As a car enthusiast, you can imagine the wealth of questions and answers streaming into my head once I decided to plonk down hard-earned money for a new set of wheels. Having owned a vehicle for over a decade in Singapore, plus given our current stratospheric levels of ownership costs and car prices, literally everyone is thinking twice before buying their next ride.
Of course this has become a bane for car enthusiasts locally as those who do not have the cash upfront to renew their Certificates of Entitlement (COE – a Singapore taxation structure designed to control vehicle population; COEs costs nearly twice as much as the car itself and only have a 10 year life span) are forced to either scrap or export their cars, in exchange, receive an estimated 55% rebate on the car’s original market value.
Now all that is fine and dandy (provided you did your sums right) till you realise what car should you buy next. Coming from driving a 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX (you can read about my previous car here), I spent a good 12 months pondering this very same question.
Sure it was great not to be a bogged down by escalating maintenance costs – I literally had to replace something every month that either got worn out or just stopped functioning altogether. Of course the final straw came when my garage told me that I had various cracks in my engine gasket and an overhaul was a must.
Plagued by an incessantly nagging ‘EX-girlfriend’ that wanted me to sell away (in her words: “that rickety heap of metal”), I bid goodbye to my prized possession. Another plus point of not having a car: lots of excess cash in the bank! I would be speaking for the majority here, when I say a car takes a chunk out of our salaries every month, and that is not even including the running costs.