Saturday, 2 April 2016

Emotional farewell to my remarkable driving machine!

This is the article that I confess my lavishness, spending hundreds of thousands of my hard earned money on car in the last 12 years. I owned four cars during this period. The first and second were owned for two years each and they were second-hand Japanese cars. In the last eight years, I was driving continental brand new continental cars, the earlier one for three years and the most recent one for five years.

Earlier this week, I bid farewell the car I owned for the longest. Yes also the most posh and most expensive one. My wife is getting emotional as this is the car where my family has many fond memories with. It also carries a sentimental car plate number for my wife and me. And of course it is remarkably good car! It is a BMW 5. Nope not Bus, MRT, Walk.. but a brand new 5 series comes with V6 engine which I had drove for five years “flushing” petrol and money.

This article is definitely not my intention to brag about the car. Yet, I just want to share my feelings now compared to five years ago. I think I have grown wiser since then!

Why sell?

First and foremost, it is a sedan car. My family is getting bigger and a 7-seater is almost inevitable for us. Next, the amount of money drained per year is quite ridiculous. Since my job requires me to see clients, letting them see that you are driving big posh car is also not so appropriate. This is also why for many years I try not to let customers see my car, and not talk about the topic of cars. 

Another important factor is the “car image” thingy no longer appeal to me. A colleague said, this is because I had driven BMW now for many years already. I told him it is not true. Otherwise I would have wanted a better car each time. For instance, the moment I got a posh car, I will get tired of it after a short time and already start thinking about the next more posh car. This mindset will be never ending!

Nowadays I just want a car spacious enough for my family to fetch us from one point to another SAFELY. Of course the impending downturn plays a part in the selling also. This is why I already put up ad on selling the car since last year. Unfortunately it is the buyer’s market and I only got it sold until now.

Ignorance

In the past, I was ignorant and will keep upgrading my car when I had a pay rise or promotion. Or even when my “backside” started to gets itchy?

Ok, I was young once. Not just young, but also quite arrogant more than five years ago, since I am climbing fast in the corporate ladder and did earn some good money. Stupidly, I thought then, the car must match my status in work. Frankly, it is not necessary! Somehow the men’s ego infiltrates my mind back then and I am glad I realize today, it is no longer important to me!

Another reason why I bought the last two BMWs, the first being a 3 series is partly under the influence of my close friend of mine. Nope, do not be mistaken, not peer pressure. Instead one of the reasons was helping a friend hitting sales target, because he was the sales manager in PML then. In fact my first car was also purchase from another friend whose family is in car dealer business.

Ok, I am not a bleeding heart solely to help my friends. In return, my friends did give me unbelievably fantastic deals. In fact my brand new PML 3 was a “mere” 115k back then with many goodies bundled to it. Pardon me for using the word “mere”. I know I know I know…car in Singapore is bloody expensive. My intention is just to compare that in today’s car market, you can only get a modest type of car with the same amount paid.

Lastly, all my cars were required for my work as I received allowance for them. This alleviates some pain in the repaying of my installment.

No regrets

Well… if you ask me now, would I buy such an expensive car again if I were to relive my last 8 years? Hmmm…maybe not the 5 but just the 3 which is seriously already extremely good! All I can say is I probably will not spend so much wasteful money anymore.

Then again, I never regretted owning all my four cars as I enjoyed each and every moment in the time in these cars. And perhaps a good thing for my wife to brag is since she passed her license, she had never drives a car other than BMW!

One thing I must proudly proclaim or to advise is I have never allowed myself to fall into the trap of financial difficulty or having the need to slash other areas of my expenditure due to the ownership of cars! And this is an important criteria when you are considering buying a car.

The "so call" luxury

In retrospect, the buyer of my 5 series recently is a 25-26 year old, who used her mother’s income slip to apply for the car loan. The loan applied was more than 75% of the car price. Woohoo….

