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How to get a cheaper car service in Singapore



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It’s hardly a news flash: Owning a car in Singapore is expensive.

Canny car owners save money where they can, and servicing is one area where there are savings to be made – with some caveats.

After analysing quotes for car servicing from three major workshops, independent consumer researchers ValuePenguin found that the total cost of getting your car regularly serviced over a period of five years (translating to approximately 100,000 kms) would cost $2,640 on average.

For the purposes of this study researchers excluded luxury cars, which incur even higher costs, and stuck with cars from two of Singapore’s favourite brands: Toyota and Honda.

It was found that on average, a regular servicing is recommended in intervals of every 10,000 kms or every six months (whichever comes sooner), and costs about $188. Major servicing that involves the replacement of more expensive parts costs an average of $425.

Here’s what the maintenance schedule for a Toyota Corolla Altis at the Borneo Motors workshop looks like:

Total Mileage

10,000 kms

20,000 kms

30,000 kms

40,000 kms

50,000 kms

60,000 kms

Type of Service

Regular

Major

Regular

Major

Regular

Major

Estimated Cost

S$253

S$368

S$253

S$368

S$253

S$368

You can save money, however, by going to third-party workshops.

These may be small, independent operators, or part of a larger chain, such as AutoSaver but it found the difference in price between the authorised dealers and AutoSaver could be significant:

workshop comparison

It’s worth considering for the savings, but it is also important to note that dealership workshops tend to offer reliably high-quality service as well as servicing packages with maintenance schedules made specifically with your car model in mind. Also they’re more likely to have the parts you need in stock.

On the other hand, they tend to be the most expensive.

For example, the total average cost of servicing a Honda over the course of 100,000 kms of use or five years at its authorised distributor, Kah Motor, is $3,686 (prices vary depending on the model). Servicing a Toyota over the same timespan/total mileage at its dealership, Borneo Motors, costs S$3,582 on average.

So you could save S$1,300 on average over five years of Honda ownership or $1,400 on Toyota ownership by having your car serviced at AutoSaver. There are potentially even greater savings to be had from an independent workshop, but be aware that there are some unscrupulous operators out there, and those savings could turn out to be illusory.

To conduct this study, researchers surveyed 107 individual service package prices from Kah Motor (affiliated with Honda), Borneo Motors (affiliated with Toyota) and AutoSaver (third party workshop). Our averages reflect the mean of the quoted cost of regular maintenance for each model of vehicle serviced by the three workshops surveyed. It  selected AutoSaver to contrast with Borneo Motors and Kah Motor as it services both Honda and Toyota vehicles and is a well-known third party workshop chain with locations throughout Singapore. These three workshops were also selected for their transparency, as they are among the few workshops in Singapore that openly list the cost of their service packages on their webpages.

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