Here’s a reminder: if possible don’t purchase a car in Singapore unless it’s absolutely necessary, not unless you have plenty of money. Owning a car in Singapore is very expensive. A lot of taxes and schemes have been set up by the government perhaps in order to deter citizens and residents from buying one.
You may ask why. You need to keep in mind Singapore is not very huge. To prevent traffic jams, it’s very important the government can control how many vehicles are plying in the streets. For example, they are implementing the vehicle quota system and certificate of eligibility, which means unless you’re a holder of a COE, you cannot drive your car in the country. Once you have the COE you can use it for only 10 years.
The country also has the electronic road price scheme, which is a pay-per-use tactic. All vehicles are attached with a special gadget that will calculate how much you’re going to pay.
Besides these you need to customs duty which is equal to 31 percent of the value of the vehicle, as well as road tax. On top these all, you need to get a car insurance coverage. You cannot drive your car even if you have a COE if you cannot present a car insurance policy.
Types of Insurance Policies
There are three known motor insurance policies in Singapore. These are called comprehensive, third party only, and third party fire and theft.
The best kind of policy you can obtain is the comprehensive coverage. As its name implies, it covers your vehicle in almost anything, from collision, fire, theft, and a whole lot more. You can even obtain coverage wherein you can claim compensation if a third party dies, suffers an injury or disability, or gets his vehicle damaged perhaps after a collision.
The third-party only coverage means that you can file a claim if the third party meets injuries, experiences damage in his or her vehicle, or if the person dies. Somewhat related to this kind of insurance is the third party fire and theft, which is basically the same with the third-party only except you get additional protection in cases of theft and fire.
How to Assess
Getting a car insurance policy is not as simple as filling out a questionnaire and getting ready to pay out the premiums. There are also qualifications used by the insurance companies to determine how much coverage they can extend to you, how much you will pay as a premium, and how long the coverage will last.
Normally the vehicle itself is used as a factor. Those that are often charged with high premium are used vehicles since they may need more maintenance than the new ones, as well as classy or sophisticated cars. They are highly susceptible to theft, and repairs for damages can be pretty expensive. Mileage will also be a criterion.
How the vehicle is utilized also matters. Those that are always on the road, such as for commercial or corporate use, are slapped with a high premium, as they are prone to accidents.
You will also be assessed. The older you are, the lower your premium will be. This comes from the assumption you’re a better driver than the younger ones. However, if you’re sickly, you may have to pay more for your premium. Female drivers, interestingly, can look forward to lower premiums since they are viewed as more careful drivers than the males.
If you have been driving for years and have not filed a claim or been issued tickets or arrested, then you’re in luck. It’s easier for you to negotiate for a very low premium. Lastly, you have the coverage. Of course, the more features and benefits you can obtain, the higher the premium can be.
How to Save Cash on Car Insurance
1. Present your no-claim discount. This is more applicable if you have brought a car from your previous country. A no-claim discount means that if you have not filed for a claim for a number of years, usually 5 years, you can avail of a discount for your premium. That would mean huge savings at your end.
2. Choose your car insurance coverage wisely. These days the best bet will still be comprehensive as it protects your car for all trouble. Moreover, because many are opting for it, the cost for it has dropped down significantly in the recent years.
3. Know where to get it. What most motor vehicle owners do is to ask around, asking for recommendations. One of the best places to ask for help is the Automobile Association of Singapore.
4. Be a good driver. Maintain a clean driving record, and you have a much higher chance to ask for a lower rate the next time you renew your policy.