Buy These Used Cars In 2024 Before It’s Too Late

Buy These Used Cars In 2024 Before It’s Too Late

Gerald Yuen
Gerald Yuen
21 Feb 2024

The nature of how COE works in Singapore always draws us to the realisation that time is ticking, fast. Renewal for another cycle means parting with a sizable chunk of cash, just to drive it legally for another 5 or 10 years. It’s a hard hitting truth we’ve tried to sweep under the carpet, but one decade in car terms (especially in Singapore) comes at us faster than the speed of sound.

Was 2014 a good year to buy cars?

To call 2014 uneventful is doing it a disservice. Eurozone economies were at the brink of another collapse, new “Cold War” fears surfaced, and oil prices slumped to USD$60 per barrel at the end of 2014. While direct consequences often take time to align, we knew for a fact that COEs spiked before softening in the tail end of 2015. Cat B COE in April 2014 was S$84k, with Cat A sneaking up close at S$77k. New cars were a tough sell in 2014, no doubt, but those who could afford to splurge continued to buy cars that matched their level of satisfaction (and desirability).

Why should we buy used cars registered from 2014 to 2016?

If you are eyeing a used car registered in 2014, shortlists should be more definite by now. Some will head to the scrapyard upon deregistration of COE, arguably driving prices / annual depreciations of what’s left higher if current owners decide to renew them. If the car is registered from 2015 to 2016, that leaves you around a year or two to decide if the car’s worth a fresh injection of COE. So current owners might not take advantage of time pressure to drive up the car’s value. It’s a unique structure we’re dealing with, apart from other factors like the car’s mileage, condition and servicing intervals…

Volkswagen Golf R (Mk7)

The Mk8 Golf R was sublime, but it had the Mk7 to thank. It was so much lighter on its feet than the Mk6, so much so that it ruffled the feathers of big guns more than twice its price. Launched in 2014 before undergoing a facelift in 2017, it was pretty much in a league of its own, blending searing pace and usability to perfection in a period where the R/F56 MINI Cooper JCW was too niche and Audi RS 3 only available 2nd hand (8P-gen discontinued in 2013, before a revival in 2016). Hot hatches were in their prime nearly a decade ago, and the pre-facelift Mk7 Golf R proves just that.

BMW 7 Series (F01/02)

The 5th-gen BMW 7 Series had many firsts - it was available as a hybrid (ActiveHybrid 7), first 7er with an 8-speed auto and first luxo-barge to house a turbocharged V12. Sure, none of these would have made sense if you can’t buy one now. But all these pale in comparison to one important factor - styling. An escape route to a Bangle-era reign (E65/66) that lasted a good 8 years. A facelifted F02 740Li with its silky smooth 3-litre straight six, some would argue, was all you ever needed for long haul chauffeur duties. A couple are on Carousell’s used car classifieds - snag them now if you don’t fancy the larger grilles of its G11 successor.

Toyota GT 86 / Subaru BRZ (first-gen)

Although production for the first-gen 86 / BRZ concluded in 2021, local distributors ceased deliveries in mid 2015 for the 86. BRZ deliveries continued through the mid 2010s in Singapore, but their niche appeal meant prospective buyers will find slim pickings. Most have been worked on, while a rare few remain fairly untouched. A distress call amplifying its soon-to-be-extinct status was sent in late 2022, but this really is the final call. It lacks the outright punch of its GR86 successor, but dynamically it’s spot on.

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