I know this is a very old topic and there are tons of literature out on the net about how expensive is it to own a car in Singapore. I’m doing this to show myself that it’s f**king crazy to own a car and to show how much maintaining a car will eat you out from the inside out.
Assumptions
Ok, before we get down into all the bolts and nuts, numbers and figures. It’s always good to start with some assumptions and baseline so as to not confuse readers.
Assumption 1: The buyer mentality would be one of a buyer seeking reliable and cheap vehicle, so the vehicle chosen will be Toyota Vios 1.5 E LX Manual. It will be a full time car, not an OPC.
Assumption 2: User is expected to travel from one end to another end of Singapore daily to work.
Assumption 3: User will maximise the car usage for the full 10 year.
Assumption 4: Inflation will be ignored to keep calculation simple.
Assumption 5: All variable cost i.e. Road Tax, Season Parking, Miscellaneous cost stay the same for the next 10 years.
Assumption 6: Loan will be taken out to purchase the basic cost of the car [Definition of basic cost]. The interest rate will be kept at 1.88% per annum and the loan will stretch for 10 years.
Ok. I think that’s about it for my assumption. I hope it is comprehensive enough so as to keep the reader on track.
The sample car was chosen through visual observation of car driven around in Singapore. I seem to see Toyota Vios more than any model. I’m not doing any kind of advert for Toyota. Next, full time car was chosen so as to give the fact that the user may need to commute from place to place during the day. By choosing an OPC, I need to factor in the rebates and the coupon for OPC into the calculation, hence making it messy and inelegant.
Facts and Figures
We know the price of the above said vehicle inclusive of purchasing overhead and COE is $70,488 as of 4^{th} Nov 2010. [Link]
We know that for a loan of 70,488 will incur interest at a rate at 1.88% per annum spread over 10 years to the tune of $698/month [Link] and at the end of 10 years, you’ll end up paying an extra of $13,252 on top of your principal sum.
Next, road tax for the experiment vehicle is $684/year, this works out to $6840 for the 10 year period. Insurance, gathered the average value from friends, I need to add in a disclaimer. As far as I know, insurance varies with a lot of variables, and hence, the price I’m going to list down will be inadequate to cover all insurance combination. But I can safely say for car insurance that cover 3 drivers will cost around $1,600/year. This will give us $16,000 over 10 years.
We now then go on to the routine car servicing of the vehicle. Car servicing to my knowledge is either by a time span or mileage clocked, whichever is comes first. Based on anecdotal observation, if you travel length wise across Singapore to work, you’ll reach the mileage criteria before the time criteria. Plus as the car gets older, it’ll need to be serviced more frequently. Hence, let assume that we’re sending the car for routine servicing every quarter, i.e. 3 months at a cost of $300 per servicing. This will bring us up to $1,200 per year and $12,000 for the whole 10 year.
For season parking, let us say by the good grace of lady luck, we have an open air car park beside my house and hence it’ll cost $65 per month [Link] and I will also boldly assume my workplace’s season parking will cost the same price also per month. So for one month, I’m paying $130 for season parking, which works out to $1,560 per year and $15,600 for a decade.
Every car would need a cash car plus parking coupons, it would be out of my ability to gather an accurate cash card and coupon usage, and hence I will approximate the usage of both cash card and parking coupon to be $20 per week. With this approximation, I’ll come up to $960 per year and $9,600 for 10 years.
Last but not least, we’ve come to the most heart wrenching item on the menu, fuel. For this case, we’ll use the price of the mid-range mixture, 95UL @ $1.755/litre as of 10^{th} Nov 2010 [Link]. We know that Toyota Vios have a fuel tank capacity of 42 litres and from its specification sheet; we got the fuel consumption to be 14.3km/l [Link]. From assumption 2 listed above, the distance from Tampines to Joo Koon will be 40km one way. So, the car is expected to clock at least 80km to and fro daily. Let say weekend we travel only half the distance we travel during weekdays, so our total mileage a week will be 480km. From the manufacturer’s fuel consumption, this works out to 33.6 litres of petrol needed to cover the said distance. This would mean in one week, the fuel tab for car will come up to approximately $60 per week. Assuming constant usage, this will result in $2,880 per year and ultimately, $28,800 for the whole 10 year.
