We break down why now is as good a time as any to take the plunge and get a car in Singapore. Plus we round up our fave fam-friendly models
In many respects, there are few places on Earth where it makes less sense to own a car than in Singapore: it’s compact, the public transport and taxi/ride/bike share options are outstanding, and it’s basically more expensive to own a car here than anywhere else in the world!
Of course, that is by design, in an effort to prevent congestion in already densely packed city. Not only are cars taxed at at least 100% of their market value (meaning you’re already going to pay at least twice as much as what you’d pay in most other countries), but then on top of that you’ve got the fluctuating Certificate of Entitlement (COE), which represents a right to vehicle ownership and use of the limited road space for 10 years.
COEs are released through competitive bidding, which happens twice a month; if you buy a used car, you generally pay for a pro-rated portion of whatever the COE was on your new car (you’re not paying current COE rates, which is a bummer since they’re about a third right now of what they were just a few years ago, averaging $38,600!).
What that means is that now is as good a time as any to buy or lease a car! Leasing is a great option if you don’t want to pay those hefty up-front fees, or if you don’t want to deal with the headaches of sorting out your own repairs. It’s also a popular option for those lucky unicorns on expat packages whose companies pay for them to have a car.
Why get a car? With kids it simply makes life a million times easier: no schlepping car seats around in taxis (this is particularly a gamechanger when you’ve got more than one kid); no scrambling for a taxi or bus when it’s raining (in case you hadn’t noticed, that happens a lot here!); the freedom to explore Singapore’s beautiful parks and nature reserves that aren’t easily accessible by public transport; in short the flexibility to do things entirely on your own schedule (or, if we’re being honest, your children’s schedules – the number of times a napping baby has made us late for something….).
With all this in mind, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite family car options in Singapore. Because though it may be fun to ogle those Lamborghinis and Porsches that are so ubiquitous here in the Little Red Dot, they’re not exactly practical when you’ve got little ones in tow.
If you’re curious what it’s like to drive a car in Singapore but aren’t sure about making the financial commitment, this brand new mobility service (just launched in 2018) is a fab way to give it a go: you can rent a range of the latest Audi models – including hatchbacks, family sedans, and SUVs – for anywhere from 4 hours up to 28 days. How cool is that?! Particularly since Audis rock (see our Instagram Stories for evidence of that!). Whether you need some space to get around with the kiddos or pick up some furniture, or you simply want to feel the exhilarating rush of zooming down the highway (within the speed limit, of course!), you should give Audi a go, mama!
Rates start from $76 for four hours or $152 for one day.
Audi Singapore, 281 Alexandra Road, Singapore 159938, www.audiondemand.com.sg
This super convenient website that covers all things car rental (as well as handy practical stuff like insurance) was founded back in 2010 by a team of folks who’d experienced first-hand the lack of transparency (and downright intimidating, utter confusion) of the car rental experience here in Singapore. They took it upon themselves to deliver a radically new experience for both first-timers and other car renters. At Drive.SG you’ll find over 50 rental partners and more than 250 cars to choose from. You’ll also get an exclusive $0 Insurance Excess Add-on and a Price Match Guarantee. Whether you’re after short term rental, long-term leasing, chauffer services or even wedding car rental, Drive.SG has got you sorted, mama. They also offer all sorts of special promotions throughout the year, so be sure to check back frequently to nab yourself a deal!
If you decide to go the leasing route, FULCO provides personalised service backed by the support of an authorised dealer. You’ll get 24/7 support for vehicle breakdown (such a huge perk), along with quick service for all vehicles and an immediate replacement vehicle in the event of a recall or servicing. FULCO also offers a wide variety of makes and models to choose from, and they even have doorstep viewing for your convenience so you don’t need to trek out to any garages or dealerships (which can be such a hassle when you’ve got kiddos in tow)!
Rates start from $1,400 per month for a one year lease.
Komoco Motors, the main distributor of Hyundai in Singapore (ever noticed how popular Hyundais are here, mama?) has just introduced the all-new Hyundai KONA 1.6 Turbo AWD and the KONA 1.0 Turbo Manual 2WD. Packed with turbocharged engines, the KONA represents Hyundai’s first foray into performance cars, while still working perfectly for mamas as the ideal urban lifestyle Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). It blends exceptional fuel efficiency with a super fun urban driving experience. We love how the KONA takes its name from the adventure-paced coastal region on the Big Island of Hawaii, which is a magnet for thrill-seeking travelers!
From $85,999 (for 1.0 Turbo Manual) and $124,999 (1.6 Turbo Automatic), inclusive of COE.
Hyundai KONA @ Komoco Motors Pte Ltd, 253 Alexandra Road #01-01, Singapore 159936, Tel: (+65) 6475 8888, www.hyundaimotors.com.sg
Got a big brood? If you do then you know taxis are an extra large hassle (how to travel comfortably with three kids + two adults?). Consider the Maxus G10 Executive the answer to your prayers, mama: it can fit 7 full-grown adults without compromising storage space. It’s also got a super handy assist rear boot, which rocks when both hands are full carrying kids, groceries, or anything else. It also offers a 10-inch large multimedia screen and an LED monitoring family entertainment system, meaning you’ll be driving around the happiest kids on the block (the Nivomat Rear Suspension – which provides an extra comfy fide – and six air vents – in contrast to the typical four – will also help with that!).
Cycle & Carriage Fulco Motor Dealer Pte Ltd, 22 Ubi Road 4, Singapore 408617, www.maxuscnc.sg
Wonder if Mitsubishi knows mamas the world over love to watch Outlander? No matter; this 7-seater Family SUV simply rocks! You’ve got your cool doohickeys like keyless operating system, power tailgate, 7 SRS Airbags and much more, of course. But where we truly fall in love is with the flexible seating configuration: both the second and third row of seats can be folded flat to accommodate sports gear, prams, luggage, and even bicycles – so key in a big, busy family! And at other times the third row can accommodate two extra passengers, which is ideal for family outings! Throw in smart technology such as Active Stability Control (ASC), a Multimedia Audio System with Apple CarPlay, an Eco Mode Switch – not to mention three years of free servicing, a 10-year engine warranty and 5-year unlimited mileage warranty – and we are positively smitten.
Dubbed the best car for families with children and pets, KODIAQ, ŠKODA’s first seven-seater large SUV takes the signature space and functionality of ŠKODA cars to a whole new level. Three rows of seats can comfortably seat seven people, while the second and third row of seats are actually foldable – offering a massive capacity of 2,005 litres in the boot! The 4-wheel drive performs great both on and off the beaten track (who’s ready for a Malaysia road trip?!) and its ‘Simply Clever’ features are little things you never knew you needed, making life on the road so much easier. There’s the cleverly designed Virtual Pedal feature which opens the boot simply by waving your foot underneath, a Phone Box (located in the front of the gear stick) that amplifies the signal for your mobile phone while charging it wirelessly and door edge protection that cover the edges of the doors, perfect for tight parking spaces!
ŠKODA Centre Singapore, 26 Leng Kee Road, Singapore 159104, Tel: (+65) 6305 8668, www.skoda.com.sg
Lead image sourced via Getty