When Should You Upgrade From 2 Wheeler to 4 Wheeler

Bike to Car

“Never” says the two wheeler aficionado; “upgrade?” he roars “it is actually cage up!”

“As soon as you can afford it” opines the convenience champion

“When the family size grows beyond two” suggests the pragmatic

Thus, the decision to move from two wheels to four is largely individualistic. Some safe tips, specific to 2015 context:-

  1. When the cost of ownership of the additional wheels (not just fuel .. but also service, insurance and capital !) is affordable
  2. Provided there is safe parking available – at work and at home
  3. If your spouse announces that he/she needs to keep up with the Joneses, oops Iyers, Raos, Jains or Agarwals – 🙂
  4. When your commute distances are long and constant – generally speaking two wheels are short haul, around-the-corner usage variety. A four wheeler is handy for long rides.

With the advent of taxi-hailing apps and the business opportunity it has spawned amongst drivers’n’owners, it is now one more decision point! Read on for some other views


The Author, Kalyanaraman M, is the Consultant – New Products with TVS Credit Services


How to keep your credit rating at a favourable level

A credit rating report is a summary of an individual’s past borrowing and repayment track record(s). In India, these have been popular post 2010, although many bureaus started operations post 2005 itself. Of late credit reports have enriched information such as KYC particulars, address history and declared income levels. Using the same data to derive a score is another very recent development. The country’s largest bureau has also commenced (http://www.cibil.com) selling individual’s credit reports to the subject directly. A wealth of information can be found in the other bureaus also – http://www.equifax.co.in, http://www.experian.in and http://www.crifhighmark.com

The safest way to maintain a good standing is to meet all lender-obligations in a timely manner. (To achieve the same, the individual must maintain his/her credit obligations – both short and long term, meaning all credit card minimum dues and longer tenure loans as for example, purchase of a car or home). Naturally, good behavior builds viz., an individual who has had a string of positive loan track records is likely to be sanctioned a higher amount during the next request.

The opposite is equally true!!

Patchy repayment records bring down the rating report and also pull down the individual’s credit score. Sure, this can happen – after all, life is a combination of both downs and ups. There are times when one needs to keep basic ends met – leave alone repayment of contracted obligations. Hence delays and defaults could happen despite the best of intentions. Some tips to tackle the same:-

  1. Keep the lender informed about the scenario and seek temporary relief in terms of a holiday period with lower contracted interest rate
  2. Do not drop the repayment to zero – can a small (e.g., minimum due) be met so that lender is comforted that person’s intention and effort are behind the repayment
  3. Go for credit counselling in case there are many transactions
    1. Bank of India’s http://abhaycreditcounselling.com
    2. ICICI’s http://www.dishasfc.org are two examples
  4. Rebuild your credit history (resurrection!) after settling with the lenders
    1. Recently companies such as Credit Vidya, Credir Sudhaar and Credit Mantri have established frame works to accelerate the process

The Author, Kalyanaraman M, is the Consultant – New Products with TVS Credit Services

Petrol Or Diesel – Which Is Better For You?

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Petrol and diesel, to the untrained mind, might seem like the same thing, anyway. What’s the big deal, it’s all oil, anyway, you might ask. But there’s a whole ocean of science behind it – what with the kind of impact their usage has on the world around them. What would work more practically for you, as a vehicle user? Here’s a comparison of Petrol and Diesel usage!