A recap on what we’ve find out so far:
Items |
$ |
Basic cost of car |
70,488 |
Loan Interest |
13,252 |
Road Tax |
6,840 |
Insurance |
16,000 |
Servicing |
12,000 |
Season Parking |
15,600 |
Cash card + Parking Coupons |
9,600 |
Fuel |
28,800 |
Total |
172,580 |
Conclusion
My friends, this is what you’re paying over 10 years. Not a lot you would say. Let’s break it down further, $172,580 over 10 years would be $17,258 per year and this will be $1,438.2 per month for the next f**king 10 years. For a fresh graduate with a pay of $3,000, this is ≈50% of your salary.
I can safely say that the actual cost over 10 years will definitely be more because of the following reason(s):
- Assumption 4, 5 and 6 will not be true in real life situation.
- Prices were chosen based on lowest price offer. However, certain situation will result in more expensive option, like season parking.
Proponents of car travel will cite the ease of getting anywhere the factor in which to get a car. I’m not going to go into the mood of driving, because it varies with individual. But let investigate the other alternative to driving.
Alternative 1: Cycling
Granted it is not an option most would choose. By avoiding all expressways, the route from Tampines to Joo Koon will be around 40km, if you travel at a constant pace of 30km/hr. It’ll take you around 1hr 20mins to complete your journey and the cost of bike to be set at $2,000 per bike and you trash one bike in about 1.5 years, this will cost you $13,333 over the next 10 years replacing the bike.
Granted it’ll take longer and some would say dangerous, but it’ll keep you healthy.
Alternative 2: Public Transport
By taking public bus and train, it’ll cost you $4 per day to get from Tampines to Joo Koon and back. Extrapolate it to 10 years, and you’ll get $14,600.
Alternative 3: Taxi
Taking taxi from Tampines to Joo Koon will cost you $60 to and fro. Assuming you use only taxi during working days, i.e. Monday to Friday, it’ll rack up a bill of $144,000 over the next 10 years.
Alternative 4: Motorcycle
Ok, I’m going to be lazy on this one. Because to calculate the real cost of riding a motor bike would need me to go through the whole process of finding out the insurance, road tax and blah blah what not again like car, I’ll just assume I’ll purchase a Super 4 @ $12,000 and the servicing and miscellaneous cost to be 2x of the original price, so the total I’ll take it as $36,000.
So how do the various alternatives stack up against car?
Items |
$ |
Difference |
Car |
172,580 |
0 |
Cycling |
13,333 |
159,247 |
Public Transport |
14,600 |
157,980 |
Taxi |
144,000 |
28,580 |
Motorcycle |
36,000 |
136,580 |
Can you see how much money you’re throwing into the abyss for the next bloody 10 years? Even if you take a cab to work daily, you can spend $2,858 per year to go overseas for a good holiday for the next 10 years! Or, if you take public transport and you take the money and invest in product that gives you 5% compounded returns per year, do you know you’ll be $87,100 richer and will have around $250,000 after 10 years with your principal + returns.
Please people, owning a car in Singapore is not something everyone can do it. I find it very worrying because I have friends my age buying car as though they are earning like $5,000/month when they are only earning ½ of it. I find it real dreadful when I see how they gushed about laying their hand on the new car. Because, I’m not sure how they get past the logical reasoning of owning a car in Singapore. I sometimes wonder if they ever worked out how much the car is going to cost them over 10 years instead of just looking at the car + COE!
