If you wish to pick up a used fancy car at a throwaway price, maybe it is time to travel to the Tamil Nadu capital for some bargain-hunting.
Thousands of cars, including marquee brands such as Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi, Jaguar, Porsche and Bentley, are going under the hammer for as little as Rs 2 lakh. The only catch is these were “damaged” in the devastating December deluge in Chennai.
Classified by insurance firms as “damaged vehicles” beyond repairs, auctioneers are putting up for sale some 10,000 vehicles at cut-price rates. Auction site copart.in has lined up a motley mix of cars at Kora Truck Park on the Chennai-Bangalore highway that were salvaged from the floods.
Chief operating officer of cardekho.com’s auctions division Abhishek Gautam said an Audi A4 manufactured in 2011 fetched as little as Rs 3 lakh. Several high-end models, such as the Porsche sports coupe, have sold for anything between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 15 lakh.
A gleaming Jaguar ready for inspection at Tiruverkadu yard in Chennai.
The bargain price of these cars depends on their make, year of manufacturing and the extent of damage the floods have caused. An auctioneer said it is possible to get a high-end luxury model at 40% of the ex-showroom price. Bargain-hunters were thronging these auctions from far and wide with a firm faith in their mechanic or workshop to bring these almost-junks back to life.
“It is a chance I am willing to take,” said S Venkat, a businessman from Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh looking for a Mahindra XUV 500 at the Copart Yard on Wednesday.
A gleaming silver grey machine caught his fancy and he was willing to go up to Rs 8.5 lakh. But within seconds, the online bid for the SUV touched Rs 9.5 lakh — way beyond his budget.
Porche at Chennai yard.
A disappointed Venkat said: “See there is not a drop of water or trace of rust anywhere inside the vehicle or in the engine. And it is almost brand new, which costs Rs 17 lakh.” According to a rough estimate of insurance claims filed by customers, the number of damaged cars could be around 30,000. Of these, at least 10,000 are classified majorly damaged or beyond repairs.