The Moving Royal Estate


It is no secret many of us love cars, some more crab-crazed than the rest. We don't even know why we do. It's almost .... like there is an inbuilt gene in us that triggers a searing instinct to act, to get one of these slick moving metal in our possession. It remains one of the world mysteries.

The little love affair may have started when a baby boy is introduced his first wheeled toy. Soon enough, he realises his beautiful new toy makes him go faster and receive adulation from his parents for riding it right.

So often, car marketing revolves around a man and his car having the world to himself, with his trusty metal companion assisting him to negotiate the wild elements of nature in fine fashion. To men, the car represents a symbol of freedom, a mysterious puzzle, potentiality, profound satisfaction and a mediation sanctuary. That is why men love their cars.

In Singapore, the car offers an additional representation - societal status. It is a podium of life, a goal to work tenaciously for. Better yet, we get to drive the trophy around and feel mighty fine about it. Just imagine if our athletes walk all around town with their SEA games gold medals on their necks long after their incredible feats in the arena. Odd. Not for our cars.... our cars are timeless trophies.

If you have not already notice a big chunk of infographic on the left, take a look now and you'll note that someone kindly worked out for us that a car will cost us $365,257 for the full 10-year run. When I read that, my erection dropped and all the romantic fantasies I wrote in the above paragraphs faded quickly. 

Some say practical Singaporeans are practical but the evidence on our roads is implying differently. It doesn't take a genius among us to figure out a $365k can buy ourselves a 99 years lease agreement that allows us to live in reasonably safe concrete shelters. Then why God, why?

Sure, a car can provide a man everything we want and more. Or is it? Most definitely, we can have sex in our cars. With our debt level twice as high as our height and twice as wide as our paunch, with whom do we have sex in our cars other than the right hand, I do not know? Besides, unlike the trusty HDB flat, there isn't anywhere to wash up after the deed, unless the smell of sex is your idea of scenting up your car. How fun is washing up at the public toilets otherwise?

Oops, I forgot we can have the cake and eat it in Singapore. Why not a HDB flat on a 30 year loan and a car on a 10 year loan? But why not a fully paid up HDB flat and no car, living off your whole flat rental relac-one-corner at a cosy hut in a kampong in one of our neighbouring countries? With some luck, you may even find out that Fandi Ahmad is your neighbour and you may get to uncheck another life achievement by having a kickabout with Fandi.

I find it hard to disagree that having a car open up a portal of possibilities for a man. The key here is context. Our context is Singapore, where the opening of such a portal closes up several other portal of possibilities behind us. Our dream steel cage ironically enslaves us where it is meant to brings us freedom to the road.

Even in Perth, I noted with interest how Singaporeans flock to the car yards and grab a car without even test driving it. The recommended drive away price of a similar 2014 BMW 316i is $59, 342.99. It is not that much of a difference to Singapore's $80,000. The other components of running the car will be somewhat similar over 10 years. The notable difference is that you can still drive that car on your 11th year without paying for a permit but face it, you'll hardly find any of our kind who wants to be seen standing beside a 11 year old car, let alone driving it. Thus the key difference is the $60,000 COE and nothing else. Is that a reason strong enough to buy a car like that the first thing you do when you land in Australia? I'll leave the $2,000 car vs new car debate to another day.

The $60,000 COE is a key reason NOT to buy a car in Singapore though. Consider someone who drives a car in his 20s to his retirement (70s), he will have 5 COEs receipts in his pockets. That works out to be a cool $300,000 just for the permission to drive. Slavery as the price of freedom? If that makes any sense to you.


  1. Suggest you look at the actual calculation carefully

    I wouldn't want Albany to learn to count from these buggers.

    Sure, the cost is very big, but this is certainly the wrong calculation.

    1. Feel free to share what you dispute in detail

    2. Last three items shd be excluded, double-counted.

    3. Last three items shd be excluded, double-counted.

  2. Only if you drive a satki black vios then it is worth it