While Singapore is one of the most expensive countries in the world to own a car, there are different ways to get access to four wheels. We spoke to HO JIAJU at dealers Wearnes, to hear his views on whether you might want to rent or lease a car and what you need to know and do before you go any further.
Purchasing a car recently became cheaper thanks to a drop in the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) price; is the cost of leasing likely to drop too?
Yes, a decrease in leasing prices would be expected, though it won’t be as significant a drop as the reduction in car prices. You also have to keep in mind that the drop in car prices only lasted two weeks.
What are the main considerations to weigh up when it comes to buying versus leasing?
When you lease a car, you’re paying only for the lease period. When you buy, you pay for the entire car regardless of the number of years you’ll be using it for. That’s why to lease a car is ideal especially for expats who may only be residing in Singapore for a couple of years, as it eliminates ownership risks. Buying a car also involves a large upfront payment that locks down a hefty amount of cash.
What comes with a leasing package at Wearnes?
Leasing includes road tax and insurance, along with other benefits such as maintenance and servicing, battery and tyre replacement, 24-hour roadside assistance and a replacement car during breakdown. This gives peace of mind – again, especially for expats who may be unfamiliar with the local market and would like to avoid paying for any unnecessary costs.
Can you compare the monthly costs of buying and leasing the same car?
The costs are comparable. However, on top of the monthly cost for buying a car, there are other costs that should be taken into account, such as the hefty down-payment, road tax and insurance, car servicing and maintenance. All these costs are eliminated when you lease a car. When the above circumstances are taken into consideration, only then can we compare the monthly cost of buying and leasing the same car.
When it comes to leasing, the length of the contract can be a tricky one for expats, right?
Leasing terms start from one year onwards for used cars, whereas new cars can only be leased for a minimum of three years and up to seven years. Generally, leasing contracts are non-transferable; however, at Wearnes we are flexible and will look into the situation before deciding on a transfer.
How about renting a car?
Short-term rental works for anyone looking for a convenient means of transport – be it a road trip, wedding or any other ad hoc requirement. It’s also ideal for people who don’t wish to be tied down over a long period of time. Just bear in mind, you will be liable for any insurance excess or deductibles. Plus, drivers who are residing in Singapore for 12 months or more will have to convert their license.
For more helpful tips, head to our Living in Singapore section.