Need a good estimate of the cash outlay and running cost of a Car in Singapore?  Well, this project is seeking like-minded motorists to brainstorm on the optimal estimation of the Total Cost of Ownership over the ten years’ life span of a vehicle. 

Click here to get to the project page.


I have migrated most of my earlier posts from this blog to BlogSpot. Please use this URL http://SingaporeMotoring.blogspot.com/ in future.

Taxis near Taipei 101

Would you give up your car and use taxis?  Think about the advantages you will have:

  • No parking charges 
  • No summon for parking or driving offences
  • No vehicle maintenance
  • No road tax and radio license fees
  • No need to purchase petrol

I have thought about giving up the car since taxi service is also able to bring me from point to point but I could not bring myself to do so due to two key reasons – safety and availability.

Taxi operators are profit-making companies and reducing cost will increase profitability. I am always concern about the road-worthiness of the taxis that ply our roads. Although LTA has set minimum safety requirement and regular inspection, management of the taxi companies will always try to stretch the maintenance intervals and lifespan of tyres while not violating regulations to meet business objectives and get their performance bonus. I hope they will balance short term gain with long term sustainability as I am appalled to see taxis with bald tyres and smoking exhaust.

I have on one occasion hired a taxi with the driver who is constantly checking the booking system for new calls as we are near my destination. He would whisper his calculation of how long to reach my destination and then to the pickup point and lament about not being able to make the booking. His behaviour really had me worried as his mind is not focus on the road condition. On several other occasions, I had drivers who were almost dozing off at the wheels and I had to keep up a conversation to maintain their alertness. I certainly ensure that my safety belts are securely fastened.

There have been many letters written to the local papers’ forum about the taxi booking fees. You cannot find any empty taxi during peak hours and rainy weather. They are strategically parked and will appear as soon as you make a booking. Many foreign tourists must have wasted precious time queueing at taxi stands in vain and seeing all arriving taxis with “on call” sign lighted up. The booking fees have become a talking point and it is one that foreign delegation should come to study it as a negative example – they should NEVER implement such a system back home. I am sure that LTA is aware of the complaints from the public so what is LTA doing about it? I felt that the taxi booking fees should be scrapped before we can claim to have world-class public transportation.

In the meantime, I will renew my road tax and continue driving my trusty MPV. I have full control over the servicing, tyre change, etc. and safety in my own hands. I would just have to bear with using taxis to and from the airport for my overseas travel.


I came across this discussion on the OneMotoring Forum and wonder if I would even break even on my car.  Below are some extracts from the discussion.



The so-called ‘break-even’ date is the time when yr outstanding bank loan amount is equal or greater than the market value of yr ride (in the case of COE cars, market value = scrap value + scrap metal token $$). This is not applicable if yr ride is already loan-free.

See Ho Ee:

I am always intrigue by this ‘breakeven’ date, and how car-owners used them to decide when to change ride or get rid of their ride.
Based on this definition: the breakeven date depends very much on loan amount ($) and duration (yrs).
1) If you take a loan (at 70% of total value of car for 7 years) and let this be $49k (principal + interest), repayment is $7k per year. Since PARF rebate is highest before the 5th year, it is most likely that breakeven date is ard 3 yrs.
2) If the same loan is change to 5 years tenure, the breakeven is slightly less than 2 yrs.
3) If you change this to 3 yrs tenure, the breakeven is slightly over 1 yr.
4) If you don’t take a loan, any day is breakeven.

Hence, it can be concluded that the breakeven serves no purpose. It is all about affordability. If you can afford, no loan needed. If you cannot afford, you stretch (max) your loan as long as possible. To use the residual value (PARF + COE) to pay off loan is really no brainer! It is still borrowing that you have to repay!

Therefore, back to my contention in previous posts: that buying a car of your choice all boils down to two factors:
1) falling in love with the particular made/model
2) affordability


See Ho Ee:

The balanced equity point is what the non-accountants called ‘breakeven’. I had a hard time trying to understand this term as much as the terminology called ‘COE car’. I thought all cars on SG roads required COE. So if there is COE car, there must be oso be non COE car? That was what went thru my mind!  Well the motoring industry is full of ‘beng’ terms.

“Break-even” is a term used in economics referring to the point where the cost and the revenue is equal (also profit = zero). For motoring, the right term should be equity of the vehicle.

  1. There are three kinds of vehicle equity:
    Negative equity is when the amount you owe for the loan on the vehicle is more than the vehicle’s market worth. This is where dealer will offer overtrading ie. loan a larger amount than the cost of the new car to cover the prepayment on the old car.
  2. Balanced equity is the point when the amount you owe on the vehicle is about equal to the vehicle’ market worth. 
  3. Positive equity is when the amount you still owe on the vehicle is less than the vehicle’s market worth. Buying a car using cash keeps you in positive ground.

If you are at point 1, I would not advise you to overtrade as it will put you deeper into the negative zone.  I have revised the Cost of Ownership tool to reflect the vehicle entity as well as allow the Overtrade Loan ie. Loan Amount is greater than New Car Price to settle the prepayment of the outstanding loan on the existing car.  The worksheet will show you how the new ride in an overtrade deal will become a significantly negative equity …. so do consider carefully before signing on the sales agreement.

Orchard Road

I have just enhanced an older worksheet that help analyze the Cost of Ownership over the course of a motor vehicle’s lifespan (limited by the TEN-year validity of the Certificate of Entitlement) in Singapore.   The additional feature is the inclusion of the Cash Rebate motor loan scheme into the analysis.  You can find the new worksheet here.


A delivery truck hit and killed a 8-year-old boy when it reversed onto the pedestrian walkway at Simei MRT station (see CNA) on May 22.  I am appalled that a witness said the truck sounded its horn while reversing from the main road and expect that all pedestrians will stay clear of its path.  The driver was later arrested by the police.

Is there a flaw in the design of the area?  How can motor vehicles be even allowed to go onto the pedestrian walkway?  If there is a proper and safe loading/unloading bay nearby, then the truck driver is surely guilty of reckless driving.  I think he does the same delivery routine every few days and this is one day that he made a bad decision.

I hope the Traffic Police and LTA will do something to prevent such accident in future.  Concrete columns have been added to bus stops near road bends but that again is an after-accident action taken.  Designers of our buildings and road infrastructure should take safety as an important component into the design blueprint.

Accidents happen when we least expect them so do always carry out your safety checks especially for your daily routines.  An example is at the carpark near your home or workplace where you do the same routine everyday …. Don’t take for granted that the pathway is always clear for you!  Drive safely everywhere …..

MediaCorp actor Christopher Lee had been sentenced to four weeks in jail on charges relating to drink-driving.  He was also been fined S$4,500 and disqualified from driving for three years.  His offences included causing injury to a motorcyclist and his pillion rider in a hit-and-run accident.  Lee will appeal against the jail term.

How would the judge respond to Christopher’s appeal against the four weeks’ jail term?  I am of the opinion that justice be fairly applied to all offenders.  Although I am not his fan, I would be OK for his sentence to be reduced to perhaps ONE week and he commits himself to Road Safety education for the next two to three years.  

I think he has learned his lesson and the time behind bars will reinforce the seriousness of the offence.  Three more weeks in jail will not add much more value to him (maybe it will be his free sliming session …. I am not implying prison food is bad) while having him as a Road Safety evangalist will pull in appropriate publicity to increase the reach of Road Safety education. 

Would you support this idea?