Road rage is more common than you think. With road users rushing to get to their destination during their busy day, patience and civility get thrown out of the window. Everyone on the road is now working against you and with such a mindset while driving, it’s only a matter of time before something bad happens.
And, yes, it is often funny, but that is only so when you watch it online. When it happens to you, whichever side you’re on, it is far less pleasant. Neither is very fun in reality and can cost you dearly if you let your emotions get the better of you.
However, there are some things that you should know to help you keep your cool and not suffer any consequences, legal or other. We’re here to give you some pointers about dealing with road rage in Singapore.
What Is Road Rage
Road rage has many different examples, ranging from a simple argument through the windows of your vehicles, to aggressive, threatening driving following a real or perceived incident that may include tailgating, honking, rude gestures and similar, to blocking someone, stopping traffic and engaging into a violent altercation with various levels of severity.
In some extreme cases, there are examples of road rage incidents ending in the death of at least one of the participants.
Road rage usually starts with either a difference in understanding of the traffic rules between the two drivers but it can also be the case of a misunderstanding or downright dangerous or reckless driving of at least one of the sides involved in the incident.
Is Road Rage An Offence In Singapore?
Yes and no.
You see, road rage as such is not regulated by law in Singapore. However, this does not mean all is allowed. For example, if you get into a fight, you may be charged with that offence. Simply saying ‘it was road rage’ you do not get off the hook.
The same goes for things like hitting other people’s vehicles in anger, or threatening someone, as well as blocking traffic and engaging in many kinds of disorderly conduct.
While the law says nothing about regulating road rage, actions that can stem from it are well regulated and well familiar. No, you cannot get charged with road rage but you can get charged with pretty much anything that you do under the influence of road rage.
What Are The Common Types Of Road Rage?
Road rage can range from a realistically benign shouting match behind closed windows to aggressive driving to actual physical harm to another person. However unpleasant, shouting and hand gestures are usually harmless. However, if they provoke further actions, things can get pretty serious.
We’ve probably all seen examples of cars stopping in front of another, blocking their way and the drivers exiting their vehicles. This is when things have already gone too far. In some cases, the sheer attitude or physical stature of one of the participants in the incident is enough to put a stop to the altercation.
However, rage has little to do with sense, so oftentimes we even see fights and/or damage to the vehicles. It is unsettling to see that some drivers actually have some kind of a weapon in their vehicles put there specifically for these situations.
Here is an example of a road rage incident in Russia that saw the two drivers with a baseball bat and an axe, respectively. Luckily, they gave up on the fight, probably because of the weapons, but have a look at the calmness of the taxi driver as he takes out the baseball bat. It is like an everyday occurrence for him, like putting petrol in his car.
In some extreme cases, we’ve seen serious damage and even deaths resulting from something that started like a wrong turn followed by a hand gesture.
Is it really worth it?
What You Should And Should Not Do
This part is a bit counterintuitive. I mean, if you’re on the raging side, control is probably lost already and common sense takes the back seat. However, some concepts may stick in the back of your head and pop up when need be to help you cool down before you go too far.
First of all, try to not fall for it in any way. Keep your cool and in many cases that will give the other driver a moment to think and an example to follow. Angry people often feel they have no other option, so showing them one may do both of you a lot of good.
Secondly, if you are still driving when an altercation starts, try and resolve it before you stop. This does not mean you should speed up and cut red lights and curves to run away – exactly the opposite – try to remove the cause of the issue, especially if your oversight is the trigger for the unwanted behaviour.
You can try and switch lanes to let the other driver pass, or you can make a gesture to acknowledge your oversight. In many cases, this will calm the other person down.
Do not race. I’ve already mentioned this but it is important to emphasize that breaking traffic laws in order to escape is a terrible idea that can result in a far worse incident.
Understand that the other person may well be out of control at that point. With this in mind, it should be clear why you should not add fuel to fire in these situations. While reasoning is often a good choice, in some cases it may actually result in more anger. I know it doesn’t make much sense, but if sense were the first thing in mind in these situations, road rage would not exist.
