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Cars in Singapore

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kikapo
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Cars in Singapore

Post by kikapo » Tue, 15 May 2007 11:30 pm

I'm relocating to Sing in a couple of months. Have to find housing, etc, and am wondering about the need for a car.

My work and child's school are near Orchard. However, with a toddler and wife at home it seems that we'd probably be better off at a distance from town. (If I'm really wrong on this, please tell me!)

I've heard that the MRT and bus systems are quite good. Are there "inaccessible" areas, then? javascript:emoticon(':roll:')
Rolling Eyes

Also, I get the gist of the license changeovers, no problem there. But I've heard that getting/keeping a car in Sing is REALLY expensive. So, what would you do? And what might be the cost of acquiring a car? It is definitely NOT in my contract...(As for just driving, I've lived in Bangkok, so I understand Asian traffic!)

Thanks all for any advice (location/housing/car related!) :roll:

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Post by Edmundfo » Wed, 16 May 2007 6:23 am

Some comments (others can probably give more concrete advice):

Yes, owning a car is rather expensive. Old cars are not allowed, so you would have to buy a rather new (and more expensive) car for around 100.000 S$. In addition you have to bid for a so called COE, which costs around 40.000 S$. In general it is probably cheaper to use cabs all the time. Cabs are cheap, and the MRT is of course even cheaper. An alternative you may want to check out is car lease/rental (certainly a better option of you are only staying for some months).

You can find nice places to stay both close to town or further out. The main argument against living close to Orchard Road would be price. If you have to take bus it make take you quite some time getting to work etc, so if you dont have a car its nice to have the MRT close by.

And traffic in Singapore is by the way not nearly the same chaos as in Bangkok.

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Post by rhino » Wed, 16 May 2007 8:05 am

Hmmm I think your details on COE might be a little off the mark... Have seen in the paper recently that for private vehicles it was about S$15k - up slightly from the month previous. Was reported yesterday that vehicle sales are down 25% on the same time last year.

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Post by ScoobyDoes » Thu, 17 May 2007 4:08 pm

Yes, CoE is around the 15k mark at the moment, up and down.

New Korean cars suitable for a family can be got for under SGD50k and given what you would need it for, doesn't have to be something all singing and all dancing. We are talking 1.6L saloons for this price, not a 1.0L shopping trolley too, but you will have to accept it is Korean. Japanese cars are more expensive.

Generally these new prices include CoE but you might not get your car instantly and might have to wait a few weeks while the dealer bids for the CoE.

Lets say then this costs you SGD500 or less per month on a loan, plus road tax, insurance and petrol.

The alternative is to buy a second hand car, maybe one or two years old that has already been depreciated. This would be my route, if i were you. I already got the second hand car part done for myself so am not promoting something i would never do.

Let's say you live further out from Orchard, the savings in your rent alone might be enough to pay the $4-500 in car repayments.

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Post by IanRats » Tue, 22 May 2007 11:35 pm

To be honest, nearly everbody can survive without a car in Singapore and, yes, they are expensive but toddlers "support equipment" is dealt with much so much easier if you can throw it into the car!

If you are going to be here for a short while then leasing is tempting but of course you pay for convenience and with COE prices on the low side at the moment and car sales down significantly, buying new is not out of the question and as mentioned by others a 1-2 yr old car is a good alternative too.

Personally, I would steer away from Korean cars, whose quality is absolutely fine, but are still harder to sell than Japanese cars if you need to move quickly at a later date. I would say the ease of sale for cars would be Honda/Toyota at the top followed by Nissan, Mazda and then Hyundai and Kia.

European brands will definitely hurt your pocket significantly more than their Asian counterparts too.

Oh, and one last thing..... never translate prices back to your home currency... You will cry! :cry:

Good luck!

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Post by Rich D » Tue, 22 May 2007 11:54 pm

I must have been lucky as I offloaded my 1 year old Hyundai with no problem albeit losing about 15% of the showroom value (15-20% is the norm). Everyone knows they are thirsty but the price differential more than makes up for it unless you're off up to KL every weekend.

There are a lot of cheapy Chinese cars coming onto the Singapore market too but their reliability is unproven (as is their UNreliability) and they have an image problem if you are that way inclined.

