Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Words of a stressed and tensed person, waiting at the Service centre.

These are actually the things I typed while waiting to for my Naza Ria brakes to be fixed, I was there for 3 hours, and alread bored out of my mine. So I decided to type and type and type, till it became this one long entry. Read it, if you dare and if you like automobiles.

Hmm, I was right, as I was typing this, I over heard, this workshop that I got to, is not a Naza approved work shop because for new Naza cars, they don’t have the stamp for new cars. You need this stamp on your service booklet so that you won’t void the warranty of your car. Some people do not like to go the service centre because they claim its to expensive, but if your warranty is void, the repairs and spare parts that could be covered by the warranty is no longer valid and you have to pay for it, just because your lazy ass, won’t go to the official service centers and pay the slightly more expensive fee.

From my point of view, get rid of your car, after 7 years. Yes after 7 years, because nearing 7 years, there will be so many things that needed to be repaired and changed, not because its faulty, but because of normal wear and tear. I don’t know why you want to “rent” a car fro 9-11 years. Yes, “rent” because if you have to pay for that long, you are “renting” the car and not owning it. The worse part, is that you have to pay for the servicing and maintanence, like you own the car. One thing I see people fail to know when buying a new car, is the resale value. If you are the person that changes car every 10 years, then you are safe to buy any brand that fancies your eyes, because by 10 years, hopefully the car loan is already finished and the resale value for most cars is almost the same (meaning you would get like 20-30% of the original price). However if you are the type that wants to change their cars every 3-5 years, well you better choose cars that have a good resale value. How does one know the resale value of a car? You check at the classified section of your favourite newspaper or pick up a copy of used car magazine such as Motor Trader to see the used car price of your model and brand. You can see how much people are selling their car according to the year of the car. It might not be the current model of the car you are driving but if you check the previous versions of the car or other cars in the brand line up, you can see how much the car can depreciate. A rule of thumb is, Japanese car has the best resale value, while continental (European brand) and Korean has one of the worst resale value. Perodua resale value is better than Proton while best selling cars has a better resale value that the rest of the cars.

However some cars seem to break this rule. Although Satria Gti and Putra is from Proton whose car has poor resale value, these cars can still command a 6 figure resale value. For example a 1998 Proton Wira can be bought at around RM 9k, but a 1998 Proton Putra can cost about RM 20k. A normal 2000 Satria can be bought at around 11k but a 2000 Satria Gti can cost you around RM 30k. On the reason for this, is these car are highly sought after by “boy racers” or those who like to modify their cars. Other cars that belong to this group of vehicles whose resale value is shockingly high includes the hunble Perodua Kelisa (it was hail to be the “real” modern day Mini with its handling), 1998 Honda Civic Sir (this the black car with green neo lights under it in the movie The Fast and Furious, the first move), and 1983 Toyota Corolla (this in the legendary drifting car that every drifters knows, that you can watch on Initial D). Best selling cars can have a high resale value or have a shockingly low resale value. The Wira used to be a best selling car but look at it now, the original Proton Saga, even after more than 20 years on the road, still command at least RM 3-4k on the road. The nation best selling car, the Perodua Myvi, even with its cramped bonnet, claimed to be not to be as fuel efficient, its huge rear bumper and flat rear seats, still command at least 50% of its original value after 4 years. Some Korean cars resale value dropped to 30% of the original value after 3 years!!!

These are just some of things one must thing when buying a car. I am not condemning Korean and European cars, in fact, right now they are sometimes much better that the Japanese marques, with the European cars being much more solid and put together, while the Korean could offer everything a Japanese marques can, but at a much lower price. Now the Korean car are even reaching European solidness and the fuel efficiency of Japanese.

Resale value is all about the public perception of the car. If you are the type who like to change cars around 3-5 years, stick to Perodua and Japanese cars, you might sell it off with out paying the bank the remaining balance, or you might sell it off with a profit. However if you feel a car is just a car or that you fell in love with that particular model, used it for up 10 years, and then sell it off, for a down payment of a new car.

Going to service centers is quite stressful for me, which is why I appreciate places where there is Wifi or at least a power point so that I could charge my laptop. I don’t have the luxury of just sending the car to the service centre and then picking it up later
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