Leave your opinions and any error or mistakes in the comments area. Be civil and nice. except for me, the rest are not at liberty to use vulgarities. AND DON’T “BURN” ANY BIG SHOT IN MY BLOG. I DON’T WANT WHITLEY SPECIAL KOPI-O GAO! 🙂
I know this is a very old topic and there are tons of literatures out on the net about how expensive is it to own a car in Singapore. I’m doing this to show myself that it’s f**king crazy to own a car and to show how much maintaining a car will eat you out from the inside out.
Assumptions
Ok, before we get down into all the bolts and nuts, numbers and figures. It’s always good to start with some assumptions and baseline so as to not confuse readers.
Assumption 1: The buyer mentality would be one of a buyer seeking reliable and cheap vehicle, so the vehicle chosen will be Toyota Vios 1.5 E LX Manual. It will be a full time car, not an OPC.
Assumption 2: User is expected to travel from one end to another end of Singapore daily to work.
Assumption 3: User will maximise the car usage for the full 10 year.
Assumption 4: Inflation will be ignored to keep calculation simple.
Assumption 5: All variable cost i.e. Road Tax, Season Parking, Miscellaneous cost stay the same for the next 10 years.
Assumption 6: Loan will be taken out to purchase the basic cost of the car [Definition of basic cost]. The interest rate will be kept at 1.88% per annum and the loan will stretch for 10 years.
Ok. I think that’s about it for my assumption. I hope it is comprehensive enough so as to keep the reader on track.
The sample car was chosen through visual observation of car driven around in Singapore. I seem to see Toyota Vios more than any model. I’m not doing any kind of advert for Toyota. Next, full time car was chosen so as to give the fact that the user may need to commute from place to place during the day. By choosing an OPC, I need to factor in the rebates and the coupon for OPC into the calculation, hence making it messy and inelegant.
Facts and Figures
We know the price of the above said vehicle inclusive of purchasing overhead and COE is $70,488 as of 4^{th} Nov 2010. [Link]
We know that for a loan of 70,488 will incur interest at a rate at 1.88% per annum spread over 10 years to the tune of $698/month [Link] and at the end of 10 years, you’ll end up paying an extra of $13,252 on top of your principal sum.
Next, road tax for the experiment vehicle is $684/year, this works out to $6840 for the 10 year period. Insurance, gathered the average value from friends, I need to add in a disclaimer. As far as I know, insurance varies with a lot of variables, and hence, the price I’m going to list down will be inadequate to cover all insurance combination. But I can safely say for car insurance that cover 3 drivers will cost around $1,600/year. This will give us $16,000 over 10 years.
We now then go on to the routine car servicing of the vehicle. Car servicing to my knowledge is either by a time span or mileage clocked, whichever is comes first. Based on anecdotal observation, if you travel length wise across Singapore to work, you’ll reach the mileage criteria before the time criteria. Plus as the car gets older, it’ll need to be serviced more frequently. Hence, let assume that we’re sending the car for routine servicing every quarter, i.e. 3 months at a cost of $300 per servicing. This will bring us up to $1,200 per year and $12,000 for the whole 10 year.
For season parking, let us say by the good grace of lady luck, we have an open air car park beside my house and hence it’ll cost $65 per month [Link] and I will also boldly assume my workplace’s season parking will cost the same price also per month. So for one month, I’m paying $130 for season parking, which works out to $1,560 per year and $15,600 for a decade.
Every car would need a cash car plus parking coupons, it would be out of my ability to gather an accurate cash card and coupon usage, and hence I will approximate the usage of both cash card and parking coupon to be $20 per week. With this approximation, I’ll come up to $960 per year and $9,600 for 10 years.
