Friday, March 2, 2012

Buying a used car in Singapore

Buying used cars usually have more value for your money around the world since a brand new car usually loses as much as 30 per cent of its value within two years of purchase. In Singapore, because COE (Certificate of Entitlement) prices are ultra-high, used-cars have become very popular. Just to give an idea of how things got crazy here: You need to pay 100,000+ Singapore Dollars to even have a budget model like Honda City and Toyota Vios![1]

Last year, more than 72,000 used-cars were sold - 2.5 times the number of new cars sold in the same year. It may look scary to buy a pre-owned car, since a used-car may have a hidden problem. But established dealers will most probably take care of checking the car. For example, Audi Approved Plus, Audi agent premium Automobiles' used car division, gives its pre-owned cars a 110-point check up before putting them on sale. Of course this comes with a price : Used-cars sold by these kinds of agents are pricier compared to cars sold by individuals. But still much cheaper compared to new cars. For example, a used 2008 model Honda Odessey can be bought for S$75K while a brand new Honda Odessey requires S$ 200 K!

And used-cars are not only appealing in middle class models, high end models are also doing well. Eurokars Pre-Owned (Trans Eurokar Group) has sold 216 used Porches and 2 used Rolls Royce last year and Performance Premium Selection (joint venture of BMW agent Performance Motors and Tanglin Cars) sells 100 used-cars per month.

Complaints about used-car dealers are also rare. Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) figures reveal that complaints against non-CaseTrust motor traders averaged 1.5 company a year in the last two years and complaints against CaseTrust companies avaraged at 0.5 company in 2010 and 0.2 company in 2011.

CaseTrust is an accreditation scheme by Singapore Vehicle Traders Association and CASE and 35 of 600 motor dealers are accredited so far.

So where can you buy used-car in Singapore? From many places, for example authorized dealers of car brands. Below are a list of authorized agents with used-car dealership:

Singapore authorized agents with used car dealership
Dealer Brand Address Telephone
Premium Automobiles Audi 6 Kung Chong Road 6836 5223
Performance  Motors BMW 280 Kampung Arang Road 6319 7600
Cycle & Carriage Mercedes-Benz 301 Alexandra Road 6844 4448
Cycle & Carriage Kia Level 3 209 Pandan Gardens 6567 2000
Trans Eurokars Porsche, Rolls-Royce, Mini 237 Alexandra Road 6479 9820
Kah Motor Honda 370 Ubi Road 3 6840 6888
Borneo Motors Toyota 33 Leng Kee Road 6631 1838
Wearnes Authomotive Bentley, Volvo, Renault 28 Lee Keng Road 6875 5033-5044
Wearnes Authomotive Jaguar, Land Rower 28 Lee Keng Road 6876 2626-2627

You can also check CaseTrust-SVTA Joint Accreditation for Motoring Businesses here.

Still, buying a new car requires home-work and if you are not careful, you can end up with very annoying problems and no one other than you may be responsible to solve them. But for a starter, you can buy a used-car by a warranty, which is provided by most major car dealers for 6 months+ periods. You also need to know what to look for in a used car before purchasing one:

1 - Hire an expert to look at the car. Although it may cost you 200 - 300 SGD per inspection, it is wise to take your potential car to assesment centers ran by Vicom, Automobile Association of Singapore or Star Automotive Centre. Only experts can surely say if there is a hidden problem in the car.

2 - Agree on a net price inclusive of GST and do not accept additional prices such as "administration fee" or "agreement fee".

3 - Read everything in the agreement, especially the fine print, before signing any document. Never sign blank proposal forms.

4 - Try to choose a dealer by referral. A satisfied friend or colleague can recommend you a good dealer.

5 - Compare prices offered for cars against same cars or same models of cars. Use internet or classified adds to check asking prices.

6 - Carefully inspect the car yourself and check oil or liquid stains within the engine compartment.

7 - And test drive of course![1]

[1] - Used-Car Boom, The Straits Times


1 comment:

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