Monday, November 14, 2011

Some Singaporeans turn to vans as car prices soar

When businessman Solomon Tang, 37, was shopping for a compact runabout for his mother-in-law recently, he bought a Renault Kangoo van.

It may not be the last word in sleekness, but at around $70,000 brand new, the 1.5-litre diesel van was far cheaper than some of the cheapest passenger cars. An entry-level Toyota sedan, the Vios 1.5, for instance, costs $100,000.

Mr Tang said of the van: 'It's more practical than a car. And it runs on diesel, so you save quite a lot.'

With cars at near record prices - thanks to a limited supply of certificates of entitlement - buyers have begun looking at cheaper options.

  • A brand new Renault Kangoo costs around $70,000. An entry-level sedan like the Toyota Vios 1.5, in comparison, costs $100,000
  • A 2.5-litre turbo-diesel Navara double-cab pick-up, which seats five adults comfortably, costs slightly over $100,000
  • A 2006 Avery, a 660cc petrol van, sells for $25,000 to $28,000
  • Commercial vehicles have low scrap value
  • They have a 70kmh speed limit
  • They have higher insurance premiums - $1,500 for a mature driver with a 50 per cent no-claims bonus, compared to $1,000 for a mid-size car
  • Installing a sofa seat in the rear is illegal

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