Where do our old cars go? Surprisingly to Jamaica and Kenya, found one Reddit user

A Reddit user noticed some cars from Singapore on sale in Jamaica, Guyana, Zimbabwe and Kenya.
PHOTO: Reddit/Jacars.net

Singaporeans, it seems, are not terribly fond of keeping their cars for long, preferring new ones. 

Just consider this, the average age of cars in Singapore is a mere 5.5 years, according to a report by Budget Direct Insurance. To add on, fewer people are choosing to renew their COE after 10 years and keep older cars, as reported by The Straits Times in February. 

So, where do all these 'old' cars go? One Redditor may have the answers.

Reddit user Qbica posted on Wednesday (July 27) that some formerly Singapore-registered cars have been put up for sale in countries like Jamaica, Guyana, Zimbabwe and Kenya.

Some of these vehicles still have their Singapore car number plates and ERP in-vehicle units intact.

PHOTO: Screengrab/CarShop592.com, Screengrab/Jiji.co.ke

One Redditor said that if he was living overseas, he would snap up such formerly Singapore-registered cars "in a heartbeat" as many come with either refurbished or new parts.

He added that he had previously bought a used car in Singapore with "receipts for a new evaporator, heater core, radiator and oil pan seals" just seven months before the original COE for that car expires, likening it to "striking gold."

PHOTO: Screengrab/Reddit

Another Redditor, who visited the southern African country of Lesotho, said that the car he was in was actually a used car from Singapore. The driver even told him that for some residents there, owning a used car from Singapore is considered a symbol of wealth.

PHOTO: Screengrab/Reddit

 

PHOTO: Screengrab/Reddit

One eagle-eyed Reddit user noticed that some of these used cars had new Singapore license plates.

Others pointed out that it's likely the cars' original owners chose to swap the license plates to keep their old license plate numbers.

PHOTO: Screengrab/Reddit

Many Redditors, however, were shocked at the seemingly low prices of some used luxury cars.

For example, a BMW 328i pictured in the Reddit post registered in 2012 was listed for JA$2.7 million (S$24,000) in Jamaica.

As a comparison, a check on sgCarMart showed that a similar make and model of roughly the same age in Singapore was listed at S$119,500 with a renewed COE.  

One Reddit user shared that he was pleased to see used cars from Singapore exported far and wide, adding that even his own car was sent to South Africa.

PHOTO: Screengrab/Reddit

An exporter from a used car company in Singapore, who declined to be named, told AsiaOne that their car exports to some African countries have been increasing of late as those countries have been rapidly developing in recent years.

Statistics show that some of the biggest markets outside Asia for Singapore's used cars include Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa, according to open data portal TrendEconomy.

The top three export destinations of cars from Singapore in 2020 were Indonesia, China and Brunei.

Another car exporter Prestige Auto Exports told AsiaOne that they export about 100 cars a month and some of their clients are from New Zealand, the Caribbean region and Africa.

ALSO READ: COE prices: Open category reaches new high of $114,001

drimac@asiaone.com