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Buying a used car in Singapore Where to go and why - Part One

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Driving a new car in Singapore can feel like riding around in an open wallet with dollar bills flying everywhere. If you want to avoid that feeling, buying a used car may be better therapy.

In the past, you would have gone straight to your nearest used car dealer. Mission accomplished. Now, there are classified ads, forums and websites. In other words, choice. But with choice comes more than one question.

The car team at Budget Direct Insurance is here to provide the answers you need.

What if I want…?

1. The most choice for the least amount of effort

If this is your goal, a good used car dealer is a good option. It’s the quickest way to see a range of cars within your budget. And if you take a friend who knows about cars (or a tame mechanic), you could check the car over and make a deal the same day.

“Based on their wide network of sources, some used car dealers are also able to attain different types of cars such as trade-ins to give customers what they want.”

Try to hit used car lots around the end of the month. Car dealers are targeted on sales, with monthly commission incentives near, you are more likely to negotiate a higher discount.

2. The most car for the least money

You can buy the used car of your dreams at auction via a bidding system. Auction cars are normally repossessed from those who cannot keep up their monthly loans. The auction is a way for the finance companies to make good some of their losses.

“In Singapore, car auctions are usually conducted via closed bidding where bids are to be faxed in. Normally, there is no third party involved in the auction and interested buyers are usually able to view the cars before the auction, but no test drives are allowed.”

Cars sold at auction are cheaper than buying at a used car dealer. And if you are looking for a vintage car at a reasonable price, this may be the way to go.

Be aware that rebuilt and otherwise damaged cars can also be sold at auction. The cars do not normally have warranties and you will need to obtain affordable car insurance. Be sure to do your research before you bid.

3. The car no one else will have

If you are looking to be the person driving Steve McQueen’s Bullitt Mustang or you want to import your own car, here are the legal requirements -

  1. Compliance with Singapore’s Road Traffic Act Rules
  2. Registration inspection at LTA centre
  3. Safety glass to LTA standards
  4. Exhaust emission to NEA standards
  5. Right-hand drive
  6. Approved safety belts
  7. LTA approved car modifications
  8. Asbestos-free clutch and brake linings
  9. CFC-free air-conditioners
  10. Speedometer in km/h
  11. Less than three years old
  12. Payment surcharge of $10,000 for each imported used car in Singapore

LTA self-importation and registration guidelines here.
Phew! You must really want that car...

For more tips on where to buy a used car in Singapore, look out for the second post in this series.

Budget Direct Insurance
No-Nonsense, money saving cover for your car

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