Keeping your cool and clearly showing you are not interested in a mindless argument or a fight is the best way to go.
Get the police involved. This is especially important if the other driver is following you in his car. Drive to the nearest police station or to any patrol car you see. Do not be tempted to avoid police if you are to blame for the initial issue that led to road rage. Resolving such an issue is more important than getting a ticket.
It’s easy to point the finger and get mad with someone for bad driving. Then again, we all have been guilty of such deeds during our time on the road. Wouldn’t you wish the other driver is gracious enough to let it go without behaving like a hooligan?
So the next time you feel an episode of road rage arising, take the high road and be the one to de-escalate the tension.
There are many reasons why it would be a smart thing to buy an electric vehicle. First of all, there’s all the green talk and yes, we do realize they are not completely green but they are still noticeably better in this respect compared to cars with internal combustion engines.
Secondly, if you have had the chance to drive a proper electric car, you have probably noticed a nice little push that they give the moment you press the pedal. There is virtually no lag and power delivery is incredibly smooth. The reason for this is that electric motors deliver all the torque from virtually zero RPM.
There is next to no delay in throttle response and no turbo lag. You get an immediate, smooth and constant surge of power. The force, of course, depends on the actual power of the motor(s), but even less powerful electric vehicles have that lovely throttle response that makes them feel zippier.
Lastly, there’s a rise in petrol duty rates in Singapore. It is a part of government measures aimed at pushing people towards electrified transportation in the future. Similarly, more road tax rebates will be introduced which is expected to ease the transition for drivers. The petrol duties are raised by 15 cents and 10 cents per litre for premium and intermediate petrol, respectively.
Furthermore, they have been a push for more charging points in private and public car parks to enable electric car owners to charge their car.
Still, many people still see electric vehicles as a novelty. However, aside from the range anxiety that isn’t much of an issue in Singapore, electric vehicles also have the benefit of far lower maintenance costs, having fewer moving parts and no internal combustion engines. There are no regular oil changes, no fuel filters to change, and no spark plugs.
But there are some things to pay attention to.
This is why we decided to give you some maintenance tips for electric cars. These tips should give you a better overview and an idea of what you can expect as an electric car owner.
Battery checks are imperative as that is the thing providing the push and the range. This is something we would recommend you always use a professional for as they will be able to check connectors, fluid levels and filler openings. They can also give a good assessment of the cycle count.
In the cast majority of cases, there will be nothing to do, but checking your battery regularly should prevent any issues and make sure the life of your battery is as it should be.
Another point to keep in mind is that electric car manufacturers are aware of the anxiety some people feel when it comes to replacing expensive batteries, so most of them offer comprehensive battery warranties that are usually longer than the car warranty.
If you want to make your battery last longer, make sure you read the owner’s manual as it gives some great info from the manufacturer directly. Things like limiting your charge to 80%, not leaving the battery empty for long or frequent use of quick chargers.
Many of these will depend on the type of battery you have, so do make sure you are familiar with the recommendations from the owner’s manual. Limiting the charge to 80% is very important for making your battery last longer.
2. Brakes Maintenance
Generally speaking, brakes on electric cars last longer than those on cars with internal combustion engines. The reason for this is regenerative braking performed by the electric motor. It can actually stop the car completely and in many models, you can choose how hard regenerative braking is. This means you can use this feature instead of the brake system very often and thus prolong its life.
However, despite lasting longer, your brakes will need to be serviced and parts will need to be replaced. Brake fluid level needs to be checked regularly and, should it start reducing (you should get information in the instrument cluster), make sure you top it up with the correct type of liquid (found in the user’s manual) and keep an eye out for leaks. If there are any leaks or if the level decreases again, make sure you visit a service centre.
This has to do with the battery once again. If you park your car in the sun on a hot day, the thermal management system will detect the heat and keep running to manage the temperature. Doing this as little as possible will make your battery last longer.