It is not true that old cars are not allowed and I know a couple of people who buy up 17-18 year old Mercs, drive them for 2-3 years then sell them for export when the 2nd CoE expires. This is a bit of a hassle though and the sums may need re-doing in the light of the downward trend in new car prices.
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Post by huggybear » Wed, 23 May 2007 6:35 am

well...
if you lived in bangkok and didn't take the one hour flight to singapore to check it out...i'm going to throw out a wild guess and say you won't need a car since if you had visited Singapore while you lived a $80 tiger flight away, you would discover:

(1) the traffic in Singapore resembles North Korea more than Bangkok.

(2) Cheap taxis are abundant

(3) A subway system pretty much takes you everywhere on the island


(5) Your work and child's school being in orchard is the equivalent of you working on Soi 16 and your child going to school on Soi 18. (no...that's actually probably still too far)

(6) Yes there are "inaccessible" areas. You cannot take a bus or taxi to: Malaysia. Even for Indonesia you just MRT to harborfront and jump on a ferry (so no need to drive).

I don't know why you'd be better off living at a distance from town with a toddler and wife. You don't state any reasons why. If price is not a concern (again i don't know what is in your contract) then why wouldn't you just stay in orchard?

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Post by ScoobyDoes » Wed, 23 May 2007 10:35 am

Rich D wrote:I must have been lucky as I offloaded my 1 year old Hyundai with no problem albeit losing about 15% of the showroom value (15-20% is the norm). Everyone knows they are thirsty but the price differential more than makes up for it unless you're off up to KL every weekend.

There are a lot of cheapy Chinese cars coming onto the Singapore market too but their reliability is unproven (as is their UNreliability) and they have an image problem if you are that way inclined.

It is not true that old cars are not allowed and I know a couple of people who buy up 17-18 year old Mercs, drive them for 2-3 years then sell them for export when the 2nd CoE expires. This is a bit of a hassle though and the sums may need re-doing in the light of the downward trend in new car prices.
Exactly right also...... mostly :wink:

I bought a Japanese car second hand, 8-months old. It was already around 10% below the price it was sold by the main dealer. I know because i kept a track on the dealer prices for months before moving since everything is available on the Net and i knew what i wanted before i came.

It is difficult to justify buying brand new when they loose 10% in value in the first 30-seconds of driving out of the dealer. More so when you can pick up nearly new already discounted. My car had around 11,000kms on the clock when i bought it, nicely run in for me.

Anyway, 15% for a 1-yr old car is okay in comparison so i don't think selling Korean is any harder than selling Japanese, or that much worse financially. More so if you buy it second hand to begin with.

Chinese cars? Yes, avoid them at the moment, and more so with a family. They have already proven to be of a lower NCAP rating than nearly every other car on European roads. The Koreans are pretty good in this regards but certainly not the best.

I also know a few people also that buy 12-yr old type cars, old Mercs or Beemers etc. that should have the quality to last forever. They still have 8-yrs or so left on the CoE and are cheap......relatively. You only need to think what you need, in terms of space, safety, reliability etc.

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Post by Rich D » Wed, 23 May 2007 10:27 pm

ScoobyDoes wrote:
Rich D wrote:I must have been lucky as I offloaded my 1 year old Hyundai with no problem albeit losing about 15% of the showroom value (15-20% is the norm). Everyone knows they are thirsty but the price differential more than makes up for it unless you're off up to KL every weekend.

There are a lot of cheapy Chinese cars coming onto the Singapore market too but their reliability is unproven (as is their UNreliability) and they have an image problem if you are that way inclined.

It is not true that old cars are not allowed and I know a couple of people who buy up 17-18 year old Mercs, drive them for 2-3 years then sell them for export when the 2nd CoE expires. This is a bit of a hassle though and the sums may need re-doing in the light of the downward trend in new car prices.
Exactly right also...... mostly :wink:

I bought a Japanese car second hand, 8-months old. It was already around 10% below the price it was sold by the main dealer. I know because i kept a track on the dealer prices for months before moving since everything is available on the Net and i knew what i wanted before i came.

It is difficult to justify buying brand new when they loose 10% in value in the first 30-seconds of driving out of the dealer. More so when you can pick up nearly new already discounted. My car had around 11,000kms on the clock when i bought it, nicely run in for me.