What is more remarkably is neither the age of the buyer, nor the high loan. It is how his mother’s loan application was REJECTED by every banks when the dealer (who is my friend), submitted all the required documents including income slip, credit history etc. The son pledged to be the guarantor, but it does not help either! The son mentioned that he had to use his mother’s name to borrow the money, because his revoked license was just lifted, and he might be slapped with exorbitantly high insurance premium. Not really a good reason for a young chap who was already driving a used Lexus. Eventually the loan was approved by a private financer at >4% interest!

Initially it was close to 5%, and he vents his anger on us without any fault of us. He then asked if I will ever accept such ridiculous interest rate. Deep down, my answer is, I am sure my loan application will have approved by the reputable bank rather than private financing company. Read:

And yes, he was wearing a shiny all-gold Rolex reflecting piercing light into my eyes when viewing my car. 

I was also quite shocked by how fast the son decided to pay the deposit after he seen the car, without even researching on all details of the car etc. It was perhaps love at first sight and that is all important. It is only after he paid the deposit, that he started asking me all these important details. And yes, even after taking over the car, he still probed me on various details of the car, which most buyers should have already checked prior to buying.

Rolf’s Thoughts

The whole sale was not as smooth, nonetheless it was through! Now I feel lighter on my shoulders and sort of back to basic. I am renting a simple car for now to suit my working needs. I had already driven two different loaned cars now, and I must say I did kind of miss the drive and comfort of my old car. But no regrets. For now, I will take my time to look for my next vehicle, but hopefully I can get a company car which will solve my problems once and for all.

My daughter asked : Papa why you need to change car, I like the car leh!  Duh! 


20 comments:

  1. I know the feeling Rolf, but I live a much more peaceful life now without car loan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Yaruzi,

      I read your story too and understand your peacefulness now. For my work and family, I do need a car.

      Delete
  2. Rolf,

    You must be the first blogger to share not only "adjustment" of his portfolio for whatever may come, you also "lightening" your personal assets!?

    Selling your car because you can is not the same as selling it because you "have to".

    Now this is not planning ahead. (That's a superficial level skill)

    This is exercise in foresight!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Hi Jared,

      Ur compliments is appreciated, but a bit over-heightened! hehe...

      For some (likely not many financial blogger here), when they are younger in the society, they tend to "add" assets/loans in order to spur them to be more driven. Although it may be not so ideal, because the drive must be from within, yet, it is at least better than finding an "escape" route from work.

      As long as there come to a point where we realize what is truly the priority, and like what u say, not as if u "have to", it should be fine.

      Of course it should not be a stage when u r already in deep shit and no return. And more importantly, it should not compel your poor parents who seriously cannot afford to fork out the sum, just because they love u!

      The feeling of gradual lightening for me is great, but I do not want to be completely lightened for now, as I still want to have some burden to spur me, in case somehow I lose drive and be complacent. :-)

      Delete
  3. Rolf,

    Initially after reading your headline, I thought u scrap the car totally...

    Although I never had a BMW, I also backside itchy and I know actually what u meant.

    I said no more car when 10 years is up, my wife damn pissed off.

    I said ok. We renewed the car, she said ok, but if coe low by new one ok.

    So I actually hope COE dun go below 30k

    I rather have 1 debt less for 5 years

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi SI,

       For a 5 year old car, it is not economical to scrap. I did know some “pi mao” about cars since I was quite involved in cars when younger and even manage to sell and earn commission. To scrap a car, normally it is 10 years after COE in SG or you must see how much the PARF and car body value you can take back.

      There is also a formula to calculate for used car, after you purchase how long you can break-even before selling. Hence, having a car loan is not so scary as long as you know how to do the sums correctly and know more about cars!

      Frankly renewing COE is not so economical in SG, considering the road tax and insurance. If you are not into buying new car, you can go for car that is left 1-2 or 3 years. Buying a car not necessary need to have a car loan if you can pay down full or depend “how many years” car you buy.

