haven’t registered their marriage. Anyways, as we had registered our marriage, after almost two months of booking a car, we came home with the money back.

Sick and tired of the process – I decided to wait till I had my 6-month payslips. Luckily, HDFC decided to setup a pre-approved loan on my salary account. Also by now the Chevrolet Beat had come into the market – and we liked it better. So after an initial recce of different cars; a few test-drives and we decided on the Beat – however this time did not book the car till my loan was finalised. Luckily, as the loan was pre-approved it was approved (!). Of course – the pre-approval was for 4,75,000; and the approval came for 3,78,000 – hahahaha (that was a maniacal laughter). Anyways – booked the car – but how can things be so easy? The loan could not be disbursed till I gave them three post-dated cheques (from my salary account) – and my cheque-book had just one leaf. SO had to order a new cheque-book from HDFC as they don’t give any loose leaves and the wait started yet again. While waiting HDFC decided to increase their interest rates by 0.5%, and the loan which was approved at 10% may go up to 10.5% :-(.

Luckily the wait was just for a couple of days, and the cheque book came in yesterday. So hopefully, today the loan would be disbursed and I’ll be a proud owner of a brand new car AND a brand new EMI. . . .

Wish me luck.


Update: 6:10 pm April 22:

Yesterday, the officer who was supposed to collect the papers was out of town – so the task was delegated to someone else. He had his own clients first – so came to me at 6:30 last evening. So the entire process was delayed by one more day – the papers reached the concerned officer today and the loan disbursement will only happen tonight – which means the dealer will get the money tomorrow morning and I don’t get the car today.

To complicate matters – I’m leaving for Jaipur tonight and won’t be here the entire day tomorrow. So, the car should come day after tomorrow. (Fingers crossed)

17 thoughts on “Buying a Car”

  1. Did you play one bank against the other? Seems that way you can knowck off a few basis points off your loan rate. But yes, the banks are bunch of thugs who cannot look beyong processes. And if they cannot look beyond processes, then wonder why the global credit crisis happenned??

  2. Update:Yesterday, the officer who was supposed to collect the papers was out of town – so the task was delegated to someone else. He had his own clients first – so came to me at 6:30 last evening. So the entire process was delayed by one more day – the papers reached the concerned officer today and the loan disbursement will only happen tonight – which means the dealer will get the money tomorrow morning and I don’t get the car today.To complicate matters – I’m leaving for Jaipur tonight and won’t be here the entire day tomorrow. So, the car should come day after tomorrow. (Fingers crossed)

  3. u know when u want a deadline to be met and u urself r a lil pessimistic ur fears come to the fore as happenings. +ve thinking and carefree attitude ole boy car will come sooner then u expect

  4. Hi Man,

    Is this the real one………….. great write with spirit……… Enjoy the ride of Car …..As it come after a pro long wait…… Hmm.

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