Should I buy the BS4 car or wait for BS6?

This is the proverbial “million dollar question” that is most prevalent in the car market at the current stage. Every buyer is trying to figure out an answer for that and most importantly every manufacturer and dealer is also desperately hoping that the buyer decides quickly and starts buying.

Having already stated our stand in favour of adoption of BSVI emission standards for our country, we definitely would recommend to go for a BSVI compliant vehicle, but then again we would also like to put forth some points in support of our recommendation.

The idea is to lay out all the consderations that you face while taking your decision, needless to mention that the recommendation is purely the writer’s opinion and the decision to buy is purely your call.

The environmental impact –

In our last post we had pointed out that transport emissions are the most dominant factor in air pollution across the world and it is especially true for most urban environments. All the smog, yellow haze, brown skies, dirty noses will vouch for the fact that its beyond high time that we do something about reducing or controlling air pollution.

The BSVI standards are implementing a significant reduction in the major air pollutant constituents like CO (Carbon Monoxide), NOx (Nitrogen Oxides), Sulphur particles. This reduction is more drastic in diesel engines than petrol engines.

NOx or Nitrogen Oxides have proven adverse effects on respiratory tracts causing inflammation at high levels, increases susceptibility to allergens, increases ground level ozone and also adversely affects vegetation / plants, thereby kicking off an irreversible cycle of damage. They are also primarily responsible for smog, brown haze.

CO or carbon monoxide is an established killer. It is classified as an odourless, toxic gas, which reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of our blood to tissues.

Sulphur particles can induce skin and eye irritations and are a primary cause for rain with decreased pH values, better known as acidic rain. Acidic rain leads to damage to local vegetation, aquatic life, insects and also corrosion of exposed structures – steel or any metal, etc.

The step-up from BSIV to BSVI –

The comparison chart between BSIV and BSVI standard is provided below for you to get a decent technical idea about how they differ and where the improvements are.

TIP: If a car is a machine that takes you from point A to B, then please note that Diesel cars are also said to be using Compression Ignition (CI) and Petrol cars use what is known as Positive or Spark Ignition (SI).

So the major air pollutants are seeing a 68% and 82% reduction in Diesel cars and for Petrol cars it’s a 25% reduction, from BSIV to BSVI.

These stricter emission standards under BSVI are a right step at the right time in the right direction.

But a positive impact of the BSVI standards in improving our air quality levels will only happen through a 3 pronged, sustained and determined approach towards BSVI adoption.

What is the impact on the car buyer?

The BSVI standards mandate a sulphur content of <10ppm for both petrol and diesel fuel available at stations. The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas has committed to make the same available across the country to ensure BSVI success.

Vehicle manufacturers also are making necessary device fitments or engine tweaks, especially diesel car variants, to adhere to the BSVI standards under real driving conditions. Diesel cars are going to be equipped with special devices called Diesel Particulate Filters for soot & Sulphur control and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) Systems for NOx control, to ensure adherence to the emission standards. An alternative to SCR is Lean NOx Trap (LNT), which is considered to be a low cost option as compared to SCR. All cars will also have a sophisticated On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) device which will ensure that the pollution control units are working as per standards.

So which car should you buy – BSIV or BSVI?

That’s a no-brainer. You have to buy a BSVI car.

Do not entertain any thoughts about buying a BSIV car, even if there are discounts on them. It’s like buying a Nokia E51 at a discount and hoping that it will not give any issues, because if it does you have to throw it away, there will be no way of servicing it.

Running a BSIV car with BSIV fuel or vice versa is not advisable. The question is not whether the car will start or not, the question is what will be the long term impact on the car and support services. None of manufacturers have a clear picture on that, so why do you want to stick your neck out and experiment with your money.

No point in buying BSIV car and then inviting uncertainty post April 2020. You never know what regulations will come into effect in a year or 2 from now. Anyway manufacturing of BSIV vehicles will stop and hence ongoing services, spares etc will be a trouble for BSIV cars.

Next question – should you buy now or wait?

That’s a very personal question. The answer to that is purely dependent on your urgency to buy a car. There is no dependency on any market speculations or conditions.

In our opinion, buying prices are not going to come down drastically post April 2020.

Our reasons –
  1. There is no chance of any rollback of the BSVI standards.
  2. Manufacturers have to improve the engines and the cars with additional devices to make them compliant. So the additional cost is not going to go away.
Also the cost of ownership is not going to come down post April 2020.

Our reasons - 
  1. Fuel prices will rise across the board, so whether you buy now or 1 year later does not make a difference.
  2. Service costs will be more, as the additional consumables like AdBlue will be required.

So why do you want to wait and what are you going to wait for?

We at Apnacar recommend - 

If you need to buy a car and need to buy now, then buy it now, do not postpone. And you have to buy a BSVI car. 


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