Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Buying A First Hand Car Or A Second Hand Car In Singapore
Owning a first or a second hand car has been an ongoing controversial topic among Singaporeans for the longest time. That being said, everyone has a different perspective when it comes to owning their own personal transport. Some may get a car in Singapore due to the size of their family, others might get a flashy car due to the peer pressure surrounding him/her, while most salespeople who are out and about sees a car as just a mean of transport, getting to various locations at the shortest time possible. There are so many factors when it comes to deciding which to go for.
Knowing most Singaporeans, they tend to seek out what is most cost efficient in terms of price, technology, scrap value, and the number of years left off the second hand car. If you have the spending power to purchase a first hand car, there is also another set of problem for you to fret on. Let’s deep dive into the more common factors that most Singaporeans would take into consideration when it comes to a First Hand or a Second Hand car.
FIRST HAND CARS
A Parallel Importer is also known as a car reseller. As compared to the Authorized Dealer who has to go through a long arduous journey just to convince the car companies to partner with them, the PIs are able to drop their costs as they need not take into consideration the marketing efforts and overheads to sell their car for them. Conversely, for the ADs they have to secure and decorate a jaw-dropping showroom, consistently run marketing campaigns and manage a group of salespeople. That is why a PI is able to offer a much cheaper competitive rate as compared to an AD who has to cover their costs of manpower, marketing, and showroom costs.
Just how credible can a PI be? There has been numerous incidents where Parallel Importers would desert their customers, collect their hard earned deposits and go missing the next day without a trace of their company directors or staff. The only way one is able to find out how credible a Parallel Importer is, would be through sites such as sgcarmart to do their due diligence and read up reviews before committing a big sum of money. There are still honest and trustworthy PI(s) around, some have also managed to fulfill their customer orders and these are the ones whom you are able to trust your car down payment with. Whereas for the ADs, is not everyday we get to see an authorized dealer wind up or declare bankruptcy, these guys are here to stay.
AFTER SALES SUPPORT
Not all PI(s) may provide a satisfactory after sales support as compared to an authorized dealer. An authorized dealer is representing the car company itself, the reputation of the car company lies in the hands of these AD(s). Hence there would be some mandatory protocol or guidelines to adhere to from before sales servicing to after sales support. No doubt as mentioned before, that there would still be some trustworthy PI(s) out there where they would still render full assistance to you after the car transaction is over, these is through proper judgment and once again, your due diligence to do your homework and find out who are these guys.
PI(s) usually import their car models based on the market performance. For instance, if the COE prices hike, luxury cars tend to be more in demand, hence the PI(s) would import more luxury cars. Their car models are not readily available as they claim to be and would be unpredictable, furthermore, they would have to wait a longer time as compared to the AD(s) where they have full support regionally from the car companies.
CAR PARTS REPLACEMENT
AD(s) usually sell only 1 brand or the several brands under 1 company, hence, stocking of car parts would not be an issue to them. But whereas for PI(s), car parts stocking are only based on their own judgment and the majority of car models they are selling at the moment. For example, if they are selling a lot of Honda Vezel this couple of months, they will stock up more car parts as compared to other brands. This may be an issue when other cars would need certain parts replaced and they have to order it, making it an even longer waiting time.
AD(s) are able to guarantee and bring to the table a much attractive package as compared to the PI(s). They have the full support from the car companies, and typically, every new car purchased would be given a 3 to 5 year warranty at least and complimentary servicing, where they are able to absorb the car servicing fees.
There would still be trustworthy PI(s) out there, where their after sales servicing and warranty are as competitive as the authorized dealers. But if you have no recommendations from your fellow peers or family, and do not mind forking out a little more, you will feel safer making your purchase with an authorized car dealer.
FIRST HAND VS SECOND HAND CARS
The first apparent difference that everyone would look for would be the price. As per table indicated above, depending on the make and model of a car, prices would vary between a brand new and a second hand one.
It is a given that a first hand car will definitely cost you more as compared to a second hand car. Because a first hand car is sold to you at a brand new condition, and you will be the first car owner. Whereas for a second hand car, depending on the number of years left, the price would drop accordingly.
CAR CONDITION / ACCIDENT FREE?
In all honesty, not all car owners are honest as they claimed they would be. For instance they would mention that through this period of X of years, there has been no accidents. Before listing their cars for sale, they would take it to a workshop to have their car exterior cosmetic in check, so as to command a better price. The interior of the car parts would be replaced but then again, depending on the number of years that the car has been driven and how the previous owner takes care of it, we would still have to take into consideration the wear and tear of car parts.
The frequency of having a car serviced for a brand new one would not be as frequent as a second hand car. If the previous car owner that you bought over from has been consistently going for their car servicing to keep it in optimal condition, you would be in luck. On the flipside, if the owner is tied up due to their own commitments and does not take good care of the car, you will have to shoulder all the responsibility of servicing any parts that is not functioning and the number of servicing would only increase over time.
CAR’S RESALE & SCRAP VALUE
A first hand car would be able to command a higher price if being sold as it would be considered as a second hand car. A second hand car would not have the power to obtain a higher price as if it were to be sold, it would be considered as a third hand car. The scrap value works the same fundamentally, the lesser number of years, plus the model and make of the car, the lower the scrap value one would be able to get back.
At the end of the day, through these few common determinants that has been ruled out and compared against, it still boils down to every individual. Each to its own, some may not be picky and only need a car to travel from point A to point B, have no issues undertaking the car maintenance should there be any wear and tear, and have a budget when it comes to getting a personal transport, these people are the ones suitable for second hand cars. Always qualify and speak to the second hand car owners before committing to taking over his/her car, if possible, bring a car aficionado friend down with you, these people who have a keen eye and what to look out for especially when it comes to a second hand car, having them around would help you better qualify and reduce the risks of taking over a poor conditioned car.
If money is not of a concern to some, who would prefer brand new cars, they would be spoilt for choices. But these group of car owners would have to decide if they would want to save money and get from a parallel importer or to splurge a bit more and get straight from an authorized car dealer. The commitment you make when purchasing a car especially in Singapore is a big decision to make, do think it through thoroughly and discuss with friends or family members if you have when you have a budget.