Electric vehicles usually have single-speed transmissions, so people often think there is no gearbox or maintenance. Admittedly, there are fewer moving parts, much less complexity and weight but there are things to do. For example, you have to reverse the car at some point right? This is what transmission is for.
In some of them, you will have to change the transmission fluid. Tesla Model S is one of those. Although, due to the fewer parts and easier job, fluid changes, if needed, are much less common than on regular cars. Once again, see your owner’s manual for the complete info.
While there is no engine to cool, electric cars still need a coolant system. The reason for this is that the battery can get pretty hot and that is detrimental to its performance and durability. This system keeps the battery temperature at its optimum level. Regular maintenance of electric vehicles includes checking coolant levels and also flushing them at the intervals found in the service manual.
6. Air Filters
Electric cars have no engines that use air filters to keep impurities out of the cylinders, but they still have cabins and most of them use air filters to prevent things like pollen, road dust and similar from entering the cabin through your interior air vents. These filters need to be replaced regularly and the intervals greatly depend on where you are.
For example, if you live in a city, you may need to replace your filters more often. A general rule for most Tesla vehicles is to replace the air filters every two years. However, this is just a general guideline for you. Make sure you consult your user manual for the correct interval for your vehicle and area.
7. Wheel Alignment and Tyres
Replacing tyres when they are no longer good enough should go without saying but tyre rotation is something mostly performed at oil changes. As there are no oil changes on electric vehicles, you should rotate your tyres after every 10,000-15,000 km.
Similarly, wheel alignment is very important. If your car pulls to one side or shakes at a certain speed, you should have your wheels aligned. Aside from making your car more comfortable and safer, wheel alignment also makes your tyres last longer.
Should You Buy An Electric Car?
They are more expensive, but if you can afford one, it’s an option worth considering. As you can see, most of the maintenance points mentioned are present on regular cars as well and often less troublesome on electric cars. If you drive a lot, just the driving costs and reduced maintenance cost could make it more worth it in the long run.
You can also consider a hybrid like our Toyota Sienta Hybrid if you do wish to have the benefits of both an electric and petrol car.
If you are a new parent and you have no experience with child car seats, you may be surprised to know that not just any will do. You will need to know how to choose the right car seat for your child.
First of all, you should take the one that suits the age of your child. You also need to know if they need to be facing forward or backwards. You can also grab some all-in-one solutions. While this may seem tempting, they also have their downsides.
Secondly, you should know you can fit it in your car. While standardisation made big improvements in this respect, some cars, especially older models may require a bit of research. For example, if you have an older model without ISOFIX, you will not be able to fit a seat that uses this system.
Next, if you have more seats that you need to install, make sure you can fit them. Many cars cannot fit three regular-sized seats in the back. Or you need two, but one person needs to also sit in the back. In that case, do not take seats that are wider than necessary due to some cool design feature or something similar.
Of course, you also need to have the legal requirements in mind.
Sounds complicated? It can be, but we’re here to give you guidance and make it all easy. Read on.
Rules for Taxis and the likes of Gojek and Grab
With our restrictive car ownership rules, many people do not own cars and they use taxis very often. If your child is going with you, you can book a family car from private hire companies like Gojek or Grab, or you will need your own booster seat. In fact, the drivers from these companies are instructed to refuse to drive people with children who do not have booster seats.
However, this is not a legal requirement for taxi vehicles and this does make sense as it would be difficult to expect one vehicle could have several different car seats with them at all times. On the other hand, it should be a common sense requirement. In case of an accident, taxis don’t suddenly become safer than other vehicles, so our recommendation is that you carry one with you.
Aside from thinking about regulations, we also need to think about safety. It is not uncommon to parents driving around with their kids properly restained. This means that even in case there is a sudden harsh braking incident, let alone a traffic accident, they can get thrown around the cabin.
Any person shorter than 1.35 m has to be under a proper child restraint, the meaning of ‘proper’ depending on the weight and height of the particular person. The rest have to wear seatbelts. The same height rule for child restraints goes for school busses.
