Telling Singaporeans about the cost of owning a car in Singapore is very much like complaining about the weather – it’s definitely not going to change much. And now with LTA’s recent announcement about reducing the growth of cars on the road to 0%, it means that we’re going to need to be a whole lot smarter when it comes to how we manage our cars.
Any car owner in Singapore will tell you that the high overall cost doesn’t just come from buying a car, but also the peripheral costs involved that ultimately add up to quite a significant amount. Petrol, insurance and maintenance are just some of the main costs you will incur, but these alone can easily add up to $5,000 or more a year. Take that over the 10-year life span of your COE, and add to that the fact that your car maintenance costs usually escalate over time due to wear and tear, and that’s a hefty sum you’re paying.
It might seem a little insignificant at this point to mention how a concentrated level of petrol consumption on this small island is bad for the environment, but just pay attention to how often you hear someone mention the ridiculous weather these days and maybe you’ll start to reconsider being a bit more eco-friendly.
Here’s the thing: cars that are both eco-friendly and save you money have existed and flourished for some time already. They’re called hybrid cars.
Why Are Hybrid Cars So Popular?
You should be familiar with hybrid cars by now. You know, those silent vehicles that even taxi companies are using now. They’re so silent that sometimes you don’t even realise that your ride has arrived. The leader of the pack by a mile is the Toyota Prius, currently the most popular hybrid car in the US and winner of a whole slew of awards internationally.
You’ll notice quite a number of them on our Singapore roads as well, and with their latest Toyota Prius C release, that number is only set to increase. Why? Here are a few reasons:
In terms of frequency, fuel costs make up the bulk of the running costs of a car, and without thinking too much of petrol costs North of the border, fuel in Singapore isn’t exactly what one would describe as “cheap” or “affordable”. It’s just… necessary.
Imagine getting at least 50% more mileage on your car than what you’re getting now. The new Prius C runs at 100km per 3.9 litres of fuel. What does that mean? It means approximately 923km on one full tank, or in other terms, you can practically almost travel to Thailand on one full tank. Yep, now that’s something. If you’ve been driving a petrol car, I’m quite sure that’s a number you’ve not seen on your dashboard on a full tank EVER (unless you’re the sort who doesn’t reset your trip meter after refuelling).
Carbon Emissions-Based Vehicle Scheme (CEVS) Rebates
Initially introduced in January 2013, the CEVS was intended to encourage the purchase of low carbon emission vehicles. After being refreshed from 1 July 2015, the amount of rebates one could get was also increased for the highest A1 band for carbon emissions i.e. cars with the lowest CO2 emissions per kg.
Cars that emit up to 95g CO2/km are entitled to $30,000 in CEVS rebates, and with the new Prius C coming in at 91g CO2/km, this car also qualifies for the maximum rebate. While changes are expected to the CEVS scheme, you can still expect to enjoy a significant rebate because of the Prius’ low emission rate.
Smooth ride and easy handling
We’ve already mentioned how silent the ride is, but if you’ve never experienced this for yourself, you have to go and take a test drive. I’ve had many friends actually express how the silence took some getting used to, but it wasn’t hard and knowing you are not contributing to the noise pollution in a dense city is a bonus you might not have considered.
But that aside, the Prius C is perfectly engineered for city driving. As much as we dream about cruising down open roads in the countryside, we all know that the reality is that more often than not, you’re going to manoeuvring around tight spaces in land-scarce Singapore.
Parking in tight spots like Little India is no longer a big issue with a small turning radius of 4.8m. The low centre of gravity also makes handling the car in the city with lots of turns and corners much easier as well. But like I said, you need to go and test drive the car to really understand what I mean.
How else can you save money with the Toyota Prius C?
As mentioned previously, there are other costs associated with owning and running a car in Singapore. But at a very reasonable price, you not only get better quality engineering, as well as the ability to earn the maximum amount of CEVS rebates, but now, Borneo Motors Singapore (BMS) is also offering 3 years of free servicing as a launch special.
On top of that, they are also offering a 10-year extended warranty on the car’s battery. This can help to defray a significant amount of the car’s running costs in the earlier part of its life, especially if you’re a new driver who’s going to have to pay a higher insurance premium due to a lower No Claim Discount.
So why is this car the perfect city car?
In a country where people are inundated with car choices, here are the few things that stand out to us that make the Prius C extremely compelling:
- Nimble and responsive drive – In a country where you might be constantly stopping and starting, and moving around tight spaces, having a responsive drive that is easy to handle is a huge bonus.
- Strong dealership support and well known Toyota engineering – Fuel efficiency, safety and a good partnership with Borneo Motors makes the cost of owning a car a lot more manageable
- Eco-friendly and modern – We’d be silly to say aesthetics don’t matter, and the Prius C doesn’t compromise on that. But more importantly, having the flexibility of private transport together with being able to contribute to a cleaner environment is certainly something we shouldn’t take for granted in a small, compact city like Singapore.
A small change can have a significant impact in such a dense city and more people moving towards environmentally friendly transportation options will only benefit us in the long term. And as we mentioned, you get a financial incentive for driving an eco-friendly car too!
You don’t really stand to lose anything by experiencing this for yourself so sign up for a test drive today.
Click here to find out more information about the Prius C.
What are your thoughts on hybrid cars? Do you think this is the way to go for Singapore? Share your thoughts here!
This article is brought to you in collaboration with Borneo Motors Singapore.