Data Study on Used Car Market in India

Posted on Jun 15, 2018
The skills the author demoed here can be learned through taking Data Science with Machine Learning bootcamp with NYC Data Science Academy.


As a car fan, Iโ€™ve been curious about the used car market in India. The economy and culture of this country have formed a special used car market with high volume and speed of trades. It would be interesting to get some data insights of the used car market with web scraping.

The website scraped isยย . Olx Group is a commercial web-based service that supplies vehicle reports to individuals and businesses on used cars and light trucks for the Indian consumers. This project focuses on visualizing the used cars market in India. There data of more than 100,000 used cars ads was scraped, using scrapy. The scraped information contains body type, color, engine, mileage, model, price, drive type, model year, model name and make of each sample.

For car fans, car dealers, used car holders and used car buyers, this project provides answers to the following questions:

1. What are the best brands to buy in terms of resale price, mileage and km driven.

2. How can a price of a car appreciate over the years.

3. How can a special type of number plate add a significant value to a car.


So this is how a used car ad on the website looks:

Data Study on Used Car Market in India


I tried a few web scraping techniques and the best output came out with scrapy in R, the data had more than 100,000 used cars ads. Olx is a marketplace where buyers meet sellers and can upload their car data.

So what are the features a car buyer looks for while purchasing a used car?

For most used car buyers the mileage of a car and the year in respect to the price are few of the first basic features a buyer looks for, therefore to have a successful sale the seller needs to provide the right data. I gathered these 3 main features and came out with a cluster analysis graph to visualize these features.

Data Study on Used Car Market in India

After these aspects are fulfilled,ย  a buyer sees what is the brand value of the used car?

  1. Does the brand make has a good market value?
  2. Does the brand make have service stations nearby?
  3. Will the brand make have a good resale value?

These questions can be fulfilled by reviewing the number of cars sold by a brand make per year and what is the depreciation percentage of each car brand/make. A bar plot analysis can explain:

Data Study on Used Car Market in India


How can a consumer add value to their car/ How can a consumer make their car special without modifications/changing the exterior/interior of the car?

By just adding a special number plate to their car.

These are two examples of cars from the year 1960-1990. The original price of these cars ranged from Rs.1,500-5,000 after 20 years the price of the car range from Rs.1,50,000 - 2,50,000. This shows an appreciation ofย  almost 10000% which is much expensive than some of the new cars available in the market.

A common number plate in India consist of a 10 digit alpha-numeric plate but these 5 alpha-numeric plates make them extremely rare and precious. The common number plate in India as shown on the left is 'MH-63-CN-3731' and the special number plate on the right is 'DEV-2'.


Both the cars are up for sale on olx and are from the same year and model but there is a difference of Rs.8,00,000. The original on road price of the car is Rs. 13,00,000 and the used car with a special number plate on the right above is almost Rs. 7,00,000/10,000$ more from the price of aย  new car. I think this example would explain how special number plates can add so much value to the car.




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