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All We Need To Know About Car Leasing In Singapore

Inchcape addresses our burning queries about this increasingly sought-after method of private transport.
OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
23 Mar 2023

While the idea of full-on car ownership sounds ideal, adapting it into reality can be aspirational at best in Singapore. This comes as no surprise, given the extravagant prices of cars here, made even less attainable post-Budget 2023 announcement.

Inchcape Singapore might have only just started offering leasing options for its Pre-Owned Business, but in a recent interview with OneShift, they’ve gathered sufficient information for those sitting on the fence to decide if car leasing in Singapore suits their commuting needs.

OneShift [OS]: How has high COE in recent years impacted the car leasing business in Singapore? Have you seen an increase in leasing due to the high quantum needed to own a car?

Inchcape [IC]: Overall, we've seen an increase in leasing demand in recent years. Our leasing business has grown by more than 20% since H2 2022 and we believe it is primarily due to a shift in consumer attitudes.

Speaking with our customers, we've discovered that today's customers place higher value on usership. They are less concerned with necessarily owning a car and are focused on utility; having access to a vehicle.

[OS]: Why do you think the leasing culture in Singapore is not as prolific as in Europe or the US?

[IC]: In Europe or the US, it is common for customer cars to change hands around every three years. In Singapore, on the other hand, though customers are generally more open to leasing, there still remains a strong base of demand for ownership. Additionally, it is more common for customers to lease a car for private hire vehicle usage rather than personal use.

For customers who are keen to use a car, buying a used car is also another good alternative. This means lower out-of-pocket expenses than a new car of the same model.

[OS]: What is the single biggest draw for those looking to lease a car in Singapore?

The nature of leasing means customers have the flexibility to choose the car model they’d like to lease, and have the freedom to adjust the leasing duration according to their needs at various points in time. This convenience is the single biggest draw for people to lease a car.

[OS]: What is the single most common obstacle for those looking to lease a car in Singapore?

[IC]: Leasing a car in Singapore is generally fuss-free as there are a variety of options for customers. However, one of the drawbacks is that rental terms and conditions are sometimes more restrictive than car ownership, stipulating conditions like “Singapore driving only” or even the names of people covered by insurance.

At Inchcape, our car leasing provides drivers the option of driving out of Singapore to locations like Malaysia.

[OS]: What are some common misconceptions about car leasing in Singapore?

[IC]: The most common misconception is about potentially poor car hygiene because of usage by multiple people. This is not the case at Inchcape.

Our teams are committed to delivering premium service standards. Every car will be cleaned and sanitised, as well as subjected to stringent checks and quality assurance, in order to make it safe and pleasant for future leasers.

[OS]: What type of customers tend to opt for car leasing schemes in Singapore? What is the most common duration of lease?

[IC]: Expatriates make up a sizable portion of Singapore's car leasing community. These are people who have recently moved to Singapore or are only going to be here for a few months/years. Leasing is a more viable option for them because owning a car may not be cost effective.

Seasonal factors also come into play. Customers have leased cars for short periods of time to go on trips during the school holidays or the holiday season. They can choose the car model and duration based on their needs because leasing a car provides flexibility.

The most common duration of lease amongst our customers is 1 month up to 3 years.

[OS]: What are the top 3 most leased cars over the past year?

[IC]: Our most popular leased cars are the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Toyota Yaris Cross, Toyota Corolla Cross and Lexus ES.

Our car fleet allows customers to fulfill their needs for a variety of purposes. The Lexus ES luxury sedan, for example, has a striking design and excels in comfort. Customers tend to lease this car for business purposes.

On the other hand, customers choose cars such as the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid for its usability and family practicality (e.g. large space capacity). It is well-liked and a popular choice as a family SUV.

[OS]: Will the car leasing fleet at Inchcape be reviewed?

[IC]: Yes - and very comprehensively too. Every vehicle is subjected to a thorough 145-point vehicle inspection to ensure that it is in excellent working order. Some factors we consider are safety, interior and exterior condition, maintenance, and COE when determining the suitability of vehicles.

Inchcape has been part of Singapore’s motoring experience for over 50 years. Our teams are committed to upholding our promise of delivering excellent service and full support to our customers.

[OS]: Based on your estimation, what is the mileage per month for customers that lease cars?

[IC]: As different drivers are leasing cars for different purposes, mileage tends to vary. However, on average, we’re seeing that mileage per month for lease cars is slightly higher than normal usage, about 20 percent higher.

[OS]: Based on your estimation, what percentage of car leasing customers use the cars in Malaysia and beyond?

[IC]: Our observation is that an estimate of about 65% of leasing customers like to use the cars for short getaways to nearby destinations, such as Malaysia.

*Responses supplied by Inchcape


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