And yes, on Cars. Dad came around one day with mum asking about plans for our next new family car. Despite all his talk on Renaults previously, he was considering the 2006-2007 1.6L Mitsubishi Lancer which is going for a dirt cheap $43,000 with COE at C&C, which is close to half of how much we paid for our current 1.5GLi Toyota almost 10 year ago with it’s COE expiring in a few years time. To dad, “a car is a car which gets people from point A-B and B-A, any other questions asked? and no, we do not need a convertible….”
This decision came about after serious considerations whether into continuing maintaining our 9 year old car which will needs an expensive overhaul for inspection soon or just scrap it and get a new one after this Chinese New Year? I suggested the standard Subaru Impreza 1.6 going at around the same affordable price. But as dad as dad, who had previously worked for Subaru and always bragged about how good their flat fours are, amazingly did not want to own a Subaru this time! And neither would be a Toyota, Hyundai, Mini, Volkswagon, Ford, Datsun (and the list goes on…) as he had owned them all first hand before, even before I was born! and wanted something different this time. But didn’t he own a Mitsu before when I was a kid?, “”that previous one was a resale”, he said… *collapse*
Another contender in the sub $43,000 priced car would be the 2nd most common car in Singapore – The Nissan Sunny 1.6L, (with the Lancer in Third and the Toyota Corolla in First). But if my eyes don’t fail me the new 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer is really pretty though, it’s like a cross between the old Mitsu Gallant and Volvo front styling, totally niffy. The thing I heard that variants starts at 1.8L up to the 2.4L in the 2008 Lancer EVO X. So the $43,000 price tag might not stay especially for a 1.8L.
However, realistically speaking, I actually do not need a car, it’s more of a want – something that almost all guys will spend on their first contact with big bucks. Even if one may argue driving a car allows you to take the shortest possible route to your destination (in my case most school and town), thus saving time. But if I get to drive one to school, the shortest route I will be taking is the exalt same route my bus takes me to school everyday. Same for town and such, it just IMPOSSIBLE to find a parking lot in the city – Let be wasting at least 30mins to even an hour waiting or trying to look for one, where all I need is a short bus trip from home to town and back.
In the Singaporean context, the car functions more of a social status as our very commendable network of public transport fully substitutes it in terms of it’s basic function relating to personal transport, contrary to other larger countries. Furthermore, with bus lane rules are getting stricter with dedicated lanes as well & so are rising fuel prices & taxes, pollution & stricter emission controls, things don’t look good & does not justify the perceived “good”.
Furthermore, we can fully exploit the opportunity cost of the money saved from buying a car – we can do alot with it like investing it or use it to fund further studies, so as mum hinted occasionally.
Though one can argue that a car is an invaluable resource at times of critical need and emergencies, I guess that only comes out of the blue where the true value of owning a car really shines. But there are vehicles called “Taxis” as well. Mmmm
Well I can’t deny that if I can afford it, I would still buy a car, in fact I was torn between the support for green cars, namely the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid, but the price ($80,000-$100,000) cannot justify itself where I can get another equivalent sized saloon of the same capacity at even less than half the price.
Besides that, I always have a soft spot for convertibles as well. For the record, the 800,000th Mazda MX-5 ($90,000) has recently rolled out of the factory, maintaining in the Guinness Book of Records as the fastest selling most affordable 2 seater convertible. For me, a 2007 BMW E93 Cabriolet Hardtop Convertible 325i ($200,000) is what I can realistically dream for.