Ask any Singaporeans, and most of them will tell you that the ultimate status symbol in Singapore is not a house or jewelries, but a car. Owning a car is the ultimate symbol of having made it in Singapore and many car owners in Singapore pay a high price for owning their cars.
Recently there had been a huge outcry among car owners in Singapore because various insurance companies decided to increased the price of car insurance in Singapore, some up to 30%. Car owners in Singapore naturally cry foul but the insurance companies ignored the outcry. You know why? Because they can afford to! Singaporeans will continue to buy cars no matter how high the price (and the insurance) of the cars are in Singapore because Singaporeans are buying cars for ‘face’.
I knew of a guy who proudly showed me his new car once. When I discovered how much he paid for it, I was like ‘how are you going to maintain it?” He said that he would be able to afford the car. This despite the car loan, road tax, parking fees, petrol, car insurance coming to about 70% of his monthly pay! Did he care that he was spending so much on the car despite living in Singapore which has one of the best public transport systems in the world? No, because in his mind it was ‘worth it’.
When I ask what will happen if he gets into an accident and had to repair the car, he said, “Be more careful lah. No accident, no problem right?” I didn’t have the heart to tell him that just because you don’t hit other people, doesn’t mean other people won’t hit you.
The moral of the story: Singapore is one of the most expensive places in the world to buy and maintain a car because Singaporeans dump their brains when it comes to cars. For those car owners crying foul at the insurance companies…please, if you can’t afford the insurance, SELL YOUR CAR!