Monday, December 20, 2010

Some reasons not to buy a car

There are many good reasons to buy a car. Convenience is definitely one of them. Some might however view a car as a status symbol or fashion accessory. These are the people who are willing to splurge on a more expensive car. When one is thinking of buying car, the reasons that one can come up with are plentiful.

There are however also many reasons not to buy car. And I wished that someone had told me this before I bought my car.

A car is expensive to upkeep. For a fresh graduate working in Singapore, buying a car can easily cost you up to 1000 dollars per month. Do not be fooled by the monthly installments alone. You still have to take into account petrol, insurance, parking, repairs. And all these add up to easily 1k per month. Think about what you can do with 1k extra cash every month! Even if you do not save it, you can use it to go for a short holiday trip. That is a serious tradeoff you would like to consider.

A car is like a drug. Once u own a car, you will most probably be addicted to it and will keep on driving for the rest of your life. Driving is a habit that is hard to kick. And it is a very expensive habit to maintain.

People are not impressed by the car you drive. Stop thinking that people are going to be impressed by the car that you drive. Seriously, most people are not even envious and do not even take note if you change a new car. Spending so much money to impress people is also not worth it. You could use that money to treat them to expensive meals every month if you really want to impress them. That includes impressing potential girlfriends.


  1. That is quite true. I have taken ride in my colleagues car many times and for numbers of years and yet I don't really know what car are they driving? I just know their car is big or small nia.

  2. Hi FF,
    I agree that owning a car in Singapore is one of the largest expense in one's budget apart from owning a house. At least values of houses can see some chance to appreciate over time, but not for a car. One has to think carefully whether it is really within one's means and needs to decide to own a car. If one can afford it and needs to use a car for travel, a car can really serve wonders. Certain things cannot be seen in monetary terms, e.g. better time management, personal space and enjoyment of driving experience during travel when using a car. I think the important thing is to use a car well within one's means after considering the expenses and it's effect on one's long term financial planning. Afterall, owning a car is not a matter of days or weeks, but usually years. Nothing right nothing wrong. There are many things to consider and ways to work on financial planning. Having a car can be only one single small item in the whole big picture of financial planning unless one allows the car to become the largest part of the whole financial planning picture..??

    Jeremy... :-)

  3. Here's another reason: Environmental concerns. Although public transport is congested, the reduction of Carbon dioxide should not be ignored.

  4. Thanks for all the comments. Hopefully, people reading these comments will find a reason for them not to own a car =)

  5. Hi FF

    Owning a car is indeed a financial setback for those who have just started their career. However, I would like to share something that I learned from my father who was a businessman. When my father was running his business, he would buy the most expensive car he could afford. At that time, I would tell my dad the usual advice on value for money given by financial guru on money management. He would tell me that one important factor to succeed in business, you must be able to project financial wealth and strength from image packaging to your suppliers and customers. I was a bit skeptical then. 13 years later today, I couldn't agree more with his view.

    However, I still give the same old advice on money management to those who just started their career.

  6. Hi YJ72,

    That is really an interesting perspective. Always good to have alternative views here. For your dad's case, it must be indeed considered a small investment since the returns he gets from his car is perhaps much greater. In a sense, the car is more than just a mode of transport for him. It is almost a sort of branding or should I say "display" of success and financial strength of his company/business.

    Great to know that there are actually valid reasons to spend money on a car! But I guess for most people, a car is just purely for transportation purposes.


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