As of 2nd bidding in May 2023, COE prices for Cat A cars costs $92,000 while Cat B is at $113,034.
In Singapore, it’s hard to put the word “value” and “car” in any sentence. With COE at more than $90,000 today, there is almost no way to find any value-for-money cars in Singapore right now, especially if you want to buy a brand new car.
However, for some car owners in Singapore, a car might be necessary. If you have a big family that includes young children and elderly parents, or your workplace is extremely far from your home, having a car could be required.
Depending on your needs, the “best” car for you would differ. In this article, we look at some of the best value for money cars in Singapore that you can buy.
Note: At the point in writing (May 2023), COE prices for Category A is $92,000; $113,034 for Category B and $125,000 for Category E. Prices are taken from authorised dealers.
“Point A To Point B” Car
If you need a car to get around, whether it’s to send your kids to school, your elderly parents for their routines, or from Jurong to Changi for work, then the aim should be to get a 1) reliable car that has 2) good fuel consumption, while 3) keeping your cost to a minimal.
You likely need to purchase a pre-owned car.
Choice In 2023 – Get A Pre-Owned Car That Comes With A Warranty For Major Parts
For 2023, our advice will be to buy a pre-owned car.
Ideally, the pre-owned car that you purchase should come with a warranty from a reputable dealer.
This is because when buying a pre-owned car, nobody wants to buy a lemon. a lemon is a car that the car dealer already knows that are significant problems and defects when selling the car to you.
This is why buying a pre-owned car from a reputable dealer that comes with a warranty on major parts is useful. With a warranty, if there are issues with major parts, a reputable dealer will be obliged to help fix the problems. This will provide you with some peace of mind.
One such dealer would be Inchcape Certified Pre-Owned. Inchcape is the parent company of Borneo Motors, the authorised dealer in Singapore for car brands like Toyota and Lexus. All cars that are purchased through Inchcape will enjoy a 12-month/20,000 KM warranty, whichever occurs earlier.
With pre-owned cars, it’s possible to purchase one that has a depreciation of less than $13,000 a year. This means that on average, you are paying about $1,000 a month for the car.
For example, we can see above that the price of a 4-year old Suzuki Swift is $74,800, incurring a depreciation of about $12,400 a year, or about $1,033 a year. Given that the dealer is also providing a 1-year warranty, It will be difficult to find a reliable and fuel-efficient car right now at this depreciation level.
It isn’t cheap, but at least, still acceptable if what you need is just a reliable car that can bring you from point A to point B.
The Couple’s Car
It’s just the two of you with the occasional friends or family members who tag along. You are not intending to have a big family anytime soon. For now, it’s style over substance, for now, and you want a nimble car that brings you around town and can squeeze through jams easily.
2023 Choice – Suzuki Swift 1.2 Standard (A) ($128,900)
At $128,900, a brand new Suzuki Swift 1.2 Standard (A) is one of the most affordable cars in the market right now. This means a depreciation of about $12,800. However, price isn’t its only attractive point.
With its usual sporty hatchback look, the Suzuki Swift comes with the usual features that you expect from a modern car including electric folding side mirrors, keyless entry and engine start, Bluetooth and auto headlights.
The standard variant already comes with six airbags and is a mild hybrid car with exceptional fuel savings of up to 24.4km/l. The 1,197 cc engine brings the car from 0-100km/h in 12.2 seconds.
A 7-Seater For Large Families
For those of us with large families, we would want to opt for a 7-seater vehicle that provides more seats for everyone.
2023 Choice – Honda Freed 1.5 S7 (A) ($71,999/wo COE) ($163,999)
While we accept that the Honda Freed is unlikely to win any aesthetic contest anytime soon, it will be hard for anyone to argue against the practicality it offers for drivers who need a 7-seater car.
For a start, at just $71,999/wo COE (about $163,999 assuming a $92,000 CAT A COE), it ranks among the cheapest 7-seater you can buy in Singapore today trailing only the Perodua Aruz ($155,999).
Its engine capacity of 1,498 cc which provides 129 bhp allows it to qualify for the cheaper CAT COE. While you get minimal space with all 7 seats in use, you would have a sizeable boot with the third row folded down. The electric sliding door makes it easy for the rear passengers to enter and exit the car.
An Electric Car
The electric car is the future and like the Singapore government, you are ready to jump on board the bandwagon.
2023 Choice – Polestar 2 Electric ($243,000)
At $243,000, the Polestar 2 (Polestar is part of the Volvo group) isn’t the cheapest electric car in the market. However, assuming budget is not the main concern, what you are getting with this imposing-looking electric car could be worth splurging for.
Let’s start with the specifications. The Polestar 2 Standard Range Single Motor comes with a 69 kWh that generates 228 bhp and a torque of 330Nm. This brings the car from 0-100km/h in 7.4s. If that isn’t enough, remember this is an electric vehicle so there is no lag when it comes to moving off from a stationary position and you will likely find yourself one of the fastest cars off the line at traffic lights. The drive range is at 470km.
Feature-wise, you get a lot which is what you would expect from a luxury sedan. These include 8 airbags, an in-car navigation system and voice command, electric tailgate, driver and passenger electric seats, multi-zone aircon and many more.
Space-wise, you get both a boot and a frunk. So this is great for families with young children who value both space and safety.
We tried this car last year so if you are interested to buy one, read our review of the Polestar 2 here.
Luxury European Brand
Not that the Polestar 2 isn’t a luxury European brand, but if what you want is a more familiar internal combustion engine (ICE) car that impresses others, whether for work or social status reasons, then you might prefer this category.
Choice in 2023 – Audi A3 Sportback Mild Hybrid ($202,019)
While the Audi A3 may be considered an entry-level vehicle for those looking at the Audi brand, the Audi A3 Sportback is a popular car for drivers looking for a luxury European brand, but want to go beyond the usual sedan or SUV.
While $202,019 is a lot of money because of current COE prices, what you are paying is still a lot lesser than other luxury cars such as the Audi A4, Mercedes C Class or BMW 3 Series, which would all cost more than $250,000.
With the Audi A3 Sportback, you get the iconic four rings which help remind people that you are driving an Audi. Performance-wise, the 999 cc engine brings the car from 0-100km/h in 10.6 seconds with an impressive fuel consumption of 22.7km/l.
Feature-wise, you get everything you likely need and expect in a modern car. Bluetooth technology, driver and passenger electric seat, multi-zone aircon, auto-dimming rearview mirror, cruise control, lane departure warning and many others.
Read Also: Cheapest Cars That You Can Buy In Singapore
Listen to our podcast, where we have in-depth discussions on finance topics that matter to you.