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Market Watch: What Cars Can We Buy At Less Than S$850 Depreciation Per Month?

Car ownership in Singapore used to be a pipe dream for some - not for much longer with these more affordable examples…
Gerald Yuen
Gerald Yuen
05 Jun 2024

The car ownership structure in Singapore is highly unique - even if policies are in constant revision, it still leaves plenty to ponder for an island nation that houses an entire motor vehicle population of close to 1 million. Private cars alone account for more than half a million, which makes us wonder how much further taxes will climb given space constraints.

Naturally, the pendulum will swing towards brands to market cars in the more pricey end of the scale, making those made on a budget a tougher sell. After all, the price jump from a Toyota Altis to a compact luxury executive sedan like a BMW 318i in Singapore is around 40%, way less than in neighbouring markets that could easily record price differences of more than 100%.

That leaves only a small playing field for cars in the more affordable end of the spectrum. Pre-owned cars are ideal options because selections are diversified - age, brand, vehicle style: the buffet spread is larger than new cars, even more so if you’re not inclined to tread the fully electrified path just yet. These cars might be in their final flushes of youth, but their price points are enticing enough to make you think twice.

2009 Volkswagen Beetle

Depreciation: S$800 per month

You’d think that reimagining a MINI Cooper was tough, but VW wasn’t handed an easier assignment either when tasked with revising the iconic Beetle in the late 90s. A more familiar front-engined, front wheel drive layout was adopted, housed in a platform shared with the Mk1 Audi TT and Mk VW Golf.

It might look thoroughly modern back then, but design cues such as separate fenders, sloping headlamps and more noticeably the rounded roofline made sure that this reimagination won’t receive the shorter end of the stick.

2008 Kia Picanto

Depreciation: S$750 per month

In a recent feature we mentioned how self-charging hybrids made plenty of sense in Singapore’s urban sprawl. Equally important would be how cars are sized. If your daily driving does not require you to lug around bulky items, a compact car makes plenty of sense. They feel mostly light on their feet, sprightly, efficient and cheaper to run.

While the Kia Picanto isn't the last work in excitement, the “relevance-per-dollar” ratio when deployed on our streets is pretty much unmatched. Zero emission motoring isn’t in its dictionary, but we can also save the earth by extending lifespans of older cars!

2010 Nissan Teana

Depreciation: S$750 per month

Crossovers and compact SUVs might be dominating the market in terms of sales, but that doesn’t mean we should sweep other form factors under the carpet. Some hatchbacks are way more spacious than crossovers, and sedans handle much better than higher riding counterparts. The Nissan Teana sedan belonged to a different kettle of fish - it wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but it’s supremely comfortable.

Sofa-like rear seats and massive legroom on a platform shared with the 2011 Renault Laguna and 2022 Nissan Pathfinder further supports its versatility and longevity. If Nissan could stretch the brilliant R35 GT-R’s production for 17 years, who knows what other timeless tricks it could muster next.

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Browse Carousell Certified used cars here or if you need help with any part of the car-buying process, check out Carousell’s Car Buying Personal Assistant!

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