Cars have a reputation for being unaffordable in Singapore. But now that the COE prices are low and the MRT is not always reliable, you might be wondering whether you’ve got enough money to buy the cheapest possible car in town.
After the Chery QQ has crashed and burned, what are the cheapest cars in Singapore?
1. Perodua Bezza 1.3 Premium X (M)
Per-what? You might not have heard of Perodua, but this car manufacturer is actually Malaysia’s biggest. Yes, they’re bigger than Proton.
And according to Perocom Auto’s latest pricelist, a brand new Perodua Bezza 1.3 Premium X (M) costs $54,800, including COE, as of 3 January 2019. It’s even cheaper than the Perodua Axia now, which used to be one of the cheapest cars in Singapore in 2017.
That might sound expensive to people who are not familiar with Singapore’s COE system, but for those of us who are, a vehicle that costs almost half of the standard $100,000 price tag is something to be celebrated.
2. Mitsubishi Attrage 1.2 CVT Elegance (A)
Next up on the list is the Mitsubishi Attrage CVT Elegance (A), which costs $57,999 as listed by Cycle & Carriage Automotive.
The exterior of the car is more rounded and compact, with a wide face. The motor and gearbox is well-suited for the low-speed driving on Singapore’s urban roads, and the fuel efficiency is great. For below $57,999, it’s a functional car that serves its purpose.
3. Hyundai Accent 4D 1.4 CVT (A)
Prefer a Korean make? Then your cheapest option is the Hyundai Accent 4D 1.4 CVT (A), which costs $66,999 by Komoco Motors.
The sedan car comes with a keyless smart key engine start system and a multi-function steering wheel. The fuel efficiency is decent and the exterior looks pretty sporty to boot. Not too bad for its price tag.
But can you really afford to buy any of these cheap cars? Here are some other car maintenance costs you must consider.
With a car like the Perodua Bezza, Mitsubishi Attrage or Hyundai Accent, you should not skimp on car insurance. The cost of insurance will depend on various factors such as your age and driving experience, but you can expect to pay at least a four figure sum if you have 0% NCD. An average sum would be around $1,500 a year.
Assuming you buy a brand new Perodua Axis, your road tax liabilities for a year would be $510.
The Perodua Bezza 1.3 consumes petrol at a rate of about 21.7km/litre. A litre of Shell FuelSave 95 petrol costs $2.12 after discount.
Assuming you drive 150km a week, you’d be spending about $60 a month on petrol.
Parking and ERP
How much you pay for parking will depend on where you live and work (if you intend to drive to work). HDB season parking for residents is $80 a month for non-sheltered car parks and $110 for sheltered car parks. To park in the CBD, be prepared to pay well over $300 a month. For ERP charges, that will largely depend on whether you drive to work.
Servicing and maintenance
Depends on how hard you work your car, but in general the average car driver can expect to spend over $1,000 per year on routine maintenance work such as oil changes, tyre changes, servicing and so on.
So, can you afford owning a car in Singapore?
|Car costs||Cost per year||Monthly running cost|
|Servicing and maintenance||$1,200||$100|
In addition to the cost of your car, you’re looking at paying approximately $5,250 a year more to drive and maintain your car, assuming you live in an HDB flat and do not drive to work.
Bear in mind that this is a bare minimum, as we haven’t taken into account ERP and parking outside of home.
Assuming you buy a brand new car, you’ll be able to loan a maximum of 60% of the price of the car, with a maximum tenure of 7 years.
That means you’ll need to pay at least $21,920 in cash for a car like the Perodua Bezza. Your minimum loan repayments, if you choose the longest possible loan tenure of 7 years, will be at least $546 a month.
That adds up to a monthly running cost of at least $816 a month of owning the cheapest car in Singapore.
Is there any way to lower the cost further?
In short, yes, there is. Buy a second hand car instead and you could see your costs fall further.
But buying a second hand car isn’t all that straightforward because of the COE system.
Buy a car that’s too close to the end of its COE’s life and you could lose money as the car would be scrapped all too soon. Buy one that’s too new and you’re likely to end up paying a premium, as the car’s value depreciates very rapidly in the first few years. As a general rule of thumb, a car that’s 4-5 years old is a good bet.
Don’t forget, however, that there are other factors to consider, such as the price of COE at the time you buy the car and the mileage and maintenance record of the vehicle.
All in all, car ownership will never be cheap, but whether spending that cash is worth the time saved and convenience really varies from person to person. To make your ride a bit more affordable, it helps to compare car loan interest rates and car insurance plans on MoneySmart.
Do you plan to buy a car? Tell us why or why not in the comments!
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