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Automobile showrooms fleecing customers

Automobile showrooms fleecing customers
Highlights

Buying a two-wheeler or a four-wheeler has just got costlier in the twin cities, largely because of the dreaded hidden-costs. The consumer-to-be is getting fleeced high and dry. No, it is neither the bankers, who are lending money nor the manufacturer but your friendly neighbourhood showroom guy!

Charge four times more than the govt fee for vehicle registrations

Buying a two-wheeler or a four-wheeler has just got costlier in the twin cities, largely because of the dreaded hidden-costs. The consumer-to-be is getting fleeced high and dry. No, it is neither the bankers, who are lending money nor the manufacturer but your friendly neighbourhood showroom guy!

Coming in handy for the seller is the ‘vehicle registration’ that is being used as a pretext to go for daylight robbery. No questions asked. While the government fee for permanent registration of a motorcycle is Rs 385, showrooms in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts charge anywhere between Rs 1,200 and Rs 2,000 and for Light Motor Vehicle (non-transport) car the government fee for permanent registration is Rs 630, whereas the showrooms charge anywhere between Rs 3,000 and Rs 4,500.

Although, the government fee for Temporary Registration (TR) for both two-wheelers and cars is a mere Rs 100, showrooms make one cough up a staggering Rs 350. In case of two-wheeler and four wheeler goods vehicle (which come under transport category) as against Rs 890, which includes fitness certification, the showrooms charge an exorbitant fee of anything between Rs 6,500 and Rs 7,000.

“The government fee for motor cabs is Rs 890. These vehicles also have to get permits, including vehicle fitness, which are issued for a period of five years. The showrooms are charging Rs 8,000 to Rs 9,000,” says Ravinder Reddy, a businessman.

On the showrooms fancy for the looting the customer, Praveen Rao, Deputy Transport Commissioner and secretary, Ranga Reddy district, points out, “Every customer is given a letter from RTA, which clearly mention the rates. We have also asked several people to come forward and complain if the showrooms charge extra. But no one comes forward. We can swing into action only if someone lodges complaints with us.”

Suresh, a resident of Mehdipatnam, says, “A buyer at the showrooms is given so many forms to fill that he misses out on the registration rates. Also, many are eager to get a loan for the vehicle that their attention does not go to the high amount that they have to shell out.”

Since 2004 the showrooms have been providing hypothecation and have appointed agents to complete the registration process. Also, the showrooms started collecting life tax, Form 20, Form 21, Form 22, invoice and insurance. Krishnan, a private agent at Nagole RTA, says,

“The work was handed to the showrooms so that corruption at the middleman could be stopped but now the showrooms and the RTA staff are hand-in-glove in these shady deals.” Everyday about 900 cars get registered in Hyderabad and another 1200 in Ranga Reddy district.

By:T P Venu

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