Saying that cars are not cheap to own in Singapore is an understatement. COE premiums, insurance, fuel and related costs only add to the already very expensive price tag on the car itself, so any saving is welcome. Here are some ways you can make owning a car in Singapore a bit less expensive.
1. Buy a common brand/model
While it may be enticing to get an exotic, rarely seen model, if reducing costs is your priority, going for a more common car is better. For these cars, there are more independent mechanics and more places you can buy spare parts from. They will be on discount more often and they will be easier to find. This means you get to shop around, both for parts and labour prices and this also means that higher competitiveness makes dealers and workshops keep lower prices.
2. Buy a car with a smaller engine
The term ‘smaller engine’ means different things for different people, but there are some milestones that bring the costs down. For example, COE price for cars with engines whose displacement is 1.6 L or lower like the Honda Vezel 1.5X or Honda Shuttle 1.5G are usually cheaper than cars with bigger engine displacements. Road taxes will also be cheaper for these cars.
Smaller engines also usually use less fuel and they are generally more affordable to maintain. Aside from the generally lower prices, they also have fewer parts than engines with more cylinders, they need more oil for regular maintenance and their filters are also often larger and more expensive, or you can even need more than one.
3. Try one-stop shops
There are some businesses, like Vin’s Automotive, that offer comprehensive service for pretty much everything you may need. You can buy cars here, have them serviced, get financing and insurance, buy parts through us.
In many cases, doing all these in one place can end up being cheaper than shopping around. These kinds of businesses will do their best to keep you as a regular customer and that can include additional perks, lower rates and overall better service.
4. Buy a car with lower emissions rating
CEVS, or Carbon Emissions-Based Vehicle Scheme, in Singapore says that if your car’s carbon emissions are under 135 g of CO2 per km, you can qualify for a rebate which can be very significant, from a few thousand SGD to up to SGD 30,000.
5. Buy a used car
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Used cars are significantly cheaper than new ones and you will also lose less money on resale. At just three years old, many cars will cost about 60-70% of their price when they were new. At our prices, that is a huge discount.
Of course, new cars will have their advantages, but with such a price difference and at just three years old, you will have more than enough money left over to fix anything that needs to get fixed.
If you opt for a used car, make sure it is examined by an expert before you buy it. You want to avoid any potential mechanical or electrical issues or hidden costs.
6. Drive sensibly
Cars waste most fuel while accelerating and standing in gridlocks. While there is not much you can do about traffic jams, if you are forced to drive in the busiest hours, you can in fact save a lot of fuel by accelerating and braking in a more sensible way.
Keep your distance from the car in front which will give you time to coast in gear more often and brake with less force. This will save your brakes and also make you spend more time driving with your foot off the throttle pedal. This is when most engines spend literally no fuel at all.
You will also be able to accelerate moderately and make a better use of the fuel. If you drive in a way that you accelerate aggressively to stay close to the car in front and then brake hard to slow down as soon as that car slows down, you will constantly spend more fuel than you need.
And the difference is more than significant. On hard accelerations, depending on the engine, cars can use more than 50 L per 100 km. While this is extreme, even if you have a smaller engine, harder acceleration will greatly increase your petrol consumption.
If you keep a steady speed on the open road and spend more time coasting in gear in the city, you can make a significant difference and get very close to the advertised consumption figures.
7. Buy cheaper fuel
This is not advice that you will often get and it is one that we would rarely give to anyone, but if we talk about savings, there is a good reason why you would want to do this. Of course, MAKE SURE you buy the lowest octane level that your owner’s manual recommends. Do NOT go under that level of quality.
Higher-octane fuel burns with more consistency. That is its main benefit. Lower octane fuels burn with less control so they can produce knock in which case the engine computer will retard ignition timing to prevent engine damage. This will affect the performance of your vehicle a bit.
However, if you want to spend less money, performance won’t be the first thing on your mind, so you can safely spend less money on fuel per litre. Just make sure you don’t go for lower quality than the manufacturer deems safe.
8. Get a petrol card
Petrol cards reduce the costs of petrol, so make sure you get one. Do your research to see which cards give the best discounts for the fuel and stations you use most often and you can save up to 20% on fuel with special promos.
