Ways to cut down on driving costs

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krazykar
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Ways to cut down on driving costs

Post by krazykar » Tue, 13 May 2008 10:01 am

Hi folks,

I’ve noticed that a hot topic these days as petrol prices keep going higher and higher is how does a driver save money? It’s fairly obvious to see that driving in Singapore isn’t getting any cheaper, nor will it anytime in the future. For an average joe like myself, I might have to stop using the 4 wheelers and start using the 2 footers (my unfortunate legs) very soon! Anyways, here’s my 2 cents worth and things that have worked well for me so I just thought I’d share. Please feel free to add on if you have any other ‘secret methods’ of cheapening driving costs.

Firstly and quite possibly most importantly, there’s Petrol! It just keeps going higher and higher in price. Well anyways, about 5-6 years back, I used to pump Shell’s V-Power. Those days, it was at about $1.60+ per liter. Not so bad eh! Then as prices increased, I switched to 95. Although I could feel that the car was slightly less powerful (esp during acceleration), I could live with it. Then recently I switched to SPC 92 upon my mechanic’s suggestion. I was wary at first as I felt it may spoil my car or something but he reassured me as he himself used it. Well, I tried it out and I’m happy to report that it’s been working out perfectly fine for me! Plus, with a POSB Everyday Card and an SPC Card, I get a total of 10% discount so its really a sweet deal!

Next, there is parking costs. I work in the CBD area so I have to pay for the wretched ERP as well! I guess many can agree that it sure is a real pinch! Well anyways, I found a really nice way around it and this works superbly well for people working in the Anson Road/Shenton Way area. What I do is I park at the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station which is just outside the ERP area and it’s only $1/hr and after 5pm, just $2 flat fee! And then I walk over to my office building. It does take about 10mins for me to walk but it’s worth the savings! Also, I would recommend you get this really cool Windows Vista Widget that can tell you how much does parking cost at any car park in Singapore! Doesn’t hurt to do a little research before you zoom off ya! I got this widget from http://www.microsoft.com/windows/produc ... dgets.mspx so go check it out.

Another cost is that of motor insurance. Mine’s fairly high because I’ve got some claim history. However, recently one of my friends recommended that I check out this online motor insurance portal thingy that helps drivers find the cheapest premiums. Well, I did and true enough, I managed to save $500 on my yearly premium. I used to use NTUC Insurance as I thought it was the cheapest one but boy was I wrong! I signed up with Tenet which offers more additional free covers and it was cheaper than NTUC by $500! There were actually several other options that were cheaper than NTUC. (haha, It sure sounds like I’ve got something against NTUC eh!....lol, I don’t…it’s all about price so sorry NTUC!).

Last but not least, another factor that allows you to save money on your driving costs is the servicing. I used to go to only authorized dealers for my servicing before but then I switched to this mechanic at Queensway (Just opposite Queensway Shopping Center, lots of good mechanics there!) and it’s been costing me a lot cheaper. This is a personal preference I guess as some people may not trust the mechanics to do as good a job as the authorized dealers/workshops but quite honestly, it doesn’t make any difference! At least to me it didn’t. The guy I get it done from is towards the end of the road, called Daiha Auto. His name is Richard and he’s really good and honest. One of the first mechanics I’ve seen so far that didn’t at all try to rip me off! Hence, I think he deserves a mention (and maybe he’ll give me some discount if he reads this?).

Well, that’s all for now. Hope this helps and like I said, if you guys have any other ways please do share!

Cheers,
KrazyKar

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taxico
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Post by taxico » Tue, 13 May 2008 10:12 am

don't over rev/accelerate/bunny starts: be gentle with the pedal!

get a motor-cycle/scooter! sips gasoline! consider a hybrid if lotsa inner city driving's involved (start/stop) and you're due to change your car.

i think it also helps that SBS has this iris bus tracking thing, so public transport may be the cheapest option next to walking/cycling.

one last (drastic) option may be moving somewhere nearer to your work place. it's not always the best option so you may have to calculate it.

i used to spend heaps parking within CBD, and decided to rent a place nearer to town. the savings in gas and parking fees made up for it.

is there still park and ride at train stations?

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 13 May 2008 1:22 pm

I sold my car and use public transport. e.g., bus & MRT. Sure it's an adjustment but you should have seen the adjustment to my budget from 2000+/mo to 250/mo. A savings of 21K/year. Not bad no matter how you look at it. Takes longer? Sure, but now I read the newspaper enroute. Used to read before I left the house. Or surf the net, or play games (don't do the local thingy though - could never sleep on public transport!. Decreases costs and blood pressure at the same time! :wink:
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by ksl » Wed, 14 May 2008 3:13 am

I have never had a problem with walking..even though its darn hot here, I still don't mind a 30 minute walk, but the rest of my family, no way, 50 meters is too much. We are lucky really, because we also have transport if needed at nights or weekends, but not in th day.