Car Seat Purchase Checklist
While these are not legal requirements, they are smart choices that make your children safer:
- Get a seat that has a 5-point harness. While 3-point harnesses are acceptable, 5-point ones are simply safer.
- While it may be tempting to buy a car seat that officially covers the longest period, they can rarely be as safe and as comfortable as seats that are designed for a particular age. The next time you sit in a really comfortable armchair, think if it would be as comfortable if you were 30% bigger or smaller. Children go well past 30% before they reach 135 cm. A seat that is designed specifically for their stature will certainly be safer and more comfortable.
- The previous point becomes even more important if you do not own a car and you often have to carry the seat around. It becomes even more of an issue if you also need an adapter to use the same seat on a pram. Also, you should make sure the same seat can be carried around and installed by all the people that will be doing it. If you have a heavy and bulky seat and grandma has to carry it often, it may be a problem.
- Buy the seat that you can actually install into your car. ISOFIX system is very common nowadays in many cars, even required by law in some countries for cars with rear seats that are used on the road. However, in order to use the ISOFIX system, you also need a seat that is compatible or at least an adapter. Also, bear in mind that not all seats can be used with all adapters. In many cases, the adapters are compatible with seats made by the same manufacturer. Speaking of ISOFIX, it is important to note that in most cars this means you cannot use the ISOFIX system anymore, so as easy and as convenient it is, you will need a seat to one that is installed using the seat belt.
Get The Right Car To Match
We already spoke about ISOFIX, so we won’t repeat that. However, if you have a family, get a family car, at least to some extent. This is imperative for so many reasons and it is related to baby car seats more than you can imagine.
Sure you can install a car seat in almost anything with rear seats, but believe me, you will hate doing it often in a car that has no rear doors. And getting a toddler in it from the front doors? That is a special kind of hell. Take it from someone who once said to himself: “It won’t be so bad, I can use my cool coupe”. It was. It really was.
Similarly, if you have to take the seat out often, make sure the boot is big enough to store it and also have more space for the regular stuff you carry around like the Mercedes GLA 200, GLB 200 or GLC 300.
Lastly, not really related to seats in particular, get a safe car.
This may sound like you need something like a big, practical, spacious Honda Shuttle. While that has its appeal for a family man, if you have one or even two children, you can still enjoy the benefits of a smaller car in a city environment.
Do you want more features, but you also need a family car? Get something like the Mercedes Benz GLC 300. It is a cool Mercedes-Benz with great tech, cool looks, 5 doors and a boot that is actually a bit bigger than the one in the Vezel.
The market is flooded with family cars from huge minivans to small but practical city buzzers. You don’t have to sacrifice style if you are a family man, so visit us and make sure you test all the points before you make the choice for the car and baby car seat.
Car tyres are more important than you think. It is the component that your car drives, and it bears all of the car weight for you. Getting a good set of tyres is an ideal plan. However, if you want those tyres to last long on the wet and hot roads, you need to take good care of them.
We cannot guarantee that our tips would make your car tyres last forever. Although you sure can increase the lifespan of your car tyres significantly.
Car Tyre Maintenance
Following are three simple but useful car tyre maintenance tips that every car owner should be aware of.
1. Tyre Pressure
If you want to kill your tyres fast, there is nothing more effective than driving with flat ones. Low-pressure tyres can also increase fuel consumption, which is never right for the budget. This is why you should regularly check the tyre pressure and inflate them according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Ensure not to fill the tyres above recommendation as it can cause unevenness. The information is usually mentioned in the user’s manual for easy access.
2. Tyre Rotation
Tyre rotation is not the first thing that comes to mind when talking about car tyre maintenance. But either you notice it or not, rotating your car tyres periodically can increase the lifespan of them. Usually, rear and front tyres get different wear and tears, and rotation can help even out the damage. Professionals recommend rotating the car tyres every 10,000-15,000km. But you can also ask your specific car manufacturer for a more accurate rotation tip.
