Opinion

4 Ways Motorcyclists Can Cope Now That Motorcycles are No Longer Affordable in Singapore

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Joanne Poh

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It’s a sad time for motorcyclists. The COE most recently shot up to a new high of $8,081, followed by the government’s decision this year to impose an Additional Registration Fee on high-end motorbikes.

For the many bikers for whom motorcycles were an affordable form of private transport, it might be time to lay down that helmet and bid biking farewell when the COE on your last bike expires.

Sure, you could just take public transport like everyone else. But for those who live in an inconvenient area that’s far away from the nearest MRT station or have to rely on infrequent feeder buses, doing so could mean tacking on an extra hour of travelling time per day.

So is there an alternative that will make life less painful? Well, the short answer is no. But here are four suggestion that might take a bit of the sting out of having to give up your ride.

 

Electric bicycle

It might not exactly give you the same kick of zooming down the Expressway with the wind in your hair, but an electric bicycle can be viable option for those who don’t live too far from their workplace.

Many old uncles have already replaced their trusty RXKs with electric bicycles after the COE started its ascent a few years back

Obviously, an electric bicycle isn’t as fast as a motorbike. But it does the job by getting you from Point A to Point B without having to wait for infrequent buses or get elbowed in the ribs by aggressive aunties on the MRT. It also lets you get home after midnight without having to fork out the cash for cab fare.

The downside? An electric bicycle will set you back over $1,000, for which you could have bought a second hand motorbike in 2010.

 

Fork out the cash for a motorbike and sell it before the COE depreciates too much

Gone are the days when using a motorbike for 10 years was the best use of the COE. These days, using a bike for a full 10 years means you’ll be losing over $8,000.

But you can minimise your losses by buying motorbikes with more than 5 years of COE left, and then selling them after about one year. Yes, it’s leceh as hell, but if you get a good deal when you buy, you could find yourself losing a minimal amount of money or, if the COE continues rising, selling your bike for more than you paid for it.

 

Use a PMD to get to the MRT

One big advantage of having a motorcycle is that you’re no longer at the mercy of the whims of the bus or LRT system. Ask someone living in Senja or Punggol how he gets to work and he’ll immediately start complaining about the LRT.

Personal Mobility Devices like foldable bicycles, kick scooters and hoverboards can remove some of the inconvenience by enabling you to head directly to the MRT station without having to wait for the bus. If your main gripe is being far from the MRT station, this is an option that can take a lot of frustration out of your day.

 

Telecommute as much as you can

Without your motorcycle, commuting is likely to take a much longer time than before. That means you save even more time by not having to show up at the office.

More companies are offering flexible work arrangements, but employees are sometimes too afraid to take them. A recent poll showed that 2 in 5 millennials are still paranoid about not showing their faces at the office. Don’t be one of them.

Are you going to continue riding motorcycles if COEs continue to rise? Tell us in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.