Tag Archives: Indian Automobile Industry

No Insurance Renewal for Vehicles without PUC

NO ‘POLLUTION UNDER CONTROL’ CERTIFICATE? FORGET YOUR INSURANCE!

All automobile owners, please take note! The time has come when we are to take responsibility to protect our environment, whether by our choice or not. An important Court directive has been passed today.

In what has turned out to be a landmark direction with respect to environmental standards, The Supreme Court has laid down a crucial condition for vehicle owners who want to avail their regular annual insurance. Henceforth, all vehicle owners who fail to obtain the valid Pollution Under Control (PUC) Certificate from the appropriate authority will not be eligible whatsoever for availing their annual insurance. Only upon producing the PUC Certificate will they be considered for annual insurance.

ABOUT THE DIRECTIVE

After years of raising public awareness for this cause, the Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority had recommended the linkage of the PUC with vehicle owner’s insurance procurement. A Bench of Justices accepted the recommendation and has passed this direction with immediate effect.

The Union Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways has accepted the decision and ensured that the necessary steps to educate owners for obtaining PUC will be taken as soon as possible.

Pollution in India

This decision has been taken also keeping in mind that hardly 20% of vehicle owners today approach Testing Centers to ensure their vehicle emission is under control. Now, with this compulsion, the Court and the authorities hope to ensure that emission is under control & vehicle owners get a sense of moral obligation as well.

ABOUT POLLUTION UNDER CONTROL (PUC) CERTIFICATE

While purchasing your new vehicle, a PUC certificate is issued, the validity of which is generally 1 year. After one year, your car will need to undergo the PUC test at periodic intervals and subsequently a new certificate will be issued to you each time. The validity of this new PUC certificate is usually six months. If in case an adverse reading is obtained in your PUC test, validity of your certificate will be decided on the basis of your current reading.

Pollution Control Testing

The cost of a PUC test is very minimal. It can be anywhere from Rs. 60 to Rs. 100, based on vehicle and fuel type. If any vehicle is seen exhibiting higher levels of emission than prescribed limits, its registration number will be informed to the RTO, Assistant RTO or Deputy RTO by the Testing Center within 1 day.

HOW TO OBTAIN

For your convenience, we would like to add that you can get your emission levels checked with your nearest PUC Center Affiliated Emission Center which you can locate on your Internet. These Emission Centers would give you an accreditation based on your car’s emission levels.

Using the accreditation, you can obtain your Pollution Under Control Certificate from any PUC Center near you.

Now that you have obtained your PUC Certificate, you will have no trouble in claiming your annual insurance!

So hurry and obtain that PUC Certificate as soon as possible, to avoid any hiccups in future. Save the environment as well as your pockets! We have tried to make it as clear as possible for you regarding its importance and effect. Keep reading this space for more important updates. Here’s wishing you the best of days! Happy Riding!

Used Car Purchase – Check Points

USED CAR PURCHASE – CHECK POINTS

Cars have become part and parcel of day to day sustenance but buying one is not a takeaway for everyone. Not all are gifted to get a brand new eye-candy to boast off, and some may have to settle with second-hand products. But why should one feel bad about getting a used car if it looks good, runs well and satisfies the needs? Here are a few pointers to check on before deciding on purchasing a used car.

Preliminary considerations:

The type of car, the purse amount and the type of usage must be taken into account before deciding to go for a car.

  • The type of car would essentially mean the number of people most likely to travel in it
  • The type of usage would mean long or short drives and the type of terrain the car would be subjected to while being driven.

Once the model is fixed up in mind, second-hand purchases become quite easy because there would be a single-minded set of questions to be asked to various people regarding that model only. Always ask two or three authorised dealers before fixing on an estimate.

Open the bonnet:

 

used car purchase - open the bonnet
Used Car Purchase – Check Points : Open the car the bonnet and check for issues.

Cars appearing like this from behind might have problems in the front like this.

used car purchase - the vehicle might have problems on the front side of the car
Used Car Purchase – The vehicle might have problems on the front side of the car

So it is always better to have a compartmentalised view of the car before deciding to go for it.

Engine:
used-car-purchase-car-engine-condition-checkup
Used Car Purchase – Always check the condition of the engine

The heart of the vehicle should be checked thoroughly, mostly with the help of a mechanic or a person with adequate hands-on experience with automobiles. The flywheels would get rusty after prolonged usage. Checking the engine also means investigating every small component associated with it right from the bearings to the valves.

The belt drives associated with the engines are also mandatory checkpoints. These belts are usually toothed and hence any deformation in the tooth would mean the car has been used too much. The degree of elasticity of the belt would also transform to the quality and quantity of usage. When the belt is slightly pulled and released, the vibratory oscillations should not be more than 1 to 1.5 centimetres.

Usage and distance:

This is one important perspective while buying a second-hand car. If a car is assumed to run for about 30 kilometres a day, it would mean 30 * 365 = 10,950, which can be translated to approximately 11,000 kilometres a year. So if a car (if it is not a taxi) has run more than 75,000 kilometres (which roughly equals 7 years of usage), there are high chances that that particular model has become obsolete. So think twice before buying these kinds of models, because used cars would require a lot of maintenance (at least initially) and hence the spares should be readily available.

Appearance and body:

 

used car purchase - appearence and body condition of the car india
Used Car Purchase – Make sure the paints are used only for the aesthetic needs and not to deceive the buyer.