3. Tyre Alignment
Just like the car tyre rotation, you should get your car tyres aligned once or twice a year. Misalignment does not only damage the tyres and shorten their lifespan, but it can also be dangerous and cause accidents. In addition to that, misaligned tyres consume more fuel. On the other hand, periodically alignment means that your tyres have better contact with the road. And this small change can be significant in your car tyre’s lifespan.
Precautions for Increasing Car Tyre Lifespan
You must have heard people saying, “care is better than cure”. This saying is usually used in human health, but apparently, car tyres are no different. You can increase the lifespan of your car tyres by being precautious in the following three situations.
1. Pay Attention to Road Conditions
A hazardous road can sometimes damage your tyres beyond repair. This is why you should always pay attention to the road conditions and drive accordingly. For example, driving recklessly on a rough road is an open invitation for car tyre wear and tear. So, driving safe is the first step to avoiding any car tyre damage.
2. Avoid Curbs
Often, young drivers do not think of the consequences when getting in contact with the curb. Driving too near the curb can cause damage to your car tyres. Curbs are one of the biggest reasons behind sidewall cracks. And as sidewall cracks are not easy to fix, it can kill your tyres.
3. Avoid Overloading
According to statistics, overloading can reduce the car tyre lifespan by 25%. Check the guidelines in the user manual or ask your car manufacturer about your car’s weight capacity. This small step can save you a lot of money in the future.
Does My Car Tyre Need Replacement?
Sometimes even following all of the maintenance tips does not work because it is time to let go of your old tyres. If you feel like you are putting way too much time and money into your car tyres, but the result is not what you expected, you may need to change them.
Following are the four signs that indicate your car tyres need to be changed for good.
1. Tread Depth
This is one of the most apparent and physical signs of car ageing. Once you noticed that your car tyre’s tread is worn and reducing every passing day, it is the sign. Tyre tread is the rubber part of the tyre that gets in contact with that road. As time passes, it can reduce due to friction and bumpy roads. So, how can you ensure if the tread depth is normal? Well, it is simple. You can take a tyre tread indicator and use it to examine the tyre.
2. Excessive Vibration
It is normal to feel a little bit of vibration when driving on a bumpy or rough road. However, if you feel excessive vibration even on a smooth, freshly laid road, then the problem is with your car tyres. The reasons behind these vibrations can be anything from misaligned tyres to worn-out tread. Check the problem and try to solve it by maintenance. But if the vibration stays, then it is better to replace the old tyres with new ones.
3. Sidewall Cracks
Sidewall cracks are another one of the physical and observable signs of tyres wear out. Do not be shocked if an expensive tyre starts getting cracks because these cracks are normal and start appearing as the tyres get old. The reason behind these cracks is usually sun exposure. UV light reacts with the rubbers’ oil and chemical compounds and, as a result, leaves sidewall cracks. There is nothing much you can do to remove those cracks except getting rid of them.
4. Tyre Age
Just like any other part of your vehicle, car tyres come with a set lifespan as well. You can enhance it and increase it by maintaining it. You can take all the precautions you can to reduce the risk of damaging your car. But there comes a time when the tyre cannot take it anymore and needs to be replaced. Most manufacturers say that a tyre can roughly last for five years. You can also observe the physical wear and tear to decide whether it is time for a new tyre or not.
Car tyres have a set lifespan. You cannot make your tyres last forever. However, by maintaining it regularly and following the precautions, you sure can make your tyres last a little longer.
We have already discussed the intricacies of buying a car in a peculiar market such as ours, but selling a car is an often neglected, yet very necessary topic.
There are a few options when you want to get rid of your old car in Singapore:
- The most common one is selling your car to a second-hand car dealer or trading it in for another car. If you are dealing with a reliable dealer, this should be the easiest option. However, bear in mind that you will hardly get the best price for your car if you opt for a dealer. Still, if you are trading in your car, this is by far the easiest option.
- Another less common, but very present option is selling your car directly to a buyer. This way you should probably get a bit better price, due to cutting out the middleman, but it also usually takes longer and requires more time from the seller.