Thanks for the post, I on insurance cover, I think my inlaws may find it useful.

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maneo
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Post by maneo » Wed, 14 May 2008 9:08 am

Thanks for the insurance and parking info links.

However, even with all the tips, it won't be enough to offset the increase.
Driving wasn't worth the cost differential vs. public transport before the big jump in petrol cost.
The equation is even worse now.

Best way to cut down on driving costs is . . . don't drive.
SMS stated it quite well.

Let the car sit except for those few days that you really need the convenience (e.g. special errands to out-of-the-way places).

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Post by krazykar » Thu, 15 May 2008 12:11 pm

maneo wrote:Thanks for the insurance and parking info links.

However, even with all the tips, it won't be enough to offset the increase.
Driving wasn't worth the cost differential vs. public transport before the big jump in petrol cost.
The equation is even worse now.

Best way to cut down on driving costs is . . . don't drive.
SMS stated it quite well.

Let the car sit except for those few days that you really need the convenience (e.g. special errands to out-of-the-way places).

Yea i know what you mean. Plus these days the traffic jams are getting from bad to worse! Unfortunately the nature of my job requires alot of moving around and since time is of the essence, i don't quite have the option to depend on public transport quite as much.

You know im just really really waiting for the day cars start running on tap water.....with all the advances in technology you'd think they wud've figured that one out by now eh!

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save money

Post by cks » Mon, 19 May 2008 2:24 pm

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hiking out
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Post by hiking out » Mon, 19 May 2008 11:34 pm

nuclear fission is not going to happen any time soon,

in the meantime, ride a motorcycle or scooter, cheaper than public transport and quicker thru the jams, main disadvantage is that it is is not very convenient or safe when it rains.
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge

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High Driving Cost

Post by cuddles.com.sg » Fri, 30 May 2008 7:59 am

Needless to say, its very costly to maintain a car in Singapore with the high petrol cost.

Simply a trip out on the street with cost you at least $10 with parking included.

Try parking at CBD or Orchard Road, it will be another $10 gone with 4 hours of parking.

Gosh...... the arrows are all pointing upward and never downwards.

Cost of living is getting higher and higher.......

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Post by durain » Fri, 30 May 2008 8:21 am

i better not give up my ez-link card then. :P

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taxico
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Post by taxico » Fri, 30 May 2008 1:14 pm

i'm more determined than ever to get a vespa scooter so i can have something to zip around when i'm in singapore!

Image

poo poo pooot!

now, there's only that pesky detail of converting my license to a singapore one...

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Post by rasserie » Mon, 16 Jun 2008 2:33 am

oddly enough, due to my job nature, i had to take a taxi and the cost to use a taxi is more than owning a car

i spend around 1k a month just owning a car but its still cheaper than using a taxi for a month.


sundaymorningstaple wrote:I sold my car and use public transport. e.g., bus & MRT. Sure it's an adjustment but you should have seen the adjustment to my budget from 2000+/mo to 250/mo. A savings of 21K/year. Not bad no matter how you look at it. Takes longer? Sure, but now I read the newspaper enroute. Used to read before I left the house. Or surf the net, or play games (don't do the local thingy though - could never sleep on public transport!. Decreases costs and blood pressure at the same time! :wink:

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 16 Jun 2008 11:22 am

rasserie, obviously not all people can do without a car. This is especially so if the person is in outside sales or some such. However, as this is an Expat board, I think you will find that most here do not have occupations that would require the normal everyday usage of a vehicle during the course of their working day. Your obvious retort would be how about engineers or safety inspectors on the new MRT Circle Line. If an expat were required to use a vehicle to get from one site to the other, then the vehicle is normally furnished by the employer, fully found, and of no cost to the Employee. Other than that, there are a few expat realtors but would be about the size of it.

Soooooo, oddly enough, the vast majority of expats, if they wanted to, could save upwards of 20K or more a years on transport costs. (But only if they wanted to). :wink:
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by taxico » Mon, 16 Jun 2008 11:53 am

there's no guarantee you can get a cab at all hours of the day though (even when when you call for a pricey one).

i'm not sure what the situation is like now with the increase in fares... may be easier since less people take cabs now.

i understand some people find a mix of a weekend car and using public transport to be a good compromise.

you could consider that. but again, i recommend a 2-wheeler! : )

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Post by bruinbear » Mon, 16 Jun 2008 8:57 pm

take MRT.

When you urgently need to get somewhere, then take taxi.

Cars are punitive. That's govt. policy.

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