Despite the twin challenges of high driving costs and congestion, Singaporeans remain steadfastly enamoured with their cars. Add to those two issues the fact that we are a small island country, and you would imagine that annually we drive relatively short distances. But this is not the case. On average a Singaporean driver covers 20,000km each year – much more than the UK and Australia (10,825km and 14,000km respectively), and we even come close to the auto-obsessed USA, whose drivers manage 21,688km per annum.
Driving Down The Cost Of Motoring
In a country where space is limited and population demands keep on increasing, controls do of course have to be placed on cars. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways of cutting driving costs.
In a March article in the Straits Times, Richard Hartung suggested a number of measures that could reduce the cost of motoring and deal with congestion, one of which was replacing the COE (Certificate of Entitlement) with a per-usage system. Such a set-up would enable a driver to buy a ‘block’ of distance, say 20,000km, and then buy another when they had used that up. Hartung suggests this would reduce the propensity of drivers to use their vehicle at every opportunity – which arguably happens now because drivers pay such high sums under COE that they want to ‘get their money’s worth’. Under such a system, drivers would pay much less than the current COE arrangement.
In tackling congestion specifically, Hartung also suggested looking at better supporting car pools, car shares, rentals and taxi shares; he also tabled the idea of dissuading frequent use of cars by taxing parking space, upping the costs to the motorist further.
Drive Less, Pay Less
At DirectAsia.com we have an affinity with the notion of drivers paying for what they use. Indeed, our Low Mileage Car Insurance policy rewards drivers who drive less than 8,000km a year. That’s still enough to undertake numerous journeys throughout the year – plenty of school runs and shopping trips – but it makes a driver far less of a risk in terms of insurance. Shorter distances and less time on the road (less than half that of the Singaporean average) mean a low-use driver is much less likely to be involved in a big accident.
OPC Drivers Welcome!
Our popular Low Mileage Car Insurance is available to OPC (Off Peak Car) drivers (the ideal OPC insurance), as well as anyone who drives less than 8,000km per year. What’s more, if you use fewer than 8,000km, you can pass the balance over to next year’s policy.
Lower Costs, Less Congestion
If you show restraint as regards how you use your car, we at DirectAsia.com believe you should be rewarded. Under any distance-limited system, car owners and their family members still get to enjoy the freedom of the car, but have no reason to over-use it, which could contribute to congestion. But the ultimate benefit of Low Mileage Car Insurance is that it saves you money!
Data for distances driven:
UK (2010) www.gov.uk
Australia (2012) http://www.abs.gov.au/
USA: (2011) http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/
Singapore: Straits Times, 6 March 2013, Hartung.
Find out more on LTA’s revised Off-Peak-Car Scheme