9. Buy tyres with low rolling resistance
If reducing driving costs is your priority, then it is safe to assume you are not a performance driver. In this case, instead of buying tyres with improved grip and a wider footprint, you can go for a more eco-friendly solution.
Tyres with low rolling resistance are designed to save fuel and reduce emissions by helping the engine do its job with less effort. Another benefit is that most low resistance tyres are made by good manufacturers, so you will not have trouble finding good tyres.
While the savings are not massive at first sight, cumulative gains can be more than significant, especially if you drive a lot.
10. Spend as much as necessary on maintenance
I know, we are talking about saving money, not spending it, but proper and regular maintenance is very important and it can save you money in the long run. There are numerous examples of this, but we will use the most common one, just to show you how important this is – engine oil and filter changes.
If you are late with oil and filter changes, you can cause serious issues with your engine and oil changes are both cheaper and less troublesome than a bad engine.
Similarly, if you opt for a worse quality of oil than the manufacturer proposes, your engine can have serious issues. Saving a few dollars per litre of oil is definitely not worth it. While there are many examples of wrong oils used, one of the most famous ones is the old, first generation of the VW Touareg with R5 or V10 engines. If wrong oil was used, these very expensive machines were notorious for breaking very soon.
More modern smaller engines with turbochargers are also more sensitive, so make sure you use oil and other parts according to the manufacturer’s specification.
Do save money, but do not go cheap with your maintenance. While owning a car in Singapore is by no means cheap, following this advice can make it a lot more affordable.
Statistics show that the number of accidents increases significantly in wet weather. In some countries the number of accidents is even higher when it is raining than when it is snowing.
The reason for this is that most people are not aware of the dangers that wet roads carry and do not take the right mentality and precautions. On the other hand, when they see snow on the road, they are more than aware of how they need to adjust their driving.
While we do not see snow in Singapore, we do see lots of rain and therefore, we as drivers should arm ourselves with good knowledge on driving in wet weather.
Here are some tips to keep you safe on wet roads.
1. Use the Right Amount of Power
Yes, there is such a thing as too much power. And yes, you can control how much power your car uses.
Suddenly sending too much power to your wheels on wet roads easily results in wheel spin and that is one of the most dangerous causes of accidents on wet roads, even at lower speeds.
Not everyone knows that the stated power and torque ratings of your engine are the top figures that the engine produces only at certain revs. Below that point you will have significantly less power. These revs vary depending on the engine, but for naturally aspirated ones (without turbochargers or superchargers), it is usually higher up in the rev range, almost always past 4,000 revs.
For engines with turbochargers drivers should be able to feel when the turbo kicks in and the car has a more direct push.
Keep your foot calm, add throttle steadily, shift gears before you reach higher revs and you will be able to keep your power and torque levels well under the ones that would cause wheel spin. This is especially important in cars with automatic gearboxes as gearbox software needs to guess the revs that you want. Do not give it the idea that you want to drive spiritedly.
2. Keep Your Distance
Braking distances can increase dramatically on wet roads. There are a number of factors that influence how badly the distance will increase, including the amount of water, your speed, the weight of your car and similar, but what is constant is that the braking distance is not the same as in dry conditions.
Keeping your distance at a safe level gives you more time to react even in conditions with worse visibility and it gives your brakes more time to stop the car.
3. Have Good Tyres
Related to the previous point, good tyres are essential for safety in any conditions and especially so in wet ones.
There are numerous technical points that explain why this is so and they would deserve an article on its own. In short, think about it this way:
You have more than a ton of steel moving at a high speed and you have yourself and your family or friends inside something spacious and family-orientated MPV like a Honda Shuttle and the only thing connecting all that to the road are those four pieces of rubber. Keep them in a good condition and replace them on time. On wet roads they will significantly increase grip, reduce braking distance, improve control and help through pools of water. Tyres are not something you want to skim on.
Which brings us to the next point…
4. Pools of Water On the Road
If you have ever hit a pool of water on the road at a bit higher speed, you should be aware of the back pressure this creates. Depending on the size of the pool, your speed and weight, this can completely disconnect your tyres from the road for a second. Techically, this is known as aquaplaning. At that point, you have no control over your vehicle, it slows down rapidly and the direction is not held properly. If this happens, do NOT slam on the brakes or change directions rapidly.
