Always depends on the earning power right?
The cost of owning a car in SG is around $1200 per month, plus minus.
It's not like you get to keep the car and use it for long term.
At $1200, it's relatively affordable.
Until you look at income levels.
Singapore's median income in 2019 was $4,563 – or roughly $3,331 per month after employer CPF contributions are taken into account. In 2018, this was $4,437 – or roughly $3,239 per month after employer CPF contributions.
So... $1200 is almost 36% of take home pay after CPF.
Or 26% of total pay.
That's really A LOT.
Imagine. You work 10 years, 2.5 years are for the car if you are single.
Else, dual income, then maybe not so bad.
For us in the US, we leased a car. So the monthly cost currently is less than US$700. Which is also pretty expensive.
However, after the lease, we are given the option to buy the car at a lower rate, also, the insurance drops as the car gets older, AND it can be used for 20 plus years if taken care of.
Imagine, the car in US costs US$25,000 and can be used for 20 years. Which means the cost of the car averages $1,250 per YEAR, or slightly over $100 per month. Then add maybe $200 per month for insurance and petrol. Making it around US$300 per month to own a car.
Of course, there's no point comparing. Different countries. Different traffic situation.
The point I'm trying to make is, well...
How many years of your life is the car worth?
Maybe the car helps with your work...
Or maybe the car gives you the time on weekends to do many other things, like go out with your family and have good memories/experiences, etc...
Now, that's all perceived value. It improves your overall life.
And yet, there is a real trade off, cos the ownership of a car or cars will decrease wealth accumulation and push back retirement.
Of course if you're making $10k a month, then the expense of a car might not mean much.
It's still 10% of income though.
Meaning over 40 years, 4 years of work is spent covering car expenses.
If you earn $5k per month, then almost 8 years is spent on covering car expenses over a 40 year career.
This could be said for Grab expenses as well. There are folks who spend a lot on Grab trips.
In the end... these expenses are all years of your life that you give up in exchange.
Hey. I'm not judging. I owned a car when I was in SG, and during my latest trip back to SG, I think we spent around $400 in Grab trips over a 3 week period.
Did I feel it was expensive? Yes. And yet, I felt that it was pretty worth it.
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