Here’s 5 Reasons Why Diesel Cars Are Starting To Sell Like Hot Cakes in Singapore

diesel cars singapore

Five years ago, there were practically less than 150 diesel cars on the road in Singapore. According to data released by the Land Transport Authority, there are now almost 5,000 diesel cars being driven on Singapore roads. How massive is this growth? Well, there are now more diesel cars on the road than compressed natural gas (CNG) cars and it’s projected to overtake hybrid cars as well.

With new improvements in carbon emission technology, as well as a reduction in tax and new rebates under the carbon emission-based vehicle scheme (CEVS), Singaporean car buyers have started to take notice of diesel cars as an alternative to expensive petrol cars.

Here’s a little more info on why diesel-powered cars are worth buying:

Interested in Switching Over to Diesel?

You already know that buying a new car is a horrible investment! By the time you’ve finished paying for COE, OMV, GST, and ARF, you’ve already forked over enough cash to buy a 3-Room BTO flat, or a platoon of T-72 tanks (I’m not kidding).

But if you’re dead set on either trading in your current car or have the capital to get yourself a new car this 2015, you need to consider buying a diesel car. True, they’re about as rare in Singapore as the slow loris and slightly more expensive than normal cars, but there’s a reason why they’re so popular in places like Europe – they’re fuel efficient, reliable, and attractive.

If you’ve never considered buying a diesel car (or never knew you even could!), here are 5 compelling reasons to rethink your buying decision:


We’ve come a long way from this.


1. Diesel Cars are Fuel Efficient

Compared to the average petrol-fueled vehicle that most Singaporeans own, diesel cars are at least 15% more fuel efficient. In fact, the only other vehicles that come close to diesel cars in terms of fuel/energy efficiency are hybrid- or all-electric vehicles. We’ll take a look at this in another article so follow us on Facebook and stay tuned!

Let’s do a quick head-to-head comparison using the 2014 BMW 3 Series to show the fuel efficiency difference between diesel and petrol cars.

Fuel Efficiency 2014 BMW 328d Sedan (Diesel) 2012 BMW 328i Sedan (Petrol)
City Driving 8.401 litre/100km 9.801 litre/100km
Highway Driving 5.880 litre/100km 6.534 litre/100km
Average 7.141 litre/100km 8.171 litre/100km

As you can see, the fuel savings per 100km averages to about around 1 litre – and that’s against a petrol-efficient car!

If the average Singaporean drives about 19,000 km per year, that’s 190 less litres used each year by the 2014 BMW 328d owner. And even more so if you compared it against say… a petrol-guzzling Subaru Impreza!


2. Diesel Cars are Reliable

I could argue that because most diesel cars are made by German car manufacturers, they’re more reliable by default – but you know a fallacy when you see one. Seriously though, diesel engines are considerably more reliable because they’re built to handle the stresses of compression ignition – making them more robust (yeah, most of those tough “old” lorries you see on the road run on diesel).

Diesel engines also don’t need spark plugs and don’t have the complex electrical systems present in many petrol-driven vehicles.

Another thing that helps with reliability is that Singapore lacks something called “winter.” That’s good because diesel cars have trouble starting in cold-weather conditions. Having driven a diesel-powered Humvee in Korea (ah, good ol’ army days!), I can DEFINITELY attest to how tough they are to start in cold weather!


3. Diesel Fuel Isn’t Hard to Find

Diesel fuel is at least $0.80+ cheaper per litre than petrol fuel that’s 95-octane or higher. But I guess the fact that diesel is duty-free has something to do with that. Now, let’s say your gas tank holds about 35 litres – your total savings on a full tank of diesel compared to a full tank of petrol would be around $15.00. Let’s not forget that you won’t be driving all around the island looking for a place to pump at, unlike CNG stations.

And that’s not even counting the money you’d save based on overall fuel efficiency as shown on point #1.


4. Because Diesel Cars Don’t Skimp On the “Looks”

Ok, honesty time. Yes, human beings are shallow and very conscious about appearance – and that self-consciousness does get passed on to the type of car we want to drive.

We know that hybrid- or all-electric cars are GOOD for us, so what’s the problem? Well, aside from the fact that there aren’t many electric charging stations in Singapore – aesthetically, they either look like something that you’d see in a clown car routine, or appear like they were designed by Picasso (with the exception of the Honda Civic hybrid or Tesla!).

Since most of the prominent diesel cars come from manufactures such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and other well known car manufacturers, you can assume rightly that attractiveness won’t be too much of an issue.


5. Because You Can Get Tax Rebates

Remember when I said that diesel fuel is so cheap because it’s duty free? Well, that’s true, but did you really think the government was going to lose out on another revenue stream? Ok, so the government took another angle to get money out of you by establishing a “special tax” that’s levied on diesel cars for “emissions.”

For older diesel vehicles, it’s expensive, as in you’d have to pay up to 6X the road tax amount for a petrol-driven car with the same engine capacity (EC).

But don’t get too mad at me! Because new diesel cars that are Euro V or JPN2009 compliant have ridiculously low special tax rates by comparison – at only $0.40 per cc. Euro IV cars, by comparison, pay $1.25 per cc.

As we previously covered in terms of the new rebates under the CEVS, cars with a CO2 emission of under 136 g/km can enjoy rebates of anywhere from $5,000 – $30,000. This is probably another huge reason why more Singaporeans are gravitating towards diesel cars.


Final Note: Buying a diesel car, although a bit more expensive than a petrol car, will more than make up for the price difference in fuel savings/economy after a few years of ownership. While they are a little more expensive, you can lower the cost of ownership by selecting a good car loan package with MoneySmart’s Car Loan Wizard.

And no matter whether you stick with petrol or switch over to diesel, you’ll definitely save some more money on your car insurance by comparing and choosing the right car insurance policy with MoneySmart.


Do you currently own a diesel car? Share your experience with us here!

Image Credits:
Library of Virginia