While it usually only lasts for a part of second, any sudden and aggressive input can lead to a number of control issues once your car reconnects to the road.
While those moments are more than noticeable, bear in mind that, in rainy weather, your car constantly drives through smaller puddles. Your tyres battle with these conditions all the time and you are not even aware of it. This only reinstates the importance of good tyres, keeping your distance and steady speeds with limited power.
5. Turn On Your Lights
This is important not only because you will be able to see what is in front of you more easily, but because you will also be more visible to other drivers. Remember that your tail lights are only on when your headlights are on, so turning them on will make you visible to other drivers in bad weather.
6. Driving through flooded roads
Our best advice can be summed up in one word: DON’T!
If you have to, make sure the water is not too deep and drive slowly for several reasons. Even if you know the road well, you cannot know what is under water or how deep the water is and you may damage your car on rocks or debris.
Secondly, if you plow through water too fast, you may increase its level or water around your car and it may enter your engine. As water does not compress the same way air does, you can completely destroy your engine.
Next, keep the revs relatively high (while still driving slowly, usually in the first gear) to keep the exhaust flow high to prevent water from going into the exhaust.
Lastly, when you are out of the flooded section, press the brakes a few times to remove water and make them function as they should.
7. Be Extra Careful
This should go without saying, but it is easily forgotten. It is normal that your vision is worsened in the rain, that your car does not have the grip that it usually does, that your regular input can be too aggressive on wet road but this also stands for other drivers. All of these issues multiplied by a number of drivers in the same intersection dramatically increases the potential for an accident to happen. And in the unfortunate event that it does, make sure you know what to do in the event of a car accident.
Check everything several times, make sure there aren’t any motorcyclists and only enter intersections when you are sure you have all the aspects and angles covered. Relying on luck is definitely not something you should do in these circumstances.
You can be the safest driver on the road but you will never know when you are unfortunate to encounter a reckless or careless driver or get into an accident due to a brief loss of focus on the road.
Add to this the astronomical costs of vehicles in Singapore, repairs, issues with the police and the stress of it all and car insurance becomes an essential investment. Moreover, at least the entry-level coverage option is required by law.
However, simply having just any car insurance is not enough. You definitely need an insurance provider that will make you feel confident you have done everything in order after an accident and you can leave the scene knowing you are covered.
Before we move on to the specific points, we should give some general information about the three main kinds of car insurance in Singapore.
TPO is the entry-level option and it stands for Third-Party Only. It is the minimum required level of car insurance in Singapore. It covers the costs of damaging someone’s car and potential medical expenses. Understandably, being the entry-level option, it is the most affordable one.
One step up is (TPFT) Third-Party, Fire and Theft. It includes the coverage of TOP and adds coverage against accidental fires and theft.
The very top is reserved for Comprehensive. It covers all of the above and adds losses and damages to you, your vehicle, your passengers and/of your belongings.
Here is what a good car insurance policy is and how it can help you.
1. 24/7 Support
Getting in contact with your insurance provider is essential and they are usually easily reachable – when they are working. However, accidents don’t only happen during working hours. This is why you should choose a provider with round the clock availability.
If you happen to get into an accident, make sure you get in touch with your insurer right away. Getting the insurance provider involved as early as possible is essential, so those with a 24/7 hotline are a must. Aside from leading you through the necessary steps and gathering information, they should also be clear with the car accident insurance claim procedure.
They will also know where the nearest approved reporting centres are and also where you can find authorised towing companies and workshops.
Just as an example, you should know that getting your vehicle to an approved reporting centre is necessary even if it is not damaged. Also, you only have 24 hours to do this. Many people are not aware of these two requirements and a reliable insurance provider can easily guide you through steps like these.
2. Car Insurance Excess
Having car insurance does not necessarily mean that you are totally covered in the event of an accident. There’s a thing called ‘Car Insurance Excess’ which is the portion you would have to pay in the event of a claim. This amount depends on your age and driving experience.
A good car insurance should be able to give you the option to reduce your excess by paying more insurance premiums.
3. Transparent Operation
This is essential! Insurance helps you be sure you are covered and you know what your duties and benefits are. You have to be able to rely on these, especially in a stressful situation such as a car accident.