      Why in debt? LOL! If COE down, used car price will drop also.

      Anyway, having a car is not a crime like sometimes I sense many are trying to portray. Having debt that you are unable to service is not good, likewise bring money into coffin is also not good.

      If a car can bring happiness to your wife and your family, why not? Sometimes, we need to give right?

      Delete
    2. Not literally scrap La, Rolf,

      I mean do without.

      I did do some calculations and think take 2-3 years car might be cheaper.

      But i drove my car for 8 years and (finger crossed), has not been giving me much problem, when u buy 8 year old car from someone else is...

      I know u can go for inspection, but I wonder how good is it... I will most prob do a through inspection at my 10th year to see if it's worthy to renew

      To be honest, if I can dump 50K one go, maybe I can be in that situation u mention, but I dun have 50k for a car... Hehehe

      The 5 years debt free will be saved for a "car" lol. I in mid lift sandwich crisis now... Parents .... Need my finance resources

      Delete
  4. Congrates.
    The wants is always greater than the needs ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Oldman,

      Agree, especially in a city-like meritocratic Singapore.

      Delete
  5. Is a wise move, better late than never.U will notice a great increase in ur saving w/o a car.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dividend Town,

      I still need a car for my job and my family and frankly for my character who like to visit many places and sneak out at night to have coffee with friends.

      Yes, the savings will be very good, but apparently it will trade off for additional burden in feeding a big family.

      Delete
  6. Hi Rolf,

    Yeah! Got new car to drive ;) Old one didn't go, new one cannot come! I recently changed a new old car also, and am very pleased with the trade. I'm sure with your job perks, there must be some allowance for transport to offset your expenses.

    Do blog about your feelings in downgrading or upgrading of your car haha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi LP,

      Yeah! Happy that you are pleased with the trade and with the new old car.

      Like u, I will consider only new old car for now. And depreciation per year ideally to be within 12k, so that my transport n petrol allowance can at least cover effectively. And perhaps those that left with 1-3 yrs so that my commitment is more flexible/economical in case I choose to sell or stop owning a car!

      New car buyer normally have to pay for the Import tariffs etc since the parf is eventually transferred to the used car owner who finished the 10 year. So a used car is more economical in this sense, unless for new car, u r cash rich and intend to finish driving ten years! But that essentially also mean u r tied to a depreciating asset for ten years!

      I will downgrade in brand and amount spent, but upgrade in Size and no. of seats! So that per trip spent can fetch more people.

      Maybe that is how We find value! :-)

      Delete
  7. BMW 2 Gran Tourer comes with 7 seats. Itchy now? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Twinhills,

      Tks for the great recommendation. Great minds think alike!

      In fact a friend of mine just got it and frankly I think that is a good deal as far as depreciation p.a (if u finish driving 10yrs) for a Bimmer! But the down payment n the need to finish driving so many yrs is not tasty,

      The fuel consumption is one of the best in it's class. I did got a really good offer from PML.

      But itchy is one thing, I already disciplined myself that I am gg to spend more money on car anymore for at least the next many years other than the allowance company pay me!

      Delete

  8. drove for five years “flushing” petrol and money.

    well, go for the i8. you dont flush that much petrol... hahah... joking..
    its a good move, cars in sgp is an liability..
    i have resisted the urge for a car for the longest time...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi FC,

      you are not wrong! If charging point become more convenient in Sg, I will definitely want to get a Tesla one day!

      Car is a big liability! But as I mentioned, I need it for work and because company is paying for my car, petrol n parking allowance so I will not really feel the pinch as much if I get a more economical car!

      And if you think that having a car will bring u more happiness in gg to places "more ulu" less crowded with ur love ones n ability to save time for u to meet more close friends/relatives, then maybe the trade off is good.

      If u just have a car to drive from home to work n vice versa, then better take B (bus) M (MRT) or W (walk)!

      Need to understand ur own or ur family needs, more important than the money sometimes! :-)

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete