Luxury cars have a different fan base in the Indian used luxury car market. Since 2015, the used luxury car sales figures have surprised the manufacturers and acted as a catalyst for the emergence of newly organized dealerships to cater to the needs of this particular segment. Social media marketing, intense connectivity and aggressive competition have given a boost to the market. In the year 2019 itself, the used luxury car sales grew by more than 16%.
In 2019, the Indian Government’s decision to lower the GST rate from 28% to 18% in the automobile sector acted as a stimulus for the growth of sales figures. The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly harmed the overall automobile sales, but the future trends tell a positive story. Especially in the used luxury car segment, customers are now opting for reliable and affordable pre-owned luxury cars through trusted dealerships.
This blog will discuss the reliability of different luxury car brands and maintenance practices for the coming years. We will look into different brands and evaluate their reliability in based on reviews given by users that have hands-on experience of using these brands.
Most selling brands in the used luxury car market
The German Big 3 has dominated the Indian luxury car market for nearly three decades now. Mercedes in 1992, followed by BMW and Audi in 2007, has created a diverse fan base among the Indian automobile enthusiasts. Till date, the three German car manufacturers collectively remain the most selling luxury car brands in the Indian car market. With the entrance of new players in India from around the globe, the market is set on a steady course of growth.
Moreover, brand recognition nowadays has become quite easy, thanks to social media platforms. People now don’t have to rely solely on Auto Expos to come face-to-face with the new technological advancements in the automobile industry. With the Germans constantly evolving the technology, companies like Volvo, Land Rover, and Jaguar also give tough competition in this segment.
By sales, Mercedes managed to hold the top spot in 2019, followed by BMW and Audi. Volvo made new entry into the segment after Jaguar, which stood fourth-largest seller in the Indian luxury car market. The top three sold more than 33,000 units collectively from 2019 to 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic set in and are expected to continue the trend in upcoming years.
Safest and reliable brand in the used luxury car market
Considering the longevity of any luxury car, the likes of Mercedes, BMW, and Volvo stand slightly ahead of their counterparts. Many factors have to be put into perspective to evaluate the reliability of any four wheeler. Maintenance cost, low service time, and minimal faults diagnosed over some time help us understand and evaluate the safety and reliability of any used luxury car. Global safety standards are also an important factor to take into consideration. The Global NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) is a platform that conducts tests on the new automobiles and rate them as per the norms of the United Nations. Moreover, the European Union has separate standards that are followed by every major automobile manufacturer in Europe.
For a 5-year ownership period in India, Volvo seemingly leads the pack with minimum maintenance costs and the fewest faults. Mercedes followed it because of the wait time in the garage while BMWs showed more faults in the navigation and infotainment system. As far as safety is concerned, BMWs have one of the most advanced safety systems in the luxury car segment. Volvo is fast gaining popularity because of the plethora of safety features in its vehicles. Still, since the entrant is new in the Indian used luxury car market, consumer affinity is more towards the brands around India for years.
Maintenance cost and reliability of used BMW cars
BMW is known for its reliability in the long run. It is also a good car brand when it comes to safety. The only drawback is that after 2006, the company has diversified the product range extensively to cater to each customer’s needs. In recent years, this has impacted the durability of BMW entry-level four-wheelers.
Normally, the customers buying a BMW for the first time are inexperienced and may mishandle the cars. Thus, when it comes to a used BMW, customers should be aware of the service and repair costs they might incur in the long term. Turbocharged models, if not taken care of, can prove troublesome after 4 years of regular usage. Also, the electronics and software are complex and require skilled technicians to sort out the faults. The average maintenance cost of high-end used BMW luxury cars can go up to INR 95,000 annually for a 3-year timeline post expiry of the warranty period.
Maintenance cost and reliability of used Mercedes cars
Mercedes-Benz cars are built to outlast the competition. The unique design, performance, and ultra-luxury features make it one of the most loved brands and one of the toughest to maintain. Especially when it comes to a used Mercedes car, the maintenance and repair costs can be unprecedented. These cars cannot be serviced at your local garage. They need special attention and a skilled workforce to stay in proper shape.
