How much are you leaving on the table when you buy a brand new car? – 7 Jun 2013

Posted on June 8th, 2013 in The Savvy You

Opel Car (Shrunk)

Yes, you must have read somewhere (for the umpteen time) that Singapore is indisputably the most expensive country to purchase a car, even more so than Hong Kong.

Just to illustrate, at today’s COE price averaging S$70,000 for 1.6l cars, an entry level Toyota Corolla Altis goes for S$120,000. In Malaysia, it cost about S$42,500. Faraway in US, this car is yours for about S$20,000.

As an ex-public officer, I understand the intent behind the high car tax structures and ERP gantries that mercilessly serves the objective of reducing congestion and discouraging ownership. On my part, I invest in a good GPS so I don’t waste petrol and time getting lost. “Happily retired” also means I can run my errands at off peak hours and avoid peak hours congestion and ERP charges. That’s how i adjust. Oh and I cycle (enjoy it thoroughly) and take public transport too.

If a car is a necessity to you, sure, go ahead and get one. Be mindful however of what you leave behind on the table for the dealer. I believe in a fair deal and avoid buying cars that are highly marked up.

If you study the table below which I’ve compiled from public data provided by LTA as at 1 Apr 2013, when COEs were $61,029 and $67,010 for Cat A and B respectively, you will be astounded by the additional taxes (Additional Registration Fees – ARF, Custom Duties, Registration Fees and COE) paid above the open market prices (OMV) and the dealers’ markup which varies from -2% (Yes, it’s no typo as that NISSAN model was priced to be offloaded) to more than 50%. No prize though for guessing which brands and models are highly marked up (Feel free to ask for serious freebies from their sales staff!) There are a couple of surprises though and you’ll have fun drawing your own conclusions.

As a savvy car buyer who sees my car as a form of transport rather than an ego booster, you will not see me coveting those cars with extremely high dealer margins.

Happy savvy car shopping!

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Car Model
Avg OMV
Taxes + COE
Total Base Cost
Dealer's Price
Mark up
1 B.M.W. 520I 2.0L AT 41,422 128,904 170,327 267,800 57%
2 B.M.W. 528I 2.0L AT 46,849 138,044 184,893 288,800 56%
3 B.M.W. 730LI AT D/AB 4DR 73,795 192,939 266,734 413,800 55%
4 B.M.W. 740LI AT SR LED DSC 91,023 228,843 319,866 473,800 48%
5 B.M.W. 640I GRAN COUPE 4DR 78,589 202,930 281,519 413,800 47%
6 VOLVO XC60 T5 38,611 124,171 162,783 235,000 44%
7 B.M.W. 320I AT D/AB 4DR ABS 36,665 120,894 157,559 223,800 42%
8 VOLKSWAGEN TIGUAN 2.0 TSI AT 36,250 120,195 156,445 221,300 41%
9 VOLVO XC90 T5 R-DESIGN 50,391 144,165 194,556 275,000 41%
10 B.M.W. 116I AT ABS D/AIRBAG 27,412 99,331 126,743 178,800 41%
11 B.M.W. 316I 1.6 AT D/AB 4DR 32,808 108,419 141,226 197,800 40%
12 TOYOTA CAMRY 2.0 AUTO 24,391 100,225 124,616 169,888 36%
13 TOYOTA ALPHARD CVT 43,728 132,789 176,517 238,888 35%
14 VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT 1.4 TSI DSG 27,406 99,321 126,727 169,300 34%
15 HONDA CR-V 2.4L SUNROOF 29,892 109,488 139,380 184,900 33%
16 HONDA ODYSSEY 2.4L EXV 29,337 108,553 137,891 182,900 33%
17 VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE 1.2 TSI AT 19,367 86,036 105,403 139,300 32%
18 TOYOTA VIOS 1.5 E AUTO 11,077 75,391 86,469 113,888 32%
19 TOYOTA WISH CVT 23,453 98,646 122,099 159,888 31%
20 MERCEDES ML 350 BLUEEFFICIENCY 66,385 177,496 243,881 318,888 31%
21 VOLKSWAGEN SCIROCCO 1.4 TSI AT 25,861 96,719 122,581 159,800 30%
22 TOYOTA LEXUS GS350 LUXURY AT 64,609 173,796 238,405 307,000 29%
23 HONDA CIVIC 1.6L VTIS AT 17,740 83,947 101,687 130,900 29%
24 TOYOTA LEXUS GS250 AT 49,007 141,678 190,685 244,000 28%
25 VOLVO V60 T4 35,310 112,631 147,941 189,000 28%
26 VOLVO S80 T4 37,153 115,736 152,888 195,000 28%
27 TOYOTA COROLLA ALTIS 1.6 A 15,150 80,622 95,772 121,888 27%
28 VOLKSWAGEN CC 1.8 TSI AT 34,019 116,439 150,457 190,800 27%
29 VOLVO V40 CROSS COUNTRY T4 30,323 104,234 134,557 170,000 26%
30 VOLVO S60 T4 32,088 107,206 139,294 175,000 26%
31 VOLKSWAGEN JETTA 1.4 TSI AT 20,994 88,523 109,517 137,300 25%
32 VOLKSWAGEN POLO 1.2 TSI AT 15,572 81,163 96,735 120,800 25%
33 KIA SPORTAGE 2.0(A) SUNROOF 21,319 95,052 116,371 143,999 24%
34 JAGUAR XJ 3.0S/C PL LWB 79,069 203,931 283,000 350,000 24%
35 KIA SORENTO SUV 2.4 6AT FWD 27,373 105,247 132,620 163,999 24%
36 HONDA STREAM 1.8L RSZ 25,024 101,291 126,315 155,900 23%
37 TOYOTA AURIS CVT 25,193 95,595 120,788 148,888 23%
38 JAGUAR XF 2.0L GTDI 49,939 143,248 193,187 238,000 23%
39 MERCEDES E250 BLUEEFFICIENCY 52,209 147,955 200,163 244,888 22%
40 JAGUAR XJ 3.0S/C PL SWB 74,694 194,813 269,507 328,000 22%
41 HONDA ACCORD 2.4L AT 30,784 110,991 141,775 168,900 19%
42 MERCEDES E200 BLUEEFFICIENCY 50,759 144,933 195,692 229,888 17%
43 MERCEDES BENZ SL 500 152,203 356,342 508,545 587,888 16%
44 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF A7 1.4 TSI 25,520 96,145 121,665 138,800 14%
45 NISSAN MURANO 2.5 CVT ABS D/AB 39,717 126,033 165,751 179,800 8%
46 NISSAN SYLPHY 1.6 CVT ABS 14,902 80,303 95,205 102,800 8%
47 NISSAN TEANA 2.0L CVT ABS 25,208 101,601 126,809 136,800 8%
48 NISSAN QASHQAI 2.0L CVT ABS 21,174 94,808 115,981 119,800 3%
49 NISSAN ALMERA 1.5 4AT ABS 14,511 79,801 94,312 92,800 -2%

Car Prices as at 1 Apr 2013. All figures in SGD

 
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