Buying a car in Singapore can be a daunting task. For many Singaporeans, it will be the second biggest purchase of their life after a house. And for first-time buyers, the list of things to look out for, as well as unsolicited advice people will be giving you can be so overwhelming that it puts you off your purchase.
So how can you, the first-time car buyer, be rest assured knowing you’re getting the best deal out of your big purchase? Fret not, because this article will put things to bed and clarify your doubts once and for all. Here are 5 questions you need to ask when buying a new car in Singapore.
What Type of Car is Best For Me?
This is a starter question you should ask yourself and your dealer if you have not yet decided on the make and model of car you want. Things to consider here are your lifestyle, how often you’ll be driving your vehicle, who will be using your vehicle and what activities will you be using your vehicle for.
For example, Japanese models are known for their value-for-money and reliability, making them great everyday cars for daily commuting. If you’re going to be taking the family and in-laws out a lot for lunch or dinner on the weekends, then perhaps the extra space of an SUV will suit you better.
COE: To Guarantee or Not to Guarantee?
Before you can own a car in Singapore you need a Certificate of Entitlement (COE). Depending on who you look for, there will typically be two approaches a dealer will take when it comes to securing your COE.
The two approaches are typically named guaranteed COE and non-guaranteed COE. A guaranteed COE means your dealer will do whatever it takes to secure your COE within the bidding period. However, you might be asked to top-up funds in the event where the bidding price goes above your budget. On the flipside, non-guaranteed COE means that the dealer will stick strictly to the budget you have set for them, but it might take more than one bidding cycle to secure your COE.
Is the Car in Stock?
Many first-time buyers are excited about the prospect of buying a new car, only to be disappointed when they find out that they have to wait months to receive to it. A dealer will typically communicate if the car you are buying is ready stock or to be shipped over upon purchase.
Many dealers prefer not to have a car in stock, because it puts pressure on them to sell, not to mention the need to rent a space to store the vehicle and maintain it. However, this often means that you can negotiate for a cheaper price and receive the vehicle once your COE is secured. Although you might be limited in terms of paint colours and optional extras. If you’re willing to wait for your dream car, you can opt for it to be shipped over, but keep in mind that there might be unforeseen delays.
What’s the Warranty Coverage Like?
Warranty coverage is naturally baked in whenever you buy a car, but that doesn’t mean you should take it at face value. Besides the length of the warranty period, you also need to find out what are the terms and regulations of the warranty you’re signing up for.
Some examples of questions you should ask regarding warranty are:
What components of my car are covered?
What kind of defects are covered?
Are there specific workshops I need to send my car to if it needs repair?
What’s the cost and deductibles of the plan?
Are there any mileage restrictions?
Are the organisation or companies related to the warranty reliable?
What insurance is the warranty compatible with?
What are Your Servicing Options?
Cars need to be maintained every now and then in order to run optimally for years. Many dealers like to sweeten the deal and get you to purchase by throwing in free service packages. However, you should know which components they’ll change for free and which you’ll need to pay for.
This will prevent you from getting a shock when you receive a bill for a service you thought was free. Common items that are covered during a routine maintenance check include oil, fluids and filters. Depending on how often you send your car for maintenance, they might also inspect or maintain your tires, brakes, wipers or other components subject to wear and tear.
For an easy way to understand and know what you’re buying, look no further than MS Carz. Here at MS Carz we understand that buying a car is more than just the vehicle, it’s about the whole package. We walk you through everything from choosing your model to financing options, COE bidding, collection and our comprehensive after-sales service ensures you get the support you need throughout your ownership.
For a transparent, honest and smooth first-time car buying experience, drop us a message on our Facebook.