5 valid reasons to buy a car in Singapore despite the insane prices

A Honda car dealership in Singapore.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Singapore's ridiculous cost of cars is well-known worldwide. Even Vin Diesel got a shock when he heard of local car prices here in an interview. Meanwhile, this is a small island that also has a transport system that has been praised to be among the best in the world.

So, why are there still private cars on the roads despite how it simply doesn't make sense to own one? If you look closer, there are valid reasons to own a car here, explaining why so many Singaporeans still choose to own such a costly, depreciating asset.

If you are still wondering if you should get a car, read on. If you find yourself in a similar situation to these, maybe you should go ahead with the purchase.

1. Because half of Singapore is the world's richest 10 per cent

With that many rich people here, it is no wonder that we have so many cars on the roads here.
PHOTO: sgCarmart

Let's get this out of the way, cars are highly desirable objects that offer convenience, enjoyment and a sign of affluence. One of the reasons that you still see so many cars on the roads here is simply because many people can afford it.

According to a report by Credit Suisse, Singaporeans are the world's 6th richest people with more than 200,000 millionaires! Clearly setting aside a portion of money for car ownership wouldn't be too much of an issue for many here.

Having a car means you can go anywhere you want at any time. There aren't any last bus to catch, and secluded locations are now easily accessible. Should you decide to go on a road trip to Malaysia, having your own car will make things easier as well. The benefits of owning a car is clear for all to see.

2. Fetching kids to school and or spouse to work

A car can come in handy if your kids are too young to make their own way to school.
PHOTO: sgCarmart

Some might suggest the use of public transport or school bus services for these purposes, and that might work well if you have a single child.

If you have a couple kids to send to school, the costs will stack up pretty fast and you will be a couple hundred dollars out every month - money that can contribute to the upkeep of a simple car.

With a car, you can easily get everyone in the family to school or work. At the same time you can also achieve greater peace of mind by sending your kids to school personally.

While it is still likely to be costlier than spending on school bus services or public transport, having a car will offer increased flexibility and convenience.

To minimise expenditure, you can also go for a used car with a few years of COE left, just enough to last till your kids are of age to take public transport to school.

3. Ferrying elderly family members with mobility issues

With a car, ferrying elderly family members to their medical appointments will be a much easier task.
PHOTO: sgCarmart

While the local public transport system is relatively versatile, with various solutions for people with mobility issues such as wheelchair accessible buses, it can still be a challenging task to navigate through the crowds to bring your family member with mobility issues to medical visits.

An option is to use the services of taxis and private hire vehicles. However, depending on the frequency of hospital visits, this can quickly rake up a substantial bill!

Having a car will ease the potential hassle of such trips (hopping between various modes of public transport can be exceptionally taxing).

Additionally, emergency hospital visits might be necessary at inconvenient hours, such as during work or peak hours. In such cases, having a car will make things much easier.

Apart from hospital visits and such, having a large car (such as a seven-seater MPV) will also make it easier for your extended family outings. Your family will not have to split up and utilise separate modes of transport.

4. Work or live in secluded area with poor public transport coverage

Public transport might not be that accessible if you live in a secluded area.
PHOTO: sgCarmart

Public transport can be rather inconvenient if you live or work in an inaccessible area. For example, if you work at a secluded industrial area with limited transport options, or you stay in a relatively new estate without any MRT Station nearby, chances are you have to walk or take a bus to bridge the distance.

This can consume considerable time and is clearly inconvenient in the long run. Should both your home and workplace be located in such areas, the problem will be compounded.

For instance, if you were to live in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5 and work at Alps Avenue in Changi, according to Google Maps, travelling by car will take 24 minutes, while travelling by bus can take almost two hours, including more than 15 minutes of walking.

While buying a car might not be the most financially wise choice (gritting your teeth and bear with the hassle will be), having a car can surely make things much more bearable in such a situation.

5. Have a sales or freelance job that requires plenty of travelling

When your work requires a car, it becomes a need rather than a want.
PHOTO: sgCarmart

Sometimes, owning a car can be more of a necessity rather than a want.

Say, if you are an insurance agent, a real estate agent, an interior designer or someone with a sales job that require you to shuttle all over Singapore for your daily appointments, not having your own transport will surely be a stumbling block.

In such cases, it is not only an inconvenience, but also a hindrance to your work performance as taking public transport will result in exaggerated travelling time, reducing the number of appointments you can schedule in a given day.

Well, there is a cheaper alternative to cut down your travelling time - using a motorcycle. But with a car, you can turn up at your appointment prim and proper, instead of hot and sticky, and you wouldn't have to worry about being caught in the rain, or riding in the precarious traffic conditions here.

Weighing the pros and cons, owning a car in such a situation certainly makes much sense.

This article was first published in sgCarmart