You should be completely clear about each and every step of the process, all the costs and benefits, car insurance excess, how you can make a car insurance claim and exactly what the car accident insurance claim procedure is.
You are paying for your insurance and you should know exactly what the benefits are and what the easiest way to get to them is.
4. Courtesy and/or Replacement Vehicle Option
In case your car gets damaged in an accident and needs to be repaired, this may take some time. In this case, you will welcome an option of a courtesy vehicle provided by your insurance provider.
Some insurance companies offer a replacement vehicle if you had an accident with your brand new vehicle, within a certain time frame, of course.
Another option is covering your daily transport costs with a capped amount.
5. Workshop Access
A car insurance plan with access to an authorised workshop is definitely the way to go. Some insurance providers also have car sales and servicing and they are a very good choice. Having in mind how limited our car market is, such a business will do their best to keep you as a customer in all aspects of their business, so you would have a good experience buying a car, servicing it and also repairing it after an accident, all within one business.
They will also try and make you come back to them when you are buying your next car, so they will do their best to make you happy throughout your car ownership journey.
6. Coverage in Malaysia
This is a must for anyone who travels to Malaysia. Having in mind that not everyone needs this kind of coverage, it is usually an optional feature that needs to be added to the policy. The last thing you want is to be involved in an accident in Malaysia and without any car insurance coverage.
No Claim Discount (NCD)
NCD stands for No-Claim Discount and its name already starts to explain what it is. Basically, if you are a careful driver who doesn’t make any claims, you get a discount. The discount is usually 10% for each year that you do not make a claim up to 50%, which means that if you do not make any claims for 5 years, you pay only half of your initial premium.
Even though it may look like it is difficult to find an insurance company that gives all or most of these benefits, there are good, reliable insurance providers who give comprehensive coverage for a reasonable price, especially if you can benefit from NCD. Some even have an additional rider to protect your NCD in the event of a claim.
Buying a car is a commitment. You will spend a lot of money on it, be with it for at least a few years and use it on a daily basis, so a wrong choice can be a pretty big issue. You need a car that you can afford to buy and maintain, one that you don’t hate to drive and one that meets your practical needs.
Members of our team here at Vin’s deal with different brands and models on a daily basis, so even when we are not at work, our friends and family look for advice on buying that one perfect car.
If there is anything we have learned from that, it is that the one perfect car does not exist. Different people have different needs and preferences, different passion for the car industry and, of course, different budgets.
The best any expert can do is tell you about the things you should consider, potential traps, reliability trends, technologies used and their actual importance, hidden costs and similar. This way you cross out some cars to make a shortlist and make an informed final choice with confidence.
So let’s get to it.
1. Your Budget
We all know cars in Singapore are expensive as is, but always make sure you have some money on the side. This doesn’t have to be much, especially having in mind that you are buying a new car with a warranty, but there are things that can go wrong, especially for a novice driver.
Similarly, make sure you check how much the car actually costs. Some dishonest sellers will leave hidden costs for you and bundle various in-house discounts in the advertised price to lure buyers when in fact they come with a catch. Also, you see a car and its price, you love the wheels, but when you go to the seller, it turns out that the wheels cost extra.
Lastly, make sure you buy within your means. Buying a car is not the only expense. We know of an example here that includes a close friend of one of our colleagues who bought a very cool and very expensive luxury SUV on a loan that he, in reality, could just barely afford to pay the monthly instalments for. All was fine until a while later when the massively expensive air suspension failed and the choice between paying the instalment of having it fixed was presented to him.
Even if you can afford to buy a certain car on a stretch, this does not mean it is actually within your means. Make sure you have at least a bit of reserve.
2. Car Brands
One of the biggest problems that non-car people are met with when buying a car is that they think they have hundreds of options to choose from. That makes them feel overwhelmed. However, statistics show that most people buy cars from a limited number of brands.
For those with deeper pockets, a few more exotic European models are a very popular choice.
However, most buyers will opt for Japanese cars which offer the perfect blend of modern features, value for money and stylish design. In the past decade two South Korean manufacturers, Kia and Hyundai have made huge leaps in quality and became viable competitors to the Japanese mainstays.
Similarly, do not get hooked to one brand alone. Despite huge globalisation of the car market, there are still significant differences between models from different brands.
