What Problems Indian Car Culture has? Does it Even has one?

Indian car culture, car culture, car culture of india, indian car culture

For religion, superstitions, dress, food, and so on, each country has its unique culture. Similarly, with automobiles, each country has distinct sorts of vehicles and is said to have a unique car culture. Automobiles that are successful in one nation may not be successful in another, and certain cars will do better in only a few of them. We are not here to proclaim that one country’s auto culture is superior to another, but no matter how excellent the vehicles are, there will always be an issue. In this post, we will shed some light on the issues with Indian car culture and make some ideas for how we may improve.

SUVs are all the rage right now, and this is true all across the world, not just in India. To keep up with the pace, several manufacturers that have never had an SUV model before are creating them. Bentley Bentayga, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Aston Martin DBX, Jaguar F-Pace, Maserati Levante, and Rolls Royce Cullinan are a few examples.

India is still classified as a developing country, and the main reason for this is because the bulk of the Indian population is middle-class or lower-middle-class. Because of the epidemic, many middle-class families have fallen into the lower middle class, while many lower-middle-class families have fallen into poverty.

Because of this overall condition, sales volume for automobiles costing less than Rs.10 Lakh are usually strong. Although sales of automobiles priced beyond ten lakh rupees are increasing, especially with all the SUVs available at the same price range, we can conclude that the culture has altered.

Let’s look at some aspects that contribute to the problem with Indian car culture.

Taxes that are absurdly high

Indian car culture, car culture, car culture of india, indian car culture

Did you know you pay 28% in GST, which is included in the ex-showroom price? The Indian government is greedy, as evidenced because India has the highest auto tax in the world. In the automobile industry, India charges a 28 percent GST, whereas more developed nations such as Germany charge a 19 percent VAT; there is no indirect tax in the United States. In Japan, consumption tax is levied at 10%, while VAT is levied at 16% in China. Not to mention the road tax levied by each state besides the GST and other cesses already included in the ex-showroom price.

These taxes are now significantly higher for luxury vehicles and imported vehicles, with import charges amounting to around 115-125 percent of the tax itself. A Toyota Camry that costs Rs.18 lakhs in the UAE costs Rs.45 lakhs in India, while a Toyota Prius Hybrid that costs Rs.17 lakhs in the UAE costs Rs.54 lakhs here. We recognise that each government imposes taxes on manufacturers for various reasons, but these figures are absurd and may be cut not just to boost car sales, but also to boost the economy.

Modification prohibitions

Indian car culture, car culture, car culture of india, indian car culture

Did you know it is banned in India to alter motorcycles or automobiles? Yes, it’s real, and you can’t even place a sticker on your car if the manufacturer doesn’t offer one. As a result, you may fully disregard performance enhancements. The primary reason given by the government is to identify the vehicle in the event of theft, as changing the colour, or entire portions of the automobile, misleads the authorities. Unless the chassis number stays intact, I feel any alteration may be allowed and deemed legitimate. This allows many individuals to change their automobiles in unique ways, which will help tackle one of the greatest issues with Indian car culture.

You will undoubtedly be envious when you see automobiles that have been upgraded in other nations since that is how fantastic they will follow changes. We are not saying that all modifications are appropriate, but it adds a personal touch to your automobile that makes it truly yours.

Mileage Mindset (Kitna Deti hai?)

Indian car culture, car culture, car culture of india, indian car culture

Even if you give a typical Indian a 1000hp hyper car, his first inquiry will be, ‘Kitni Dheti Hai?’ We’re confident he’ll select a conventional hatchback with a fuel economy of 25 km/l, even if we offer him a Mercedes-Benz E-class for the same price with a fuel economy of 10 km/l. This average Indian is not wholly to fault, because the government gladly takes part in the problem with Indian car culture. This is due, once again, to high gasoline taxes, which result in high fuel expenses, which a normal Indian must carefully budget. Manufacturers take advantage of this vulnerability of the average Indian and pitch their products as having the maximum fuel economy.

A scarcity of reasonably priced sports cars

Indian car culture, car culture, car culture of india, indian car culture

This is a genuine ache that we cannot convey, and we are envious of countries that have these reasonably priced sports automobiles. We have little vehicles, hatchbacks, sedans, SUVs, luxury automobiles, and even crazy-expensive powerful sports cars in India, but we don’t have these economical sports cars. Vehicles such as the Alpine A110, Mazda MX-5, and Toyota GT86 are not inexpensive, yet they are affordable in nations such as the United Kingdom. To put it another way, we’d be thrilled if they made little sports vehicles like the Honda S660 Roadster more affordable.

These compact mid-engine sports vehicles are all the rage in areas such as Japan, Indonesia, and even the United States. Because they have smaller engines, smaller dimensions, are lighter, and hence provide high fuel efficiency, these automobiles are really inexpensive to purchase and operate. In principle, if these cars were manufactured in India, they would be less expensive than the Swift and somewhat more expensive than the Kwid. They are more expensive than the Kwid, but they provide a million times more enjoyment, which more than justifies the expense. We’re not expecting them anytime soon, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

Lack of Roads

Indian car culture, car culture, car culture of india, indian car culture

When you see this scenario in front of you, no matter how amazing your automobile is or how quick it can move, it will be made worthless. Although we pay a road tax besides a thousand other taxes, we do not have excellent roads in 90% of the areas, except for freshly completed motorways. Again, this is something that may be put on the government, which has a department dedicated to dealing with these concerns. We may all agree that the monsoon is a nuisance and wreaks havoc on the roads, but it will not rain 365 days a year, and the roads are awful and messed up virtually the whole year.