Last but not least, we’ve come to the most heart wrenching item on the menu, fuel. For this case, we’ll use the price of the mid-range mixture, 95UL @ $1.755/litre as of 10^{th} Nov 2010 [Link]. We know that Toyota Vios have a fuel tank capacity of 42 litres and from its specification sheet; we got the fuel consumption to be 14.3km/l [Link]. From assumption 2 listed above, the distance from Tampines to Joo Koon will be 40km one way. So, the car is expected to clock at least 80km to and fro daily. Let say weekend we travel only half the distance we travel during weekdays, so our total mileage a week will be 480km. From the manufacturer’s fuel consumption, this works out to 33.6 litres of petrol needed to cover the said distance. This would mean in one week, the fuel tab for car will come up to approximately $60 per week. Assuming constant usage, this will result in $2,880 per year and ultimately, $28,800 for the whole 10 year.
A recap on what we’ve find out so far:
Items |
$ |
Basic cost of car |
70,488 |
Loan Interest |
13,252 |
Road Tax |
6,840 |
Insurance |
16,000 |
Servicing |
12,000 |
Season Parking |
15,600 |
Cash card + Parking Coupons |
9,600 |
Fuel |
28,800 |
Total |
172,580 |
Conclusion
My friends, this is what you’re paying over 10 years. Not a lot you would say. Let’s break it down further, $172,580 over 10 years would be $17,258 per year and this will be $1,438.2 per month for the next f**king 10 years. For a fresh graduate with a pay of $3,000, this is ≈50% of your salary.
I can safely say that the actual cost over 10 years will definitely be more because of the following reason(s):
· Assumption 4, 5 and 6 will not be true in real life situation.
· Prices were chosen based on lowest price offer. However, certain situation will result in more expensive option, like season parking.
Proponents of car travel will cite the ease of getting anywhere the factor in which to get a car. I’m not going to go into the mood of driving, because it varies with individual. But let investigate the other alternative to driving.
Alternative 1: Cycling
Granted it is not an option most would choose. By avoiding all expressways, the route from Tampines to Joo Koon will be around 40km, if you travel at a constant pace of 30km/hr. It’ll take you around 1hr 20mins to complete your journey and the cost of bike to be set at $2,000 per bike and you trash one bike in about 1.5 years, this will cost you $13,333 over the next 10 years replacing the bike.
Granted it’ll take longer and some would say dangerous, but it’ll keep you healthy.
Alternative 2: Public Transport
By taking public bus and train, it’ll cost you $4 per day to get from Tampines to Joo Koon and back. Extrapolate it to 10 years, and you’ll get $14,600.
Alternative 3: Taxi
Taking taxi from Tampines to Joo Koon will cost you $60 to and fro. Assuming you use only taxi during working days, i.e. Monday to Friday, it’ll rack up a bill of $144,000 over the next 10 years.
Alternative 4: Motorcycle
Ok, I’m going to be lazy on this one. Because to calculate the real cost of riding a motor bike would need me to go through the whole process of finding out the insurance, road tax and blah blah what not again like car, I’ll just assume I’ll purchase a Super 4 @ $12,000 and the servicing and miscellaneous cost to be 2x of the original price, so the total I’ll take it as $36,000.
So how do the various alternatives stack up against car?
Items |
$ |
Car |
172,580 |
Cycling |
13,333 |
Public Transport |
14,600 |
Taxi |
144,000 |
Motorcycle |
36,000 |
So people, now you know how crazy it is to own a car, If you hear your friend who is earning <$5,000 buying a car, do him/her a big favour by discouraging him/her. They’ll thank you for life. 🙂
[…] know that driving a car is horrendously expensive in our sunny, sunny island (See this, this and this, if you need proof). So unless you have the fortune of being a son of a very rich man or a toyboy […]
Yea owning a car is really expensive, its just a luxury and sometimes being cramped up in the MRT or bus i feel like getting one myself too! but like you say i’m going for better returns in the market via investing and trading my income, so that one day i can actually “afford” a car.
i rather not throw my money away now for luxury and own one when i have made some profit from investing.
Irony is i’m working in a business dealing with car insurance! 🙂
For those shopping around for lower rates:
http://www.ezquotesg.com/
this is truly useful info of how fuking expensive of owning a car as of 2012 when i m reading this article…
Appreciate your hard work on this article…Bravo!