For example, if you think you need an MPV and you like Toyota, you should know that some smaller Honda models have the wonderful Magic Seat feature that makes MPVs virtually unnecessary for the people who use them to transport bulky objects.
3. Car Type
Many people make the mistake of looking for the added practicality that they do not actually need. For example, it does look enticing to have the option of 7 seats like the Toyota Noah Hybrid, but if you are a family with three members, you surely do not really need the extra seats or boot space. Or what is the purpose of a huge, off-road capable SUV when you mostly drive in the city?
If you accept that a family hatchback suits your needs perfectly, some more enticing cars may start being within your budget. Maybe you can actually afford the lovely new Mercedes-Benz A Class with a powerful engine, great brand image, loads of features and the best luxury interior in its class instead of a 7-seat MPV, or an expensive SUV that you don’t really need.
Make sure you buy the type of car that you actually need and you may save enough money to treat yourself with a model that goes well above the average for the class.
Different trim levels bring different safety and comfort features for the same model. If you have a list of features that you consider a must, see if there is a higher trim level of a cheaper vehicle that includes them all and save a lot of money.
5. Petrol vs Hybrid
This is a pretty unfair question, but one often asked. Some hybrids are made primarily to improve fuel efficiency, some to give a bit of extra zest for acceleration thanks to the instantly available torque and some for downright lightning-fast performance. Some of them are awesome for short city runs, but useless for longer trips due to their small batteries.
All these things mean that you should reach your fuel-related decision in the same way you make your car type decision. Consider what you actually need, shortlist the models and see what powerplant options are on offer among them.
Simply buying a hybrid when your driving cycle results in mostly driving it on petrol is pointless. Aside from missing out on the fuel savings you expected, when the motor is not in use, you also mostly have a gutless Atkinson cycle petrol engine without the help of the electric motor. Similarly, simply buying a petrol car for performance means you are overlooking a high number of hybrid models with more power from the electric motor and that wonderfully linear and powerful push from the instant torque of the motor.
Simply dividing the choice between petrol and hybrid is not good enough.
6. Authorised Dealer (AD) vs Parallel Importer (PI)
It is important to note that licensed parallel importers are completely legal and you can actually save a lot of money by buying from them. On the other hand, you may have less of a choice regarding equipment and the warranty may differ. Let’s take a closer look.
On the other hand, ADs should have a more reliable servicing and warranty, as well as more readily available stock. The extra thousands of dollars can be considered as the peace of mind. Also, parts are more readily available and there is usually only one entity to deal with – the actual dealer.
However, it is very important to note that a reliable, licensed PI that has been in the market for a while now should offer a similar peace of mind without the extra costs. Some of them have their own servicing departments much like an AD would and their longevity and consistency in brands and models also means that replacement parts should not be a problem.
Having in mind that for some models this can be the difference measured in tens of thousands of dollars, a good PI may be your entrance into a more luxurious automotive tier with the same budget.
7. Time of Purchase
After you shortlist a few brands and models, you should follow their prices for a while. Even though holiday discounts and promotions may seem enticing, they usually come after an increase in prices that makes the new offer look a lot better than it actually is.
Moreover, bear in mind that COE bidding closes every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month. A few days before this, most dealers who bundle in COE into the price will raise the price a bit to protect themselves against potential COE price increases.
Lastly, shortlist the cars that have been on offer for a while. Completely new cars command higher prices initially, even if they do not have higher value objectively. Moreover, they may carry some new technologies whose reliability has not been proven yet.
8. Test Drive
This point can be a separate article altogether, there is so much to say. However, we will include some general points here.
New cars should not have any problems with worn parts or bad maintenance, but there are some things to extract from a test drive.
First, take a seat and see if you can find a good driving position. Most people ask for reach and rake adjustments to the steering wheel, but when you have the right position you are unlikely to change it. Even if the car does not have these settings, but you find a comfortable position behind the wheel, you are good to go.
Secondly, drive in a few different styles.
Most of the test drive should be in the way you usually drive. For most people, this will be somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 revs, acceleration from there, ease of power buildup for overtaking and manoeuvrability in spaces where you usually drive such as your local supermarket or car park.
