Goldilocks First Servicing

Goldilocks' first servicing had me parted with $520 bucks yesterday. It was a big one, I got him to change every single belt in the car. He also replaced some gaskets and rings for the cam and crank and replaced all my spark plugs, to name some in the list. With that, Goldie should  (hopefully) last me a full year without going to the mechanic. I'll do the minor servicing myself along the way. I told John the mechanic his bill  represented 25% my car price. He laughed and told me sometimes older cars might not be worth the buy.

I disagreed with John and told him the cars that come in 5 figures would chalk up the same amount of maintenance cost eventually if you drive it long enough. If anyone thinks they can get away with selling the car at its 5th year or so, they are first car owners who haven't try selling their car off. Whether you take it to the car dealers or sell it privately, your respective buyers will knock off a few grand off the actually market value of the car. That difference will be as much as paying regular maintenance cost over the first 5 years if agreed to the price cut - which you don't have a choice not to because that is how the used car market works. If you choose not to sell your car after the first 5 years, then you'll be experiencing the similar maintenance frequency and cost to that old used car your friend, such as myself, drives.

People may tell me since maintenance cost squares off after the car is more than 5 years old, the new car buyer will still have a better deal, especially most dealers offer free servicing for the first x amount of km. Well, I cannot figure out why people use 'low maintenance' as justification to buying a new car. You are paying 5 figures for something aesthetically superior, installed with higher technology. That's where the money is going to. If you are paying big money for something that needs 'less maintenance', I must say that's a hefty price to pay. It's probably an advance payment for 10-15 years all in. By the way, tell me that you don't need to change your car tyres in the first 5 years or the dealer has covered you for that. Just a gentle reminder, the car isn't just a steering wheel and 4 tyres.

Another way to look at it is the depreciation of both situations. If you drive the $20k brand new car for 10 years, the depreciation is $2k per year. If you drive that $2k lau pok chia for 1 year and it breaks down, your depreciation is also $2k per year. If you have to buy another $2k lau pok chia to drive it for another year, only to see it break down in a year again, you'll chalk up $20k in 10 years doing the same thing. 

So what if the used car you bought doesn't break down in 1 year? I am not being biased here. I've been looking around the $2k used car market since I came to Perth. Many of these cars can easily last 3 years or more without major problems. What are the odds of having a car going legs up in 1 year for 10 consecutive years? Probably as high as winning 10 straight black jack hands in a casino. Perhaps we should look at the odds of a brand new car breaking down in the first 10 years. That easily swing the cost factor back to driving a lau pok chia. Yes, there isn't interesting gadgets and functionality of a modern brand new car but I can forgo all these. I had passed that age of seeing my car as a sex toy or something. It's just a transportation tool. Nothing against owners insisting of buying brand new cars. It's not personal here, it's just dollar and cents talk. I am not in a position to enjoy the luxuries yet. Maybe later, when I have earned my dues like everyone else.

John actually admitted I was right after I shared the calculations.


  1. people here are telling themselves (lying actually) that its ok to spend $1000-2000 per month on their brand new car for the next 10 years..

  2. I don't think average Singaporeans are able to afford $1k-$2K for installment.. not including other factors.

    "I had passed that age of seeing my car as a sex toy or something. It's just a transportation tool. Nothing against owners insisting of buying brand new cars. It's not personal here, it's just dollar and cents talk."

    Agree on this part. Comes certain age.. It's about transport rather than a toy.


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