Why it’s not worth owning a car in Singapore

Why it’s not worth owning a car in Singapore

Previously, we talked about why cars in Singapore are so expensive. Since there’s no running from the prices here as they are largely mandatory taxes, a lot of people here tend to feel that owning a car is simply a waste of money and not worth it at all. 

Now don’t get me wrong because I do believe there can be very legitimate reasons why owning a car in Singapore can be worth it, but for this post, I will be looking at some of the common reasons why many people feel owning a car in Singapore isn’t worth it.

1. It’s a depreciating asset

One of the most common arguments against owning a car is that it is a depreciating asset. And this is very true. Sure there are some cars which for one reason or another become highly desirable and collectible further down the road, but these are frankly few and far between and more of an anomaly. 

So unlike a house or perhaps even luxury watches that have the ability to hold their value if not appreciate, cars almost never appreciate in value or even hold close to the value that they were originally sold for brand new. In fact many a time, especially in Singapore, their value practically runs down to almost zero because of the linearly depreciating nature of our certificate of entitlement (COE) system. 

So it’s not all that hard to see that cars on their own aren’t a great investment, if you could even call it one, especially given that you’ll be spending upwards of S$60,000 brand new.

2. Our public transport is so good

Another common reason to not own a car in Singapore is because our public transport system is simply that good. I mean let’s face it, Singapore is small and nowhere on this island is really all that far away. I mean people in other countries literally drive 2-3 hours to work on a daily basis and it’s normal to them. So when you consider you can literally get from one end of Singapore to the other in usually under 2 hours by public transport, I think that’s really not too bad at all. 

And if it’s too late to catch a bus or train, it’s usually not hard to find a taxi or a grab apart from the most remote locations. So yes while it tends to be significantly faster to travel by car (not always actually), there really isn’t much of a need to own a car in Singapore for the most part if you plan your route properly.

3. It is less stressful

If you are one of the three people on this island who’ve always had stress free daily commutes by car, I’m jealous. For the rest of us, I’m pretty sure you’ll agree that driving on a daily basis can be quite a stressful affair especially if you have to deal with peak hour traffic almost everyday. It does require a significant amount of concentration and focus compared to taking a bus or train where apart from boarding, alighting and making sure you don’t miss your stop, you can pretty much zone out and watch a movie, read a blog or even take a nap if you’re lucky enough to snag a seat.

In fact a few years back, I had luxury of solely taking public transport for a good few months (for reasons I shall not elaborate) and it was honestly quite refreshing. I didn’t have to worry about traffic laws, changing lanes, navigating through traffic and staying alert enough to avoid an accident. At times it even felt like an upgrade because now I was the one being driven around (quite often in a large Mercedes) instead of being the driver. Yes I did have to plan my time more carefully but the stress and responsibility of my commute was often quite appreciably reduced than if I were the one driving.

4. Petrol is expensive and only getting more so

Such overachievers we are.

Final thoughts

If these reasons alone aren’t enough to make a case, the particularly high cost prices of cars in Singapore only drives home the point that much harder. Do you feel otherwise though? Let me know in the comments if you do. I’d love to hear your reasons for or against, I’ll even share some reasons of my own why it may be worth owning a car in Singapore.

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