I agree with you. Sometimes I just don’t understand why most Singaporeans are so car crazy. As though they will die without it…pfftt
For me, the only time I get some physical activity is when I walk to the bus stop, cross mrt lines, walk from bus stop to office etc If I have a car, I will become a lazy bump and end up having health problems in the long term and that is NOT good at all… There is concrete evidence showing that being sedentary raises your risk for heart disease, hypertension, diabetes etc.
Only the Rich can afford to buy a car in Singapore.
That’s why people want to buy and own cars, even if they cannot afford it. So they can appear that they are doing well. It’s called Gia Su.
Nobody wants to be the common peasants of society..
I think this is one of the most important info for me. And
i’m glad reading your article. But want to remark on few general things, The web site style is ideal, the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers
What I find worrying is how the government has turned what would be considered a basic necessity into a luxury. Try surviving in Malaysia without a car, or Brunei for instance.
Granted, we are supposed to have a “world-class public transport system” here that will supposedly get you anywhere, which means owning a car has no longer become a necessity.
But did they factor in the recent failures of our train system? Or the amount of waiting time for a bus? Or the massive volume of usage on both these forms of public transport which results in delays and discomfort?
Also, not everyone has the good fortune of being able to live within reasonable walking distance from a train station or bus stop. This is especially true now that housing prices have skyrocketed and homes near amenities or MRT stations now command a ridiculous premium that is unjustifiable in economic terms.
Try walking/cycling/taking the bus or train home with 10 bags of groceries. Even if you could somehow manage that, by the time you reach home, your cold or frozen stuff would have gone bad. Take a taxi? Provided you can flag one down. Book one? With the rates now, if you booked a cab everytime, you’d be better off owning a car, because there wouldn’t be much of a price difference!
[…] receiving comments for a blog post i wrote in November 2010 [Link] recently and decided to just write something I have been […]
a good bike (up to 1000 SG $) can stay with you for more than 10 years with 500 SG$ of maintenance every 5000 km ! I bike every day, this is cheaper, faster (at the peak hour) and healthier than anything else ! go for it !
I done 3000 km in Singapore in one year, it is possible, unless you don’t have a shower at your office.
Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it but, I’d
like to send you an email. I’ve got some recommendations for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.
The stats are almost worthless, meaning the results don’t make sense either.
I have been surfing online more than 2 hours today, yet
I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me.
Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made good content
as you did, the web will be much more useful than ever before.
I do agree with several comments yet, in order to adapt we must change ourself. We have to grow. But something seems to be in our way that’s the purchasing of brand new car prices.. It have shoot through the roof. Just visit those BMW, Audi, Toyota or even Nissan! You wouldn’t be able to do so unless you’re rich or you own a existing car.
Therefore our team and I came out with SGcarSale. SGcarSale is targeted to bring in quality but yet affordable used cars to people in singapore. Actually to be honest, a car in singapore is essential. We need to be here and there, therefore having a car is really essential. Yes, you may argue there’s many MRT or buses in singapore, that’s right.
Unless your single, yes public transport could be one transportation to take. With the population in Singapore, you’ll have to squeeze in there… Do you wish to do so? Yes maybe you would argue again. Maybe you’re thinking that public transport will be alright if you need to spent much lesser. I agree.
Now forward it to the next two, five or even ten, by now you’ll be unable to argue. You’ll have family. Your children will need to be transported everywhere. Tuition, shopping mall, home, EVERYWHERE…
Get your used cars such as BMW, Audi, Toyota, etc at http://SGcarSale.com .
The cost of cycling to work is much cheaper than that. My urata road bike cost only $300. And if you park your bicycle indoor, you can significantly reduce the chance of bicycle getting stolen
I was researching on insurance and your blog appeared. Very accurate calculation. i own a 2006 Vios exactly the same as what you mention above. I feel in singapore firstly its so small a country…secondly it will not make sense to own a car if your pay is below 4k. Even if you are above that income or slightly below how much can you get after owning a car? Unless you are required to travel from point A to B to C to D to E back to A daily then obviously a vehicle totally make sense. Other then that your income must at least 5k above..as you dont mind throwing away 1.4k monthly.
