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. 🙂