In recent times, Mercedes has improved a lot on the durability of its vehicles but not much on the infotainment system. Moreover, spares differ from model to model, and only original parts replacement is recommended. With the limited dealers and workshops, getting spares can be a nightmare.
Though they are reliable, you must maintain used Mercedes cars regularly to avoid serious expenses. The maintenance cost of a used Mercedes can go up to INR 1,25,000 a year for high-end used Mercedes cars.
Maintenance cost and reliability of used Audi cars
Audi is one of the most durable German brands in the world. People may have divided opinions on the reliability and maintenance costs of this particular brand, but everyone would agree that durability is one area where these cars outperform their competitors. The newer Audis have been reported to have more electronic faults; in the long run, older models remain very popular and easy to maintain.
The Quattro powertrain is one of the most efficient systems in the luxury car segment. Smoother transmission and a soundless engine make this technology a go-to for car enthusiasts. The drive assist system is also a highly advanced intelligent system that enables more safety for long drives. These systems are a technological marvel, and so maintenance can be slightly difficult. It is also challenging to get the hang of these machines before you can actually start using them.
The maintenance cost of a used Audi can go up to INR 75,000 annually for a 3 year period which is quite affordable compared to its other two German counterparts. Care must be given to the electronics and central control system with advanced drive-assist features in the high-end models.
Maintenance cost and reliability of used Volvo cars
This Swedish car maker produces one of the finest and most reliable four-wheelers in the world. There’s a certain charm to Volvo cars that you cannot ignore. Safety and durability are the two most important principles behind the manufacturing of these cars. Volvo is an underrated brand for luxury cars but is surely one of the most successful automobile manufacturers in recent times.
Volvo has been known for producing heavy-duty trucks around the globe. The passenger car segment draws some of the features from that segment. Moreover, rigorous tests and research have enabled Volvo to carve a niche for itself in the Indian luxury car market. Volvo cars are luxurious too and very affordable. It is making Volvo the fastest-growing luxury car automaker in the world.
Using and maintaining a used Volvo can cost you around a little over INR 80,000 for 3 years, that too including repairs. Such is the reliability of these vehicles that you can use them for 3-4 years without burning a hole in your pocket. The only major problem that a used Volvo may face at times is a bit of software issue. The most attractive feature offered by the Swedish car maker is the Volvo Lifetime Replacement Parts & Labor around the globe that makes it even better to own and use.
Maintenance cost and reliability of used Jaguar cars
Used Jaguar cars are not considered very reliable in India because the high-end versions come in a potent turbocharged V8 engine configuration that is hard to maintain by an average user. Brand new Jaguars are built to last and are very sporty when it comes to performance.
The maintenance part can be a bit problematic because the complex engineering and specialized components need skilled supervision. The driveability of a Jaguar outperforms an Audi but lacks the durability quotient. Frequent parts breakages and repairs can cost you nearly INR 95,000 annually for 3 years. The cost is not justified given the segment and cost of a brand new Jaguar.
Although the availability of spares and service centers has increased manifold after the acquisition by Tata Motors in 2008, the repairs can be costly. The Jaguar service center network is also overgrowing. Moreover, with the combined design and production efforts with Land Rover, Jaguar is fast improving its products and expanding the lineup.
Owning a used luxury car has become a trend in recent years because of so many units in the market that are too in pristine conditions. Luxury car manufacturers are not shying away from experimentation, and this has led to more frequent vehicle rotation among brand new car buyers. The future of the luxury car market seems bright given the latest trends, and the sales would supposedly jump by almost 8% in the coming years. This is also attributed to presence of national organized dealerships that deal exclusively in the used luxury car segment. These dealerships offer complete pre-purchase inspection on the vehicle of your choice, and also give extended warranty on select brands. They are constantly expanding their network of service centres and local agents to find the best pre-owned luxury cars for sale.
Luxury cars are in no way cheap and must not be expected to be cheap too. The manufacturers are always competing to produce the best vehicle out there without compromising on quality. They are not very easy to maintain too. The right temperament is necessary to own and maintain a luxury car, be it used or brand new. They deserve the right treatment and regular check-ups to stay in a healthy operating condition. After all, the best machine needs the best treatment and nothing else.
Stay tuned to our blog for more exciting news and reviews in the upcoming posts.