There is nothing else to it but hoping that the government would supply us with improved roads.

These define your status in society

Indian car culture, car culture, car culture of india, indian car culture, fortuner, endeavor, fortuner and endeavor,

An automobile is always regarded a prestige symbol in India, and the larger the vehicle, the better the status. People are unaware that a Honda Civic or a Skoda Octavia costs more than a Hyundai Creta or a Mahindra XUV500, but they regard owning larger SUVs as a higher status symbol than sedans. Other countries are less concerned with prestige and more concerned with their needs. In other nations, for example, if a family owned a hatchback and is now shopping for a new automobile, they don’t mind repurchasing a hatchback, providing the new vehicle meets all of their needs.

However, this is not the case in India. If you own an Alto, your next vehicle should be a Swift, followed by a Brezza or Tata Nexon, and finally a larger SUV. You can’t go smaller since it lowers your standing and makes you look foolish, even if the smaller automobile meets your needs. Unless you are purchasing a car for your child, you should never get a smaller vehicle. This is not always the case in every home, but it is typically the case.

Too much power can be Dangerous

Indian car culture, car culture, car culture of india, indian car culture, bugatti, jesko

With great power comes great responsibility, and these commitments are even higher if you have an enormous engine at your fingertips. Many people in India believe that having more power provides you more freedom than having a slower automobile, and while you may travel faster, you must do so responsibly. The racing track is the finest venue to show your expertise, and it is the only place where you can unleash not just the machine’s but also your own potential. With increased power, you must sharpen your senses and your judgement in order to tame all the horses that are unleashed at the touch of a pedal.

This is not one of the most serious issues with Indian car culture, but we ensure that individuals learn to drive appropriately for their own and others’ safety.

Problems with your driver’s licence

Indian car culture, car culture, car culture of india, indian car culture

The driving licence certifies that you are legally permitted to operate a motor vehicle, but it does not show how skillful or inexperienced you are behind the wheel. This is one of the main reasons some nations have a ranking system that reflects the competence level of the driver and only based on that can you ride the related bikes/cars of that level. In the United Kingdom, for example, there are categories such as A1, A2, and that define the power output and power-to-weight ratio that the rider is eligible to ride, and as the power output of the bikes increases, the rider is required to pass more stringent tests that declare the rider is eligible to ride more powerful bikes.

If we had this type of system in India, especially the more demanding testing for powerful cars, the frequency of high-speed crashes and accidents will undoubtedly decrease significantly.

There is a lack of safety measures.

No matter how often we emphasise the need for safety, it is simply insufficient for us Indians. We’ve noticed an increasing trend toward safer automobiles, and the Tata Nexon is outselling other tin cans in its market. But this isn’t enough; we also need to ensure that every car gained by every prospective consumer, regardless of price, is safe. We are not claiming that there would be fewer accidents because we know it is unrealistic, but we want to ensure that everyone is safe in case they are involved in an accident.

Also, while we do not expect all automobiles to be 5 star rated in crash test safety (though that would be a dream come true), anything less than a 4-star rating should not be sold at all. This will come at a cost, as manufacturers will begin charging more to make their cars safer, and we believe Tata’s automobiles will be the gold standard for this. The Tata Tiago hatchback received a 4-star rating, the Altroz hatchback received a 5-star rating, the Tata Nexon received a 5-star rating, and although the Safari and Harrier have not been crash-tested, we are confident they will receive four or more stars as well.


Despite this, these vehicles are priced similarly to the competitors and offer almost the same number of amenities. This is only a point to emphasise that better safety does not always imply more expensive automobiles, and this should become the new standard in the next years.

These items illustrate the difficulties with Indian car culture, and we believe that at least some of them may be remedied soon. We, as Indians, should promote Indian car culture as something to be proud of and, if possible, make other countries envious of us, but not the other way around. As we stated at the outset, we are still a developing country with a long way to go before we construct a car culture future generations will be proud of, but until then, we as a community must put out our best efforts. While the government does its part, we ensure that we ride/drive appropriately and encourage our children and grandchildren to do the same.

What are your thoughts on the difficulties with Indian car culture, and what solutions do you have to better our community’s situation? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below.

Karan Kapoor

Karan Kapoor

62 articles published

Karan Kapoor is a motorhead and a big time muscle car enthusiast. His Body functions on a 7L V8, and he trains it to become a W16. He tends to stay in the Fast Lane and sometimes is a little furious about it too. From Maruti to Ferrari, his love of cars is not hindered by price but specs. For 2 Wheels he loves choppers and cafe riders over sports bikes His love for travel is also paved by the roads, and long journeys that he finds more intriguing than the destination. His love for speed is halted by the legality of NOS in India. Give him 2 Wheels or 4. He knows how to handle 'em all.