Try the turning circle and rear visibility. Make sure you feel confident with its rearview mirrors. If the car is automatic, it should shift relatively seamlessly, without any judders and it should not let the car stay too long in high revs or drown it in too low ones. If it is a CVT, which many hybrids are, it has a completely different mode of operation and the only thing you should pay attention to is if it is responsive and comfortable.
However, you should also test the car in driving conditions that you do not usually spend time in. For example, try the brakes slowly to see where they start ‘biting’, but also hit them hard once to see how the car behaves and how controlled it is in those conditions. You will not drive like this generally, but you should know how it behaves in case you need to brake suddenly to prevent an accident. The same goes for handling.
After the initial hate of the car world for the first-gen Prius, the popularity of hybrid cars has been growing steadily. Nowadays, they are almost as common as their counterparts with an internal combustion engine only and definitely here to stay.
However, the fact that we have grown accustomed to them is not the only reason why hybrids are more popular now. Over the years, they simply became a lot better in almost every respect. Moreover, the industry is developing incredibly quickly and we can only expect more improvements.
Should You Buy A Hybrid Car?
This depends on your needs and preferences, as well as your budget. We are here to give you all the information you need about the pros and cons of hybrid cars, your buying options and the stage of development the industry is in right now so that you can make an informed decision.
1. Kinds of hybrid cars
Although there are exceptions, most hybrid cars fall into one of the three following categories:
Parallel hybrids offer the most versatility when it comes to what propels the wheels. The power can come from both the engine and the electric motor(s) at the same time, from the engine alone, or from the motor(s) alone. Popular models like the Honda Fit Hybrid or Honda Shuttle Hybrid would be using this technology.
Algorithms that control these functions vary greatly, depending on the desired result. For example, the Prius uses the electric motor for most of its city stop and go traffic, which makes it very efficient in these conditions. In some options, the motor serves only to help the engine which usually operates on the Atkinson cycle, which makes it more efficient, but it also limits power.
Instant torque of electric motors is of great help for acceleration and it provides the push in those sections when the engine is least efficient. This is the most common type of hybrids today.
Series hybrids are also called range-extending hybrids and they are closer to electric-only vehicles as the wheels are directly propelled only by the motor. The engine is used only to help produce more electric power for the motor.
Plug-in hybrids are very similar to parallel hybrids, but they can be plugged in and charged. Their batteries are usually larger and heavier, they usually cost more, but they can also cover greater distances on electric power alone. They are like parallel hybrids on steroids – more capable, but also more expensive and heavier.
2. Batteries are heavy and expensive
This segment of the industry is actually the fastest developing one. Batteries keep getting more capacity in smaller packages but they are still pretty heavy. In many cars, batteries are located low to lower the center of gravity, so even though they add some weight, the car usually feels more planted than bulky.
Of course, this greatly depends on the size of the battery. A smaller battery will add less weight and take up less space but they will also reduce the benefits of driving a hybrid.
In terms of price, batteries are not cheap but most manufacturers offer long warranties. Moreover, in many countries, drivers of hybrids or electric cars usually have lower taxes, road charges or even purchasing discounts, so they can prove to be more cost-efficient even if you have to buy the battery seven to ten years down the road.
3. Range is usually not an issue
Whenever you mention any option of electric powering of a car, most people start complaining about the range. Now, the all-electric range is an issue but having an engine to help usually means that you get very close to the range of cars with internal combustion engines only. However, we should note that some hybrid cars have smaller fuel tanks.
4. They are more efficient in town
This sounds counterintuitive, but most hybrids will have regenerative braking, which means that braking actually charges batteries. When you drive in the city, deceleration is far more common and you have more juice in the battery. This is also why most hybrids on the market are compact cars and SUVs, most often used in the city.
5. They differ among themselves
Even though all hybrids are intended to reduce fuel efficiency and emissions, the way they feel on the road varies greatly from model to model. You may be utterly bored by them or absolutely stunned by performance and responsiveness.
The more power that comes from the electric motor, the more responsive the car, thanks to the instant torque at all revs that is delivered by electric motors. This also means they need bigger batteries and cost more.
Some others are intended to be more affordable and primarily efficient, so they have toned down engines and less powerful electric motors.
Make sure you test out the car to see if it meets your needs. Hybrids are here to stay, they are getting better by the day and there are already some very good options by renowned manufacturers.