  • Petrol is expensive, while diesel is more pocket friendly. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to you if you’ve known and seen enough people whose eyebrows disappear into their hairlines when they read about petrol price hikes. The key is to identify what works for you in terms of your budget.
  • A second factor is to understand how much your usage itself will be. Are you likely to use your vehicle to travel about 70 kilometres and above in a day? Then diesel makes more sense, while for all other kinds of minimised travel, petrol is your buddy.
  • If you have a vehicle for personal needs, you should be best off with a petrol variant, but a commercial vehicle gains more from a diesel fuel engine. According to a research study by the folks at CRISIL, buying a diesel car makes economic sense only if justified by usage.
  • If your concern is with mileage, diesel makes sense if it is for a bigger car. Typically, a car with a couple of litres petrol engine will give an average mileage of eight to nine kms a litre, while a diesel variant will give an average of 20 percent better mileage!
  • Your manufacturer preference can also alter your choice of fuel – a car that is European in make works great with diesel engines, because European vehicles are more diesel centric. But Japanese and American vehicles are petrol centred.
  • A petrol engine doesn’t last as long as a diesel engine, so if your concern is about the engines you will be working with, your best bet is to indulge in diesel.
  • Another concern would be the depreciation cost, or the value that a car loses over a certain time period, expressed in monetary terms. Petrol cars tend to be better performers when compared to diesel cars, but even in such situations, the demand for second-hand diesel cars in the domestic auto market is far more. That is why the depreciation cost of petrol cars are more compared to the diesel ones.
  • The crown jewel in your decision making, though, would be performance. In general, petrol engines are considered to be far more efficient, as they can operate at high revs (RPM), due to lightweight parts. Moreover, petrol engines use spark ignition while diesel engines use compression ignition. So, they have smaller compression ratios and have better performance capacities.




The Most Iconic Indian Cars Of All Time!

Think of automobiles on the road, and your mind goes to some of the iconic vehicles that have held public attention and awe for the longest time. International legends may come and go, but our own desi automobile market has been filled with some of the best four wheelers that have held people’s awe. Here are 6 of the most iconic cars of all time on Indian roads:

  • The Good old Ambassador:


Hindustan Motors rolled out the Ambassador in the 1950s. Undoubtedly fully deserving of the epithet of The King of Indian Roads, the car holds many childhood memories within even till date. It was, for the longest time, the official car of the governments, the official vehicle that ferried VIPs back and forth, and the ubiquitous taxi.

It wound down in numbers by 2000, with the turn of the new millennium, and its production has now been temporarily suspended.

  • The Premier Padmini, or the Fiat 110 Delight


(PC: Wheelmela)

This was another biggie back in the day. Manufactured in India from 1964 to 2000 by Premier Automobiles Limited, the car was named Premier Padmini after a 14th Century Rajput Princess. It was based on the Fiat 1200 GranLuce Berlina, and debuted in India in 1964 with a 1089 cc four cylinder Petrol Engine.

  • The Maruti Suzuki 800:


A product of India’s collaboration with Japan, the Maruti Suzuki was a compact family car that revolutionised travel on four wheelers. It transformed the Indian automobile industry by creating a whole new economical transport system. With 31 years of operation, the Maruti 800 had the second largest production run, and sold close to 3,000,0000.

  • The Hindustan Contessa:


Hindustan Motors crafted the Contessa after the iconic GM Vauxhall Victor FE and rolled it out for the masses in 1984, in a bid to offer an upmarket product that would stand tall with its predecessor, the Ambassador. The luxury vehicle, as it was seen as, had a 49bhp 1.5 L BMC B-Series engine under the hood – which was the same as the engine that powered the Ambassador. It was discontinued in 2002.

  • Hyundai’s Santro:


Taking over from the Maruti Suzuki 800, the Santro was something of an elevated and a squarer version of the 8000. It was introduced worldwide as Hyundai Atos in 1997, but in India, entered as Santro, as the first offering to India’s automobile market from Hyundai. It was an instant hit, and offered full value for money. By 1999, it became the second largest automobile manufacturer, and crossed the 1mn mark in sales by the end of 2006.

  • The Honda City:


(PC: Motorbeam)

The first generation of the Honda City in Indian markets was the world’s third generation from Honda’s factories. It was a charmer right away, winning hearts in the mid-size sedan segment. However, the petrol-only engine without versions for diesel made it difficult to sustain itself until 2014, when the diesel market became a new avenue for its exploration.

  • The Toyota Qualis:


(PC: Elbuses)

Although it is accepted and known that the Innova is the new Qualis, considering that Toyota decided to replace its line of Qualis cars with Innovas, the Qualis is still something most people enjoyed – what with its comfort, quality engine and stellar multi-purpose value.