New Wheels: Is A Car Still A Good Idea in 2023 And Beyond?

The decision to purchase a car in Singapore should be carefully considered. If you are thinking of buying a car, consider factors such as the high cost of ownership and its effect on the environment and society as a whole. On top of that, Singapore already has efficient public transportation and accessible car-sharing services. 

Taking the time to conduct a cost-benefit analysis and exploring alternative mobility options can help you make an informed choice for your personal circumstances.

These are the things you need to think about and consider before heading to the car dealership shop.

1.    Cost Analysis

Purchasing a car will entail multiple costs. Aside from the cost of the car itself, you also need to set aside funds for the Certificate of Entitlement (COE), car insurance and car maintenance costs. The COE is a necessary permit to own and use a car in Singapore. It is obtained through a competitive bidding system, and the cost of the COE can vary significantly depending on the prevailing demand for cars. If you own a small car, you will fall under Category A. Category B is for larger cars. COE prices can be at SGD 25,000 to over SGD 50,000 and even higher. 

The Singaporean government also requires car insurance from car owners. The price of the insurance premium will depend on the make and model of the car. Some insurance companies also consider the age of the driver and his driving experience in assessing the value of the insurance and the coverage of the insurance.

Lastly, if you want the latest model, can you really afford one? And how do you plan on paying for the car? Do you need to take out a loan from money lenders? Plan ahead so that purchasing a car will not mean falling deep in debt. And after you buy one, you also need to consider that will still need funds for its regular upkeep, registration fees taxes and fuel.

 2.    Lifestyle and Financial Considerations

Examine your personal needs and preferences for transportation before going straight to the car dealership shop. What is your purpose for purchasing a car? Do you have a driver’s license? 

Also, owning a car is a long-term commitment. Can you commit to regularly cleaning it and maintaining it? Do you or will you have or a designated parking space to ensure that your car is in a safe place and isn’t blocking motorists and pedestrians? If you’re not confident in your answer to just one of these questions, you shouldn’t buy a car. 

Consider as well that Singapore is well-known for having one of the best transport systems in the world. Do you really need a car for your daily commute? Most Singaporeans would prefer public transport or using a bicycle to get to places. 

However, if your work requires you to drive to places where there is limited access to public transport, it would make sense to have your own car. Aside from the convenience and flexibility it provides especially for families with young children, it can also be a good financial investment as long as you are not buying it solely as a status symbol.

3.   Environmental and Health Impact

Another consideration you need to make is whether it will be gasoline-powered, electric, or hybrid. According to the National Environment Agency (NEA) of Singapore, transportation is responsible for around 15% of Singapore’s greenhouse gas emissions. The majority of this percentage comes from cars and taxis. Gasoline cars contribute to air pollution since they emit C02 and other toxic substances such as nitrogen oxides and even particulate matter. These also have a negative impact on human health and may cause respiratory illnesses.

According to data from the Land Transport Authority (LTA), electric vehicles (EV) are more energy-efficient than gasoline cars. Apparently, the average fuel efficiency of cars in Singapore is 14.9 km/liter. On the other hand, the average EV in Singapore can travel up to 500 kilometer on a single charge. 

If you want a healthier, more environmentally sound option, buy an EV. The only possible downside is, they are more expensive than gasoline cars. As of writing, there are only a few charging stations for EVs. However, think of this decision as a long-term decision. You will be able to have your own car while advocating for the environment.


Knowing the costs of owning and maintaining a car is the first step in making a good decision. Do not give in to trends and avoid making an impulse buy. Do not go into deep debt just to buy the latest model. Besides, the value of your car will depreciate immediately upon purchase and once you start driving it. You also still need to pay for regular maintenance, gasoline, parking, insurance and taxes. 

Then there’s also the fact that the cost of living in Singapore is always on the rise. Will you stil be able tol afford maintaining a car then? And will buying a car support your current lifestyle and enrich the quality of your life or are you content with what ride-sharing apps and public transportation can give you? 

It’s a lot of questions, and you probably feel annoyed, but that’s just how it is. After all, a car is a big and pricey responsibility just as much as it is a huge convenience. Nevertheless, if you’re sure of your answers and decisions regarding vehicle ownership, 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button