Friday, August 03, 2007

Old Cars in Singapore?

Was reading an article in Straits Times today about 8 out of 10 cars in Singapore are less than 10 years old. The article went on to say that despite fees to extend the lifespan of cars beyond 10 years being at an all time low, people are not doing so. He sees this as a trend that indicates the culture here being everything that is"new is good". So what is this all time low we're talking about? The 1st 6 mths of this year, the average of COE revalidations (which expires every 10 yrs) are on the average $12,565 for 1600cc cars and $14,051 for cars above 1600cc - which are 1/2 of what it was in 2004. For readers not familar with COE (certificate of entitlement), it is a piece of paper that you have to buy from the government in order to own a car and it has an expiry date of 10 years.

Now I really don't understand how he uses these numbers as indicators that Singaporeans do not like old vintage cars. I love old vintage stuff, and I collect old stuff because they are of certain historical value or if they serve as a memory to a certain time in my life. However, the issue here I figure, is more to a case of economics. I love VW Beetles, and I will want to buy an old Beetle from yester years if I could, but the fact that if I should buy one for collectible purposes, it wouldn't make much sense here in Singapore. The fact is even if I want to purchase a old antique car to place in my home just for show, I would still have to pay the government for a bloody piece of paper to own it on top of its own value. Not to mention the bloody piece of paper expires in 10 years. Now why would I want to buy the collectible car in Singapore? Maybe it will be cheaper to buy a garage in the US and buy all these old vintage cars and keep them there. It would be much cheaper in the long run.

If anyone's buying a car in Singapore, I would think most people (maybe 8 out of 10?) would make their purchases based on economic reasons. And the car ownership system in Singapore is discouraging the culture of vintage car collecting, not because people here like new things only.

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