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The High Cost of Car Ownership


I dig BMW cars ever since I had laid eyes on one. However, the high cost of one, especially in Singapore means that it is a pipe dream. The smallest BMW car, the 1 series costs S$100,000 at the very least. That is around US$73,000.

After driving an Audi A4 in Melbourne, Australia while on a holiday, my new dream car is an Audi A4. The sleek looks and fun I had driving along the Great Ocean Road was something to remember.

In recent months, the rising prices of oil, in addition to the increase in the Electronic Road Pricing (ERP- or road tolls to most countries) makes the dream of a car increasingly unattainable to people. The government in Singapore said in recent past that to fulfill or meet the wants of the Singapore population, it was increasing the number of Certificate of Entitlement (COEs - or a cert that allows you to have a car which expires after 10 years). With the increasing car population, traffic slowed to a crawl at popular expressway and led to a gridlock. Their solution was to put up even more gantries to collect road tolls so that drivers will avoid the city centre and the popular Central Expressway (CTE).

Here's a rant from a blogger about the ERP. This is the official position from the LTA.

The thing that takes the cake is that you actually PAY to get HOME. That is when you are leaving work and going home you have to actually pay to get on the expressway. And it gets progressively cheaper the later in the night, encouraging people NOT to get home early. Family bonding, quality family life goes out of the window. Some 'smart' people in parliament said that even the Ministers pay ERP so people should not complain. Well those people who are our highest ranking ministers take home pay of $3 million plus a year. That's like $8000 a day, $333 an hour. Which means if they go take a dump for 20 minutes, that is $111 for sitting there thinking of where else to put a gantry and 'fix' the poor pathetic opposition we have in Singapore. So if the ERP was ever increased to $10 for going back home, that is like our highest echelon pissing into the toilet bowl, small change for them, since they earn $5.55 every minute.

A very cool site that was mentioned in 'Today' is this very useful Gothere website which shows you the best way to get around Singapore whether you are driving, taking the train or bus. The best of all is that it helps you avoid the dreaded ERP and is updated to include the latest new ERP gantries to help you save that bit of money.

Actually, not sure why I am ranting and raving, since I do not own a car and pay through my nose for owning one. I guess one of the reasons why there is road rage is that people pay so much to have a right to drive around and they are, well , pretty upset most of the time while on the road. So I empathize them a little bit but do not condone their violent actions.

However, I'd rather save the money so that I'd have at least have a worry free retirement. The best way in Singapore to save money is not to have a car even if you can afford it.

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jeremy said...
July 14, 2008 at 11:36 PM  

Hi Lemizeraq, glad that GoThere.sg is of some use to you! Thanks for sharing it with the rest! :)

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