Continental cars or Japanese cars in Singapore. Which one is more money sensible to buy?

In Singapore, when you talk about cars or car insurances, you often hear the word “continental” car or “conti” cars. Continental cars are cars that are produced by the Western brands or to be more specific produced by majority of the European brands. In other words, non- Asian brands are referred to as Continental cars in Singapore. Japanese cars are also getting popular in Singapore. The other non Japanese- asian brands are also making their marks in Singapore. Would you consider buying continental or asian cars ? Which one makes more sense to your money and budget ? Read more to find out details of each.

The popular continental car brands in Singapore are:

  • Mercedes
  • Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW)
  • Audi
  • Volkswagen
  • Jaguar
  • Volvo

Continental cars are perceived as those made with superior standards, excellent engineering and are highly comfortable. These brands are also perceived to be engineered with good safety standards and hence has better brand values. Continental cars like BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar are premium and is also possessed by some as a display of high income status. Continental cars also has luxurious finishes and designs that make them stand out in the crowd.

The popular asian car brands in Singapore are:
The ones from the land of rising sun or Japan :

  • Toyota
  • Honda
  • Nissan
  • Mitsubishi
  • Suzuki

Korean cars :

  • KIA
  • Hyundai

And the ones from China :

  • Chevy
  • Geely

Japanese cars are also popular amongst Singaporeans, for they are perceived as more economical compared to Continental cars.
Japanese cars are also know for their efficieny and reliability.

Other car brands like Kia, Hyundai are also popular in Singapore thanks to their budget friendly costs.

What are the cons/ problems/ disadvantages of Continental cars in Singapore.

Have to pay more tax : Continental cars have more import duties and taxes levied by the government. These cars are premium in quality and hence you also end up paying more on taxes.

Open COE: COE or Certificate of Entitlement is the certificate one needs to pay for for owning a vehicle in Singapore. This is a measure from Singapore government to control the vehicular population on its tiny land mass. Since these continental cars have higher powered engines, the COE that may be required for continental cars is higher too.

Higher fuel consumption: Well- it is a well known fact in the economics of mileage. The higher the power or CC of the engines, the more fuel it may consume. Given the powerful cc of these continental cars, the spend on fuel may be higher.

Repairs and maintenance: Although the parts should be available given the demands of such cars in Singapore, however these repairs may be costlier compared to other local Asian brands.

What are the pros/ benefits/ advantages of Continental cars in Singapore

Premium car: Continental cars have classy looks and feels premium. They are sturdy and well built

Good Engines: Continental car manufacturers are perceived to be good in their crafts and produces better technologically advanced engines. On a long run, better engines will not produce more wear and tears to your car and may have relatively less maintenance costs.

High safety and less emissions: Most EU manufactured cars follow better production practices and focus on safety. These cars are also controlled by EU’s pollution control standards and pollute less. You could do your bits towards nature by reducing the pollution by using better performing cars.

Status symbol: Most continental cars are perceived as owned by the rich and has become a status symbol. Not doubt personnel working in sales tend to own these cars to get their best foot right.

What are the cons/ problems/ disadvantages of Japanese/ Asian brand cars in Singapore.

Very common and not unique: If you are someone who likes to drive around unique cars, choosing Japanese cars would be disadvantage here. Japanese cars are economical and thanks to that, many of us buy them. Sometimes it makes sense to own economical cars. However, since these are popular in Singapore, your car may not stand out in the crowd.

Perceived as common cars: We would like to begin with the statement that, it is financially sensible to buy and own in ones own means. Since owning cars in Singapore is very expensive, thanks to the CEO and government measures to reduce cars on road- most Singaporeans buy these cars. Hence they are very common and are not conversations starters.

What are the pros/ benefits/ advantages of Japanese/ Asian brand cars in Singapore

One can save on taxes: Since the asian cars are manufactured in close proximity to Singapore, as well are budget friendly on the base price, you pay lesser amount of taxes on the original price. The amount of money you shell out on taxes will be lower.

Fuel efficiency : Most Asian cars are produced with fuel efficiency mindsets. Thanks to our age old practices of saving for the rainy days and using only what we need, cars manufactured by the asian brands always focused on saving on fuel expenditure.

Comparatively nature friendly : Saving on fuel cost and improved mileage leads to lesser emissions of exhaust gases for per kilometre you drive. This overall reduces the amount of pollution you introduce to the nature by driving. You feel good about doing your good part

Better resale value : This is applicable to few top brands. Some of the top asian brand cars may have better resale value if they are considered of good quality in the market.

Insurance for your cars in Singapore

Once you consider buying your preferred branded cars, you will also have to consider your insurance premium. Various players like DirectAsia, FWD, AXA, NTUC Income, Budget Direct etc provide insurances directly online.

The insurance cost for expensive car brands would be higher than few asian brands. Try getting a quote from few of the insurers in Singapore to check on that cost as well.

You would also like to find various ways to save on your car insurance premium to manage your personal finance in an optimal way.

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