A good servicing network should be an essential part of any sensible car purchase but not many people give it the necessary attention. Buying a car that which has no expert workshop is never a good idea, since when things go bad, you need someone who knows what they are doing.
Moreover, each car brand also often have their own unique engineering solutions which not many mechanics will have experience with. Modern cars from most brands nowadays have their own hardware and software tools which often cost a lot.
A good car servicing option in Singapore is not important only if you have major breakdowns. Even regular maintenance can prove to be an issue. The more pressure the parts have to endure, the more important things like proper engine or transmission oil or other liquids are.
Almost every car manufacturer states what needs to be used in their cars for safe, durable and optimal operation. There are a few DIY things that you can do for your car to save money, read more about it in our article: 6 DIY Car Maintenance Tips
Due to all these reasons, a good car service in Singapore needs to tick a few boxes without exception. It should employ experienced experts who are familiar with the latest trends in the industry and have the latest tools, it should be specialised in a few brands, or even in just one, it needs to have a good reputation and it would be perfect if you could make your cooperation with the workshop an ongoing affair. This will mean that they will want to give you the best service because nobody wants to lose a returning customer.
Finding a good car workshop in Singapore is definitely worth the effort, as it can save you a lot of money and bring you the peace of mind that is priceless. Here is how to find one of them. Make sure your workshop of choice ticks these boxes.
They work on vehicles from specific brands
Even though you can find a very good mechanic who works on all brands and models, the best service will usually come from services that are specialised in one or a few brands. An intricacy of a particular model that is familiar to a mechanic who works on a few of those every day may be completely new to someone who performs only regular maintenance.
Worst case scenario, your car can be seriously damaged. OK, this kind of a result is rare, but even if you save only time and money by choosing a mechanic that is an expert in your brand, it is well worth it.
They employ experts
Nobody is born an expert and young and passionate mechanics are always a good thing but the best workshop will also inevitably include qualified mechanics with the right tools and loads of experience.
However, the fact that there is an expert somewhere in the workshop does not mean he is the one working on your car. Which leads us to the next point.
They have a good reputation
Ask around. If a car service in Singapore has a good reputation, that means they are doing something right. Good reputation from various sources is built over time and easily tarnished. We always check online sources but in a relatively small space such as Singapore, asking friends and neighbours is a very good idea. If someone you know has had a car for a few years, it is very likely that they have experience with services for that brand.
They are not unreasonably cheap
Good equipment and expert mechanics cost money, so if servicing is too cheap, you can safely assume they are compromising on something which should not be an option. Of course, a very high price is also not a guarantee you are getting the best service, so price should most definitely not be the deciding factor in the beginning. It can only be important when choosing between the top few servicing options that passed all the other tests.
They have good customer care
Even though responsive customer care by no means guarantees that their mechanics know what they are doing, it is a very nice bonus. You should know how long your car will be in service, if they have free pick-up or any other benefits. This point should not be the deciding one, but it should be seen as a bonus when you filter out other services based on the previously mentioned criteria.
They are close to you
Again, this is another thing that should not be the deciding factor since quality is more important than convenience in this respect but bear in mind that you cannot really plan when your car will break down. Unless the car service of your choice has free pick up or drop off, you will have to drive the car to the workshop, which can seriously worsen the issue, or have the car towed which will cost more money and take more time.
They have an ongoing business relationship with you
If you have had a great experience with a car service for your previous vehicle, it is worth considering choosing the same brand of the car for your next purchase. It is an even easier choice if you can buy your car and service it at the same place. Car sellers that offer servicing as part of their business are not looking to sell you a bad car, because they need to give you a warranty for it, so if you keep coming back to claim the warranty, they will lose money.
Here at Vin’s Automotive, we provide a warranty for the cars that we sell. Our customers just have to bring their car back to our workshop for any maintenance and repairs.
Similarly, they will do their best to keep you as a customer, so that they will be your first choice when you want to buy a new car. This kind of relationship makes them give you the best service available so if you can find one like that, you should look no further.
As you can see, choosing the best car workshop includes many different factors and greatly depends on your needs and preferences. The quality of work, right equipment and expertise are a must, while all the other mentioned factors only add to the positive experience.