SINGAPORE: When a local Reddit user asked if having your own car is a luxury in Singapore, many commenters said, “of course.”
“With all those claims on how great our public transport is, is owning a car really just a luxury here? For those who are expected to ‘need’ a car like those with young kids/ elderly parents or whose jobs need them to move around much but yet don’t own a car, is it possible to rely 100% on public transport or grab to meet all your needs?,” wrote u/LiveLaughLovesg on r/askSingapore on Tuesday (Jul 11).
The Global Wealth and Lifestyle Report 2022 called Singapore the most expensive city in which to buy a car, given the price one pays for road tax, insurance premiums, parking, petrol, maintenance and repairs.
A CNA report from earlier this year said it may be more expensive each month to be a car owner than a parent in Singapore.
Little wonder, then, that many Reddit users who answered the post said yes, it is a luxury.
“It’s so crazy when people ask if it’s “possible” when that’s how the majority of the population lives without owning a car. The possibility of even owning a car is much lesser than the possibility to rely 100% on public transport to meet your needs,” wrote one.
“Of course it’s a luxury item. Nobody starved or froze to death in Singapore because they didn’t own a car. It just makes life convenient and efficient – how much more depends on the individual,” chimed in another.
“Of course it’s a luxury. Just eyeball the stats: 1/3 of all households have cars. Close to half (~48%) of all households have children. Considering that some of those who have cars do not have children because it’s more for work or just have the dough, there should be a majority of households with children without cars, and they are getting by just fine,” a commenter added.
One wrote, “With the COE higher than I can pull up my underwear, of course it’s a luxury! If you have no family commitments, go public.”
To this, one replied, “If you have family commitment , use taxi regularly …surprise surprise it’s still cheaper that way.”
“Always has been. It’s only due to the advent of cheap credit that cars became more accessible. Ur present elderly took public transport to Si Pai Po with their elderly in their time,” wrote another.
One parent, however, wrote that it’s a necessity for them.
“It’s a need for me. A necessity. I have three children. My second born has special needs and we have endless appointments. It makes more money sense + convenience to ferry him to and fro. I am also a teacher and give tuitions everyday. To ferry myself in a short period of time between houses – a car makes more sense. It’s not as if grab/taxi is cheap. Plus, we have endless commitments that require us to travel a lot.”
Another chimed in that it “Depends on your job.”
Send in your scoops to firstname.lastname@example.org