My car insurance is under my father’s name im only 27…if i were to buy insurance under my name..easily 2.5 to 3k lol
my first year i paid 1.6k..every year there is a no claim discount up to 50%
this year i only paid about $1172 i got 20% ncd
Road tax is accurate 684 yearly, but you forgot to include the car inspection. last time was once yearly now 2 years once. about $60 i think.
Car servicing $300 too much la! Unless you drive audi or bmw then maybe , for me about 3 months + i reach 10k mileage. i spent about $150. im using idemitsu + filter + spark plug about $150 only. if you add another $150 means you are those want to put makeup on your car.
For fuel last time i always go malaysia pump…each time tank empty go pump ron98 i can save $45 no joke. 125rm full tank (2.85rm). Now malaysia increase toll…dont bother to save $ just pump in singapore LOL Fuelsave95 $2.25. $84 for full tank. How long a full tank can last for vios really depend on the driver….some shitty driver like to tailgate + press brake + chiong to be no.1 at junction..about 4 – 6 days your tank empty.(i was 1 of them before) But now got family must think more maturely i finish a full tank with a minimum of 10 days. Maximum 12 days. Believe it or not i am the above “type of car” driver i wont lie to you no point. The trick is dont keep pressing on your brake…learn to play with your accelerator…even if you want to slow down…just slowly release your accelerator…. and keep a good distance away from the vehicle infront of you. what you learn from school regarding keeping a distance is accurate!
Car park…for me is $88(mscp) it’s suppose to be $90 but if u pay giro abit of discount.
cash card + coupon…$50 monthly for cash card coupon erm…i seldom put coupon…my line of work park a short while only…sometimes park at condo so is free…sometimes park at mscp but never put coupon..sometimes put…maybe $20 monthly? $10 for a $1 coupon …another for 50c coupon.
last but not least getting SUMMON…if you are a driver and want to save every possible $…you will all think like me LOL…
ACCIDENT! if you bang the car = die die chiong for private settlement. If he ask for $500 just throw at his/her face…if he ask for $250…happily pay him/her for the damage and leave happily. if he want to report you…i dont know how to answer you this…because never happen to me before. I got bang people but i ask for private settlement he agreed to it…and i happily pay him and zao. got 1 mymmar guy bang me..i want to give him quote but he stiff neck said to me “no u claim my insurance..” then i “ok loh” lol…after all claim …the insurance ask him for 6k+…no joke…his insurance paid for the amount but his premium going to be sky high….my vios bumper only damage abit..but i dont know how the bill can come up to 6k LOL….that’s is why i strongly urge those who think of driving to be prepared to face ACCIDENT.
so erm $1400 monthly is accurate in your part.
any question you wanna ask me please ask…because i am the above “type of car” driver. I drive for only about 2 – 3 years…i pass my driving @ the age of 25…im born in 87, got a wife and expecting a child soon. Wife working for me..dont ask me what line of work im doing you dont need to know..u just need to know that i drive from point A to B to C to D to E back to A.
Hi. Thanks for your long comment. I want to ask what do we get at the end of 10years. As in you compute you spend ard 1.4k per month. But at the end of 10years we can still sell the car and get some money back right? How much usually can we get back? Thanks
Paper say about 6k scrap value…but my friend told me if you can get 4k you should be happy about it.
[…] https://simpleboylife.wordpress.com/2010/11/15/150/ […]
Hi Simpleboy, we’re actually writing an article on how to save money on purchasing a car, breaking down the costs (similar to you have done) such as the car purchases, insurance etc but we then want to write a guide offering solutions (or the best money saving options), would it be possible we can qoute some of your article from above? We will reference Simpleboy and your url? Kindly let us know via email if you’re ok with it, thank you.