Anyway, 15% for a 1-yr old car is okay in comparison so i don't think selling Korean is any harder than selling Japanese, or that much worse financially. More so if you buy it second hand to begin with.

Chinese cars? Yes, avoid them at the moment, and more so with a family. They have already proven to be of a lower NCAP rating than nearly every other car on European roads. The Koreans are pretty good in this regards but certainly not the best.

I also know a few people also that buy 12-yr old type cars, old Mercs or Beemers etc. that should have the quality to last forever. They still have 8-yrs or so left on the CoE and are cheap......relatively. You only need to think what you need, in terms of space, safety, reliability etc.
So which bit was wrong, oh Fount of all Motoring Knowledge? :lol:
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Post by ScoobyDoes » Wed, 23 May 2007 11:19 pm

Rich D wrote: So which bit was wrong, oh Fount of all Motoring Knowledge? :lol:
A Hyundai Avante 1.6L (A) is booked at 13.1km/L.

A Toyota Altis 1.6L (A) is booked at 12.5km/L.
A Honda Civic 1.6L (A) is booked at 11.5km/L.



You were saying something about the Korean cars being thirsty? Yes, the 1.6L equivalent Kia does 10km/L but they are second to Hyundai in terms of manufacturer anyway, as Honda is to Toyota. Next? :wink:

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Rich D
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Post by Rich D » Thu, 24 May 2007 12:14 pm

Out of interest, what does your source say for the Hyundai Tucson? I'd be interested to see how close the "booked' number is to reality.
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Post by ScoobyDoes » Thu, 24 May 2007 12:29 pm

Rich D wrote:Out of interest, what does your source say for the Hyundai Tucson? I'd be interested to see how close the "booked' number is to reality.
Oooo, "reality" is such a bad word.

The Tucson being a 2.0L will of course be much worse, booked at 8.4km/L.

Having said that i have a Japanese 2.0L turbo and since i bought the car a few months ago am averaging 10.6km/L whilst friends on mine with the same car average 6-7km/L (a couple are even worse) so with "reality" comes whether or not you get stuck in traffic more than others, whether you drive more highways than others, whether you drive like a muppet more than others etc. For me, my ride to work is the KJE, BKE then PIE all the way to Eunos so is mostly a steady highway drive hence better numbers than my friends.

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Post by Rich D » Thu, 24 May 2007 8:39 pm

OK, nuff said. Take anything you read on the Internet with a pinch of salt.
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Post by E-T » Thu, 24 May 2007 9:27 pm

There isn't really any specific guide to fuel consumption. For urban driving in Singapore, alot of stop-n-go situations and your right foot contributes more to the final consumption you are looking at in your car.

No two cars (even the same brand/make/model) are driven in the same exact manner. Every little thing from aero-dynamics, road surface, weather, tyres and so much more contribute to the fuel consumption.

Back to the threadstarter concern... If you're staying close to Orchard, forget about the car. Do be reminded that there are ERP charges that you incurred when you go into ERP Zone. (Orchard being one of them) Petrol is relatively expensive in Singapore and it fluctuates as much as the trading floor. These are hidden costs that many do not take into account, but affects car ownership or affordability in every way.

Public transport is relatively better, except that being a local here myself I don't enjoy squeezing in the peak hours. That's only my personal preference. A taxi would be more viable as I see it, mainly because it is a short distance and right at where you are, a huge fleet of taxi will be awaiting during peak hours. Advanced booking is safer...

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Post by ScoobyDoes » Thu, 24 May 2007 10:22 pm

Rich D wrote:OK, nuff said. Take anything you read on the Internet with a pinch of salt.
Yes, hence i gave you a "mostly" :lol:

E-T, petrol prices here are only as expensive as your comparison country. Here, after discounts it's around S$1.60-1.70 per litre for RON98. Of course compared to the ~S$0.85/L in Malaysia it is expensive but compared to the UK where the average is 103p/L (around S$3.13/L) it is still remarkably cheap here.



From my thinking, keeping a family of four, school and work all around Orchard without a car means one is more inclined just to not go anywhere at weekends or during holidays etc. Depends on your family's personality and lifestyle but i would find it quite restrictive.

Do you need a car? No. Would you be more flexible? Of course.

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