- Lastly, the easiest option is to scrap your car as metal, but this is advisable only for cars that have a really low value.
Let us go through the first two options and give you some ideas as to what you should know and how to get the most out of your sale.
Selling Your Car to a Second-Hand Car Dealer
As we said, this is not the best way to get the best price. A dealer is someone who needs to make money on your car, so the price needs to be lower than it would be for a direct buyer. On the other hand, selling to a dealer takes away all of the perils related to selling a car in Singapore. If the price is right, dealers will buy pretty much buy anything that can be driven legally.
However, do not just sell at the first offer. You should get offers from several dealers and compare them. In some cases, a dealer may be looking for exactly the car you have and you may get a pretty good price. Also, if you are visiting other dealers, drop a hint to the one you are at. If they really want your car and they know you are visiting more dealers, they may give you the best price they can right there on the spot.
You can also trade your car in at the dealer’s. While dealers will love this as they can both buy a car at a good price and sell another one at the same time, you can also benefit from good negotiation skills. With the dealers potentially making money on both cars, you have more room to get a better price for your car or reduce the price on the other one. Remember, the dealer will always be looking to sell, so you have nice leverage there.
Moreover, in this case, you can also use the dealer’s tactics against them. If a dealer is telling you that you have to reduce the price of your car further because not many people are buying cars, the same goes for the car they are selling.
Another benefit of going to the dealer is that they usually handle all the documentation. They have plenty of experience with this and it is a quick task for them. However, this is where we have to reinstate the importance of going to a good, reliable dealer. Relying on the dealer to sort out the documentation also means that you need to trust them, so make sure you deal with reputable people.
Selling Directly to the Buyer
There are several websites where you can post an ad that you are selling your car. We suggest you post the ad on all of them. The most common options include carro.sg, motorst.sg, stcars.sg, sgcarmart.com and sg.carousell.com.
While you will have to deal with the documentation yourself, the process is well sorted out. With all the online resources, you should be able to do it without any issues. However, this does not mean you should be unprepared. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the process and you have all the papers.
The main benefit of selling your car directly to the buyer is the fact that you can probably get more money for it. However, while it is almost certain that you will get some offer for your car if you visit a dealer, it is not the same with direct buyers. They need to find your car, like it and consider buying it and choose it among other offers for the same model. This is neither easy nor fast as going to a dealer.
You will also have to let the potential buyer test the car, have it checked and be on top of the selling process and know the answers to questions. Think about it this way. When you are selling to a dealer, the dealer leads the process. They know the price range, they are familiar with the servicing and repair costs, they have the experience and knowledge other people don’t. They will have the answers to all your potential questions. When you are selling to a direct buyer, you are the one who needs to answer questions.
How to Get The Best Price For Your Car?
Aside from negotiation and shopping around that we have mentioned, there are other ways you can get more money for your car.
Mind you, we do NOT condone tricking buyers by selling them unsafe cars, rolling back odometers or not disclosing serious issues, but some touch-ups can help increase the value of your car in the eyes of the buyer.
For example, if you are one of those drivers who do not clean the interior often, it may look really bad. Moreover, damage to the things like steering wheel, seats, pedals or gear lever makes the car look abused. If your car is in a good mechanical condition, touching up these things for a small price will make the overall impression a lot better and increase your chances of getting a good price and the buyer will get a mechanically sound car with a nice interior.
Cleaning the seats actually makes them clean, so this is what the buyer will in fact get. With things like this one, nobody is getting tricked. While you will need to spend some money to do this, the overall impression can make a more significant difference. Think about it, when was the last time you went to see a car that looks scruffy in pictures.
Similarly, make sure you point out all the benefits. Did you recently buy new tyres? Have you just performed services? Did you buy some additional equipment for the car? Make sure you point out all of these things to the buyer.
If this is the first time that you are selling your car, it can be a rather lengthy and time-consuming experience. But if are patient and do some shopping around before agreeing on the final price, it could mean a few hundred or thousand extra in your pocket.
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.