Year-end offers have been rather muted this year but the omnipresent question of whether now is the right time to buy a car has been as relevant this December as it has been in Decembers gone by. With prices of most passenger vehicles all set to be hiked from January 1, and the promise of new launches in the new year, the value of a 'wait and watch' game is once again very real, very relevent.
Buying a car is usually the second biggest investment made by an individual in his or her lifetime, right after buying property. As such, it does require careful planning and homing in on a segment and a product is crucial. And despite all its challenges, 2020 saw several strong product launches across segments that - quite obviously - remain very relevant in the new year as well. But it is also true that 2021 is brimming with the promise of even more launches - some new, some facelifts, some generational upgrades.
(Also read: Top 10 SUVs launching in 2021)
Much of whether one should buy a new car depends on the urgency of the need to get one. If absolutely urgent, the first month of January may bring with it options galore that can be compared to products already currently on offer. One key segment to watch out for is the sub-compact SUV segment which have seen a whole lot of tussle between rivals. Renault is likely to bring in its Kiger late next month and the car will take on several rivals - some new, others well-entrenched - like Hyundai Venue, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Kia Sonet, Nissan Magnite, Toyota Urban Cruiser, Tata Nexon and Mahindra XUV300. In this particular instance, it would be recommended to hold on for just a bit longer to see what Renault will be putting on the table.
There is likely to be a whole lot of traction in the small PV category as well in the new year. The likes of Maruti and Hyundai are gearing up for updated models aplenty but the wait could be long. And there are very strong and compelling offerings to already choose from and if the urgency for a new car is high, now is as good a time as any.
Expect a whole lot of movement in the large SUV segments as well. MG is readying its seven-seater Hector Plus, Tata Gravitas is also around the corner while Jeep Compass facelift gets an unveil on January 7. While the compact SUV segment does have options galore even now, the seven-seat category is likely to get a boost only in the first few months of the new year.
If one is planning to dive into the world of electric mobility, 2021 holds a whole lot of promise. A long list of EVs are planned cutting across segments which means that buying one from the currently available lineup - great options as they may be - won't be ideal unless of course the same urgency factor is crucial. Jaguar, Audi and Volvo have confirmed 2021 will see their EVs making India debut while Tesla too is reportedly gearing up for an India debut. On the other end of the price spectrum, Mahindra's affordable e-KUV100 will undercut the ₹10 lakh price mark.
Clearly then, there is no sure-shot yes or no recommendation for whether one should jump into buying a car in the early parts of the new year or wait it out till the festive period of the new year when most new launches take place. The market is littered with several options, wooing and luring prospective buyers.