The car must be examined visually and also by touch. There are certain minor bumps and dents which might not be visible to the naked eye but on sliding the hands over the exterior of the car, one might be able to sense the minor glitches.

The paint and coating also matters; if the car looks old after a sneak peek into the bonnet but it has been painted, there might be recent accidents and paints would mean effective cover-ups. So make sure the paints are used only for the aesthetic needs and not to deceive the buyer.

Tyres:
used car purchase - check points - tyre condition
Used Car Purchase – Tyres are usually meant to operate for around 25,000 kilometers before replacement.

Tyres, which literally set the wheels in motion, are potential sources of implied information. The distances shown in the odometer of the vehicle can be duped but the tyres would show up variations. Tyres are usually meant to operate for around 25,000 kilometers before replacement. Even if the odometer is being reset (in the case of a digital one) or tampered (in the case of a mechanical type), the tyres can act as good measures of guesstimating the approximate run.

For detailed information, the owner’s service log may be examined to check the history of services. This would give a clear-cut picture of how many services the car has undergone, which would eventually decide if one can buy it or not.

Driving condition:

This is where the steering and ABC (acceleration, brake and clutch) of the vehicles come into play significantly. The gears should be shifted by keeping the clutch partially pressed (this condition is called as half-clutch position); this would indicate the smoothness of the transmission system. While shifting, if the gear lever becomes rigid, or if it is harder for shifting, then it means the transmission needs to be looked into.

Also, the vehicle shouldn’t give a rugged feel while driving. Unnecessary wobbles and a roaring noise (typically like that of a note sustained in a bass guitar) at speed ranges of 50 to 70 kilometres per hour would imply the car might cause several problems like engine failure in the near future.

The differentials of the car can be put to test by performing slight turns. If the opposite pairs of tyres (right in the case of a left turn, and left for a right turn) tend to be a bit draggy during the turn, the car might very well be towards its finals stages.

Power steerings are not susceptible to failure very easily; they usually give warning signs before they fail permanently. The initial warning signals would be a freakish screech heard every time the steering is turned to beyond 50 to 60 degrees. This is a minor stage which can be overcome by replacing the steering fluid.

Another way to know the steering effectiveness is to serve it using a single hand. If there is a difficulty in taking a 60-degree turn within 10 meters at 20 km/hr, it is a warning sign that the steering might give in.

Legal documents:

Once the deal is settled, make sure to get all the required papers like RC book, insurance documents and other ownership transfer details from the owner so as to avoid any legal disputes and issues.

Cost and quality are two factors separated by a thin line, especially in the case of used car purchase. Be informed, look close and don’t fall for word magic. Think for a second to buy a second-hand car. Vrooom !

Trends in Indian Automobile Industry

The excitement was palpable; I was all smiles when my dad gave me the key to my new bike. It felt like I was given the key to an all new life full of fun, freedom and independence. It’s a memory I cherish even today and I’m sure 23 Million other Indians would’ve shared similar sentiments this year. In India, a new bike is sold every 2 seconds; a new car every 12 seconds.

Growing at a rate of 10.5% YOY in the last decade, the Indian Automobile industry is one of the largest in the world. While there is a lot of talk about the Automobile industry, the Automobile Service industry is largely kept in obscurity. But of late, there are some fundamental changes happening in the Automobile Service space. Though a lot of these changes can be attributed to the rapid growth of internet penetration and smartphone usage in recent years, it’s also a sign of new entrants gearing up to disrupt this industry by leveraging technology.

Bike Service and Car Service Mobile App
Bike Service and Car Service Mobile App

One of the early trends that’s happening now is making the whole automobile service experience seamless and hassle-free – right from discovering a trusted and credible service center to getting the vehicle delivered back after service completion. A vehicle owner doesn’t need to check the service booklet and call up the service center to book a service anymore; he/she can do that at a single tap on his/her mobile screen. Vehicle owners can discover service providers in the vicinity, compare them based on price and book the service directly. After booking the service, they can view and track the status of the service booking real time, get the cost estimate for the service, chat with the service expert at the service center, know the estimated date and time of delivery and can also pay via the mobile phone after service fulfillment. Even some of the service needs which require immediate assistance like breakdown or tyre punctures are being handled by identifying the vehicle owner’s GPS coordinates. By knowing the exact location, it’s possible to send out a trained mechanic available close by to assist immediately. Imagine the time and effort that’s saved.

The biggest challenge in this industry, as perceived by vehicle owners, is information asymmetry. More often than not, vehicle owners feel that they’ve been meted out a raw deal by the service provider and they feel helpless. This challenge is being addressed at multiple levels. Having user generated reviews and ratings for each service center under different parameters is one solution. Getting accurate quotes for a specific repair job from many service centers even before commencing service and choosing the best one is another. Equipping users by providing interactive and engaging content about their vehicles and their needs is one another solution.

On the other hand, service centers are also reinventing themselves to cater to the needs of the internet-savvy customers. While some can afford to spend time and money on building an online presence and ramping up technology, that’s not the case with all service centers. Here’s where a common level-playing technology platform that caters to everyone in the ecosystem to market their offerings, showcase their quality and engage their customers will play a pivotal role.

Exciting times for the Auto Service industry are here again and for people who are involved in this hands-on, I’m sure the excitement is palpable.

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Sundar Natesan, Co-Founder, GoBumpr!

Currently available in Chennai, GoBumpr! is the one stop mobile app for all Car Service and Bike Service needs – from booking a scheduled service to getting on-the-road breakdown & tyre puncture assistance 24×7!