Family of 4. Do we need a car?

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Family of 4. Do we need a car?

Post by Dad » Wed, 29 Jun 2005 8:11 am

We are a famiy of 4 with 2 young kids (5 and 7) and will be moving to Singapore for work and would probably stay there for at least 3 years. We have a car here in Australia and we cant imagine living in Singapore without a car. Imagaine the difficulties of getting around with kids. We would be living near the kids' school and we would also be working very near to their school.

When we were in Hong Kong we didnt have a car in the first year but in the second year we bought one and we wish we had bought one right away and prices of secondhand cars are cheap there. So we dont want to make the same mistake again in Singapore.

I guess the difference between Singapore and HK is that the prices of secondhand cars in Hk are a lot cheper than in Singapore. We dont need a big car, just a secondhand 1.6lit sedan would do.

I would like to hear comments from families about this.

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Post by Sandpiper » Wed, 29 Jun 2005 9:09 am

My advice would be to try it for a month or so without and then will not have wasted much time if you then choose to get a car.

As you know a car is an expensive option here and taxis are plentiful and very reasonable...alhough if you do not live near a main route where it is easy to pick them up you will have to pay a couple of extra $$$ a time to call one to collect you. The school bus system here is very well organised and your children are old enough and (hopefully :wink: ) well behaved enough that safety is not such an issue (i.e. they don't need to be chained down in carseats or prevented running onto the main road while you try and get prams etc out of taxi boots)

However if you mostly catch taxis at busy times, they can be hard to may be on the phone foreever trying to call one. Apart from peak work hours other busy times are when it rains and shift changeover (about 5pm I think?) when they all head back to Jurong or whenerever the base is and only take you on board if you are going their way. I wondered what was going on when this first happened to me as I couldn't understand a word they were saying as about 5 in a row drove off!

One other thing to note re cars is that parking is plentiful here - seems every mall or centre has something & although the costs can add up it is very convenient.

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Post by CNA » Wed, 29 Jun 2005 9:48 am

i would say to get one..
i came from sydney with a pregnant wife about two years ago and found it most difficult to get around especially in the heat with humidity of like 80-90% all year round.

taxis are much cheaper alternatives, but a couple of caveats here - on friday and saturday nights, cabs are very difficult to come by. Ditto for rainy days and peak hours...i would imagine that you & your family would like to explore singapore / malaysia during your 3 years here as well so.....

cars are much much cheaper now compared to the heydays they are down by half....if cost is your concern, get a second hand one as premium (profit for dealers) are very low and close to cost now - maybe consider a car with 3 years remaining life - i think that would set u back about ...15k?
Random Walk


Post by Dad » Wed, 29 Jun 2005 1:21 pm

Would you recommend if I import my car (5 year old Magna and we have owned it for 5 years too) into Singapore as personal effect? Would that be cheaper than buying one over there?

There is something about cars in Singapore that I heard of that it must not be older than a certain number of years. What actually is it?

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Post by yoongf » Wed, 29 Jun 2005 1:53 pm

Not older than 3 yrs. ... le0/0.html

I would recommend getting a car, if it's affordable. Can do much more things in a day when there's a car available all the time.

If cost is an issue, there is this OPC option where costs are lowered at the expense of restricted hours of use. ... ffpeak.htm

But don't rush into getting a car straight away. Cars here are not spec the same as other markets due to high costs. Suggest rent a car for a while to determine the ideal size and engine capacity.

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Post by guest 21 » Wed, 29 Jun 2005 3:20 pm

The only issue is money. If you're well paid, ca. 15K per month or above OK, if lower, forget it. PS. Sg is the most expensive place in the world to buy and operate a car.

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Post by Loops » Wed, 29 Jun 2005 4:28 pm

We've never had one here. My kids were 3 and 5 when we arrived 2 years ago and never had any problems with getting buses and cabs (ahem, apart from last week when I got on the bus with my eldest and realised we'd left the youngest at the bus stop ...............but that's another story :oops: )


But anyway - yes, you could try without a car for a while and see what you think. You can always get one later.

The thing about cars here for me, is that if you live in an apartment, you still have to lug all your shopping up out of the car into the lift, so I can't see much difference between getting a cab home and having a car, unless I move to a house. I think I've just got used to not having a car here though. If I went back home, I'd definitely want one.

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Post by Matney » Wed, 29 Jun 2005 5:42 pm

My children are older and I thought it would be difficult without one. We have survived. Organisation and planning ahead is important.

Having said that, I would opt for a car considering the four younger children. Most families with younger children tend to feel the need for a car--easier to get them together and someplace.

I think it will all come down to money. We rely on public transport all the time (bikes and walking as well). Good luck.


Post by Dad » Thu, 30 Jun 2005 9:03 pm

From my seach, the cheapest car is about $30k, is that right?

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Post by yoongf » Fri, 01 Jul 2005 11:52 am

Due to complex taxs and fees, cost of new cars are usually assessed based on the annual depreciation. Normal saloons of 1.6L go for around $7K annually, while MPVs are ard $9-11K.

Used cars can be bought for ard $5K a year.

Try this for a better understanding.

This is purely depreciation and does not factor in usual operating expenses.

Suggest come here first, rent for a while, then decide what's best. The local regulations... attempting to moderate congestion... are really one of it's kind.


Post by Dad » Sat, 02 Jul 2005 6:52 am

Thanks everyone for your help! Much appreciated.

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Post by sunny.ouyang » Tue, 12 Jul 2005 6:18 am


Have you thought of Leasing a car instead of Buying one? It's pro and con and I am thinking to lease one or not to have one.


Post by Dad » Tue, 12 Jul 2005 6:37 am

what are the pros and cons of leasing? can someone enlighten me?

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Car leasing

Post by jivintan » Tue, 12 Jul 2005 11:15 am

Dad wrote:what are the pros and cons of leasing? can someone enlighten me?

There are few main advantages of leasing.
1. No worries on servicing, maintenance, insurance, road tax cost and admin work - all taken care by the leasing co by paying monthly leasing fees
2. Replacement vehicle provided if leased vehicle is required back to to workshop. Free pick-up/delivery service
3. Less capital upfront as compared to buying and less hassle since you need not apply for loan

You can visit my website for more details.

Thanks and best regards
Jivin Tan


Post by Dad » Tue, 12 Jul 2005 6:26 pm

What are the cons? where is the website?

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