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Buying 1 of these cars is cheaper than a short term car rental

Buying 1 of these cars is cheaper than a short term car rental
PHOTO: sgCarMart

There are many reasons one might need a car for short term usage. You could be waiting to receive your brand new car that has been delayed, or you could have just started a new job that require a reliable personal transport, or you might be someone who has been thinking of getting a car and simply want to have a taste of car ownership.

While the first thing you think of might be to look for cheap car rentals, at a typical rate of $1,500 per month, it might not be the most economical option out there. Instead, you could consider COE cars from 2007 - 2008 (which had a five-year COE renewal) that are about to be scrapped soon.

I've trawled our used car listings and found these cars that are typically going for less than $10,000 upfront, and works out to cost less than what you would have to pay for a monthly rental.

Toyota Altis 1.6

Typical cost: $6,000 - $10,000

Typical cost per month: $1,000 - $2000

Six months road tax: $557

Estimated insurance cost: $625

Why you should get one:

You simply cannot go wrong with an Altis if you are looking for something that is reliable and affordable to drive.

Perfectly sized for a family sedan, you won't have to worry about the rear passengers' comfort. Equipped with a 1.6-litre engine and automatic transmission, the Altis has sufficient power for everyday use and is easy to drive as well.

Toyota Vios 1.5

Typical cost: $3,000 - $10,000

Typical cost per month: $800 - $1,400

Six months road tax: $504

Estimated insurance cost: $700

Why you should get one:

Like the Toyota Altis, the Vios is yet another local favourite. Slightly smaller than the former, the Vios will still fit two adults comfortably at the rear, making it a great choice of compact sedan.

With the powerful 1.5-litre engine and low kerb weight, you'll enjoy slightly lower road tax along with performance and fuel efficiency that beat other cars in its class. The Vios is also available in both manual and automatic - skim through the ones for sale and you might even find one that fits your preference.

Honda Stream 1.8

Typical cost: $5,000 - $10,000

Typical cost per month: $800 - $4,800

Six months road tax: $734

Estimated insurance cost: $880

Why you should get one:

MPVs are extremely practical. Whether you are trying to bring your extended family out on a weekend or lugging a brand new coffee table back from Ikea, the extra space will surely come in handy.

The fact that the Honda Stream is powered by a 1.8-litre engine is a double-edge sword though - you won't have to worry about a lack of power, but it also means a higher road tax. You might want to source for one that has a valid road tax till the end of the car's COE.

Mitsubishi Lancer GLX 1.6

Typical cost: $5,800 - $10,000

Typical cost per month: $700 - $1,900

Six months road tax: $551

Estimated insurance cost: $770

Why you should get one:

The Mitsubishi Lancer GLX is a car that rivals the Toyota Vios here - both are excellent choice for small families, and are also favourites of budding car enthusiasts.

These cars are well built and hardly feature any fancy technology - in fact, the engine in the Lancer GLX dates back to the 90s.

Without high-tech components, these cars tend to putter along just fine without any need for costly repair. Hence, you can buy one without worrying if it will break down and cost too much to repair before the car's destined to be scrapped.

Suzuki Swift 1.3

Typical cost: $6,300 - $7,800 (Swift 1.3)

Typical cost per month: $970 - $3,900

Six months road tax: $438

Estimated insurance cost: $676

Why you should get one:

If you are planning to experience car ownership for the first time, you won't go wrong with a cheerful little hatchback like the Suzuki Swift.

A small hatchback is not only easy to drive, but realistic to upkeep as well because you won't have to worry about crippling fuel or maintenance costs. Available in several variants, from an economical 1.3-litre to the hot Swift Sport, there's surely a Swift that will satisfy your needs.

Suzuki Every 660cc

Typical cost: $3,000 - $5,300

Typical cost per month: $1,500 - $2,400

Six month road tax: $245

Estimated insurance cost: $726 (Direct Asia Insurance)

Why you should get one:

Now, this one is a little different. The Suzuki Every is a commercial van, albeit a small one. This Kei-car sized van has a large cargo capacity due to its design.

Trust me, I had once managed to stuff three full-sized mountain bikes along with a driver and two passengers in one. With a puny 660cc engine, the Every offers unbeatable value.

This article was first published in sgCarMart.

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