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Car or NO Car - with a 2 year old & 3 year old

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EC
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Post by EC » Thu, 19 Jul 2012 10:31 pm

We lived here for 8 years without a car and didn't miss not being able to drive about. Now that we have 2 children under the age of 2, we picked up a used car and I am very glad we did. Putting car seats in and out of taxis, waiting for a taxi with cranky kids and trying to get a taxi in some of the more remote or popular areas (at certain times) is difficult. Certainly not impossible by any means but difficult.

That said, we have many friends both with and without cars (and with and without kids) and all are happy with whatever they're doing.

Advice above is sound advice - wait and see how you do. Make an appointment to change your license early though, as you sometimes have to wait over a month or two to get an appointment to write the test.

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Post by skipper » Fri, 20 Jul 2012 2:30 pm

We can quantify all we want about the (ridiculous) cost of owning a car here vs. taking public transportation, but the convenience and "freedom" is something that is of individual value/preference. That being said, the ease of mass transportation here in Singapore makes the choice easier.

By the way, we have a car...

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Post by jeensy » Sun, 22 Jul 2012 8:21 pm

I have a 2 year old and a 3month old and we mostly go around on the train and sometimes buses. I grew up in big cities and consider public transport the obvious choice as I am not a driver, but I would agree that while life would probably be easier with a car, driving in Singapore is not for the faint hearted.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 22 Jul 2012 11:26 pm

I had two cars the first 12 years I was here. This included the birth of two children as well. I sold them in 1991 with the youngest was 2. However, my wife didn't drive and I worked offshore on a 2 months on 1 month off schedule. This meant my wife used public transport (buses) until the mrt started (when I sold m cars). We've been using public transport ever since. Having a car was nice until you had to park it. Then you wasted the difference in time travel driving around the parking lots looking for a place to park. I don't miss it at all. Additionally, the local drivers take all the fun out of driving as well.

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Post by nutnut » Tue, 24 Jul 2012 5:34 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Additionally, the local drivers take all the fun out of driving as well.
FOR SURE!
nutnut

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Post by shannada » Tue, 24 Jul 2012 9:54 pm

I bought a car about 3 months after we arrived. This was about 7.5 years ago. At the time the children were still young, with the youngest being just a few months old. Besides being a blessing in terms of convenience for family outings, it also meant we could be sure the young ones were travelling in safety (no baby capsules/child seats in taxis).

My circumstances were slightly different as we have 4 children, and not being able to fit us all in one taxi was another deciding factor.

Having gone down the path of car ownership in Singapore, it is true everything concerning car operating costs are much higher than in other OECD countries. Things like petrol, insurance, ERP (tolls) all cost approximately twice to three times more as compared to what I was paying back home. I am not sure I would want to buy a brand new car with COEs currently at 10 year highs at $80k plus. When I bought it was around $20k for COEs.

Given the current cost of cars, the economics suggest you should consider using taxis (much cheaper overall than owning a car) and buying one of those convertible pram/baby seat contraptions, as a means for providing car safety for your young ones.

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Post by Sydney2011 » Wed, 15 Aug 2012 2:53 pm

We bought a second hand car recently after 7 months of living in Singapore. Have a 3 year old.
My view is that - go for it if you can afford it. Obviously from an economic perspective it doesn't make sense because public transport option is much cheaper here.
But for us, it means freedom and convenient and our daughter can sleep safely in her car seat. We also get to explore other parts of Singapore which would otherwise be more challenging on public transport.

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Post by sensei_ » Wed, 15 Aug 2012 7:09 pm

there is always going to be two camps on this. personally, car is the way to go. the time i have saved commuting by car, and choosing the times/route means i maximise the hours in the day. for me a car is not a liability, but a tool.

of course, we can argue about the driving ethics and styles in singapore all day, but lets save that for another thread.

having a car also means you can travel not just within sg, but to neighbouring countries such as malaysia and even thailand (which ive done!)

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Post by nutnut » Wed, 15 Aug 2012 7:59 pm

Sydney2011 wrote:We also get to explore other parts of Singapore which would otherwise be more challenging on public transport.
^^^ This! I do miss this a little not having the car now, still a lot less stressed though!
nutnut

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 15 Aug 2012 9:02 pm

Any time I wanted to go to Malaysia, I always rented a car after I sold both of mine. Figured it was a lot cheaper over the long haul. But each to their own.

If I had unlimited funds I'd probably still own a car but even now, I've had unlimited usage of a car for over a year now and I don't use it except on the weekends as I find it much more convenient to use public transport. Especially the time wasted trying to find parking spaces when I get to the destination where I'm heading.

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Post by the lynx » Thu, 16 Aug 2012 12:44 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Any time I wanted to go to Malaysia, I always rented a car after I sold both of mine. Figured it was a lot cheaper over the long haul. But each to their own.
Hey sms, can you share more about car rental in Malaysia? I've never done it before but would like to consider it. How much? Procedure? Service?

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 16 Aug 2012 6:53 am

I've only rented once in Malaysia at that's been many years ago ('92~94). I normally rent here and make sure they are insured to travel in Malaysia. That way I avoid the transference of baggage & people to taxis to make the final run home. When I rented in Malaysia it was for long term (e.g., a month at a time and that was when I was working in Chukai.

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Post by x9200 » Thu, 16 Aug 2012 8:41 am

the lynx wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:Any time I wanted to go to Malaysia, I always rented a car after I sold both of mine. Figured it was a lot cheaper over the long haul. But each to their own.
Hey sms, can you share more about car rental in Malaysia? I've never done it before but would like to consider it. How much? Procedure? Service?
I don't know if this is of any use but we rented once in Langkawi (5-6 years ago), pickup from the airport, returned to the airport, few days, less than half of the SG price, positive experience and completely fuss free.

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the lynx
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Post by the lynx » Thu, 16 Aug 2012 1:32 pm

x9200 wrote:
the lynx wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:Any time I wanted to go to Malaysia, I always rented a car after I sold both of mine. Figured it was a lot cheaper over the long haul. But each to their own.
Hey sms, can you share more about car rental in Malaysia? I've never done it before but would like to consider it. How much? Procedure? Service?
I don't know if this is of any use but we rented once in Langkawi (5-6 years ago), pickup from the airport, returned to the airport, few days, less than half of the SG price, positive experience and completely fuss free.
Same here. I've only rented in Langkawi too. And I find the car rental there quite easy and affordable too. There was a group of us that time so we actually managed to bring down the cost by splitting the cost between us :)

However car rental in Penang is a headache. For one thing, there are already too many cars on the road and parking requires some special skill (over the curb, triple parking etc). The size of Penang roads also do not do justice if you're not an experienced city driver.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 16 Aug 2012 2:00 pm

Have to agree with Penang. Way back in '83 when I got married, we honeymooned in Penang. I drove up in my own car (old Ford Cortina) and Penang is a nightmare back then. Bet it's a lot worse now.

Of course it didn't really help that all the Aussies were on Penang that same weekend, over from Butterworth, just to revel in kicking our Arse in the America's Cup that same weekend! Boy did I catch a ribbing at the hotel on Ferringhi Beach the morning after we arrived (same day the US lost). :-)

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