Continental or Japanese: What Car is Right for You?
Continental and Japanese cars are among the top choices for Singaporeans looking to buy a new car. Both types have their own loyal fan bases depending on brand or origin. There are some stark differences between Continental and Japanese cars in regards to performance and price. In this article, DirectAsia Insurance will help you break down the differences between each type of car to make you come to a decision faster and easier.
Continental cars refer to the automobiles manufactured in continental Europe. The most popular continental cars in Singapore often come from countries like Germany, Italy, and France. It is common knowledge among Singaporeans that continental cars are more expensive because of higher import taxes. Despite having higher selling prices, popular continental car brands such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, and Volvo are synonymous with luxury, high quality comfort, and superior engineering. These brands, especially for high end models, are known for producing excellent engines.
Japanese cars, on the other hand, are more economical compared to continental cars. Since they are easier to ship to Singapore and have lower engine capacities, Japanese cars generally have more affordable excise duties and road taxes. Apart from its affordability, Japanese cars are known for their efficiency and reliability. New car owners will also enjoy the fact that Japanese cars are easier to maintain. Parts and services for Japanese cars can easily be acquired in Singapore.
Road tax should also be a factor when choosing between a continental and a Japanese car. It is after all, a recurring cost. Road tax is calculated depending on the engine capacity, vehicle scheme, propellant used, and the road tax start date. The most popular car make for both types is the sedan. Based on the bestselling brands for both car types within the same COE category (the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Toyota Camry), we calculated how much the road tax would cost for the two vehicles. Both running on petrol with the same road tax start date, the Mercedes-Benz C180 Exclusive got an annual road tax of $740 while the Toyota Camry 2.5 got an annual road tax of $1792. With an engine capacity (cc) of 2,494, the Toyota Camry is one bracket higher than the Mercedes-Benz C180 with an engine capacity of only 1,595. Within a 10 year COE term, a Toyota Camry owner will spend an extra $10,520 on road tax. This is a significant expense that you also have to consider.
What is the right car for you?
When choosing between a Japanese and continental vehicle, it all comes down to your budget and your preference.
Despite continental automobiles having a reputation of being a luxury purchase, most continental car owners think that the additional expense is well worth it. Most car owners praise continental vehicles for the high class interiors, striking exterior body, and great handling on the road. Excellent engines and safety are also key reasons why car buyers are drawn to continental vehicles. Plus, with a lower engine capacity, some continental cars can get significant savings on road tax as compared to Japanese cars in the same category. The only downside is that because continental automobiles generally have more expensive spare parts and require specialist services, they demand higher auto insurance in Singapore. But with regular car maintenance, continental car owners can avoid serious car problems. Continental vehicles are perfect for individuals that have the budget and want all the premium features associated with it.
There are quite a lot of Singaporean car buyers that are drawn to Japanese cars too. In fact, according to the LTA, Japanese car brands are among highest number of newly registered vehicles in Singapore. Japanese automobile brands like Toyota, Honda, and Mazda make up 50 percent of all the newly registered vehicles in Singapore for the first half of 2016. Apart from the obvious savings, the resale value of Japanese cars is another factor on why car buyers choose Japanese cars over continental vehicles. If you have a limited budget or you are planning to sell the car in the future, then buying a Japanese car is definitely the way to go.
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1 Compared to leading car insurers. 16% of DirectAsia customers would save $300 or more compared to the estimated average premium across leading insurers.
2 Cheapest based on average price based on more than 12,000 cases.