Thursday, June 18, 2009

Owning a car in Singapore is an expensive affair. So is having a car in Singapore a want or a need? This topic came up one fine evening by the founders under the cool moonlight. A 1.6L sedan in this land-scarce Republic costs around $60,000 and this does not include the road tax, carpark charges, countless ERP gentries, expensive petrol that you have to pay every day, month whilst owning this piece of metal. All these will add up to roughly an additional $500 to your monthly car installment. Not forgetting that your car faces a yearly depreciation of 4 figures or so. If owning a car is such an expensive affair, why are we seeing more and more Singaporeans heading to car showrooms at Leng Kee Rd, Ubi every weekends? Newer models enter the market every month to cater to the ever increasing demand for newer cars in the market. Why is the queue for car orders piling up every week and Singaporeans are willing to take on this extra financial burden? We aim to argue for the latter (of course, that does not mean that its a must for you to get one and have to cut your expenses for other things) We will argue that having a car will improve your quality of life in Singapore.

Car as a Want
A car is a luxury good in Singapore. The PAP government is discouraging car ownership by introducing various forms of costly disincentives such as the COE, Road Tax, Season Parking, ERP. You don't need a car in Singapore and if you do, you have to bear the high cost of ownership and maintenance. Moreover, there is an efficient, world class, public-orientated Public Transport System network connecting you from and to any place in Singapore (or so some higher mortals are claming for the lesser mortals). Nevermind the yearly profit that the bus and train companies are trying to squeeze out from you. Nevermind the fact that you have to wait 7 minutes for a train to arrive only to have to squeeze with the other 4 million Singaporeans shoulder to shoulder. Nevermind the fact that the bus driver does not understand the language you are speaking. Be a good citizen as the government is advocating, use public transport, free up the roads. Be contented. You do not need a car at all. But if that is so, then why are we facing the phenomenon as posited in the introduction?
Justify Full
Car as a Need
Having a car is increasingly becoming a necessity for some / most/ majority/ all Singaporeans who can afford one (here we are not going to discuss about the cost factor). If you want to improve your quality of life, you will need to have a car. If you want to spend some quality time with your family, loved ones, have a trip to the beach on weekends, you need to have a car. Good food are aplenty in Singapore as introduced in the media every now and then, but without a car, its difficult to get to these destinations. Imagine having to take a 80 minutes ride after changing from Bus to MRT to MRT to Bus from one end of the Republic to another just for a $5 chicken rice or ba chor mee. The thought of the journey would most probably kill off any motivation for the trip. There are numerous places in Singapore where the public transport system is not able to bring you to. There are places which are interestingly enough to visit and yet not having a car is preventing you from doing so. Buying a car is like buying yourself a form of great convenience. You are buying yourself time and a new life that is not constrained by the bus/train timing and waiting time for taxis.

So should you buy a car then? Yes if you are affluent enough to be able to provide a just-as-comfortable-life for yourself and your family. A car will improve a person's quality of life in Singapore.

Bookmark and Share