The view on car ownership in the pandemic.
Car ownership – in an ideal situation, many of us may picture the freedom to travel any time we want. But is the reality closer to spending hours at workshops waiting for your vehicle to be serviced, where car ownership ends up becoming a barrier to freedom. After close to two years of having our movement restricted, and with many experiencing financial strain, freedom and flexibility matter more than ever – and this includes taking an honest look at car ownership.
To better decide if buying a car is the right choice during covid-19 or after, let’s check out car sharing platforms as the way forward for anyone who values savings and convenience.
No down payment
New car buyers typically need at least RM3,000 for the down payment. If you had invested RM3,000 into bitcoin 3 years ago, it would be worth more than RM15,000 today. Or even if you had let it compound in an index fund at 8% per annum, you would double your money in 9 years. On the other hand, your RM3,000 plus all your monthly installments will be worth close to zero after driving your car for 9 years. And that is why the technology of car sharing platforms such as SOCAR and TREVO is the big equaliser to close the asset gap.
No additional costs
Owning a car means being bogged down by monthly installments. Consider if you were to buy a Proton X70 Executive 2WD on a seven-year loan.
All this for a car that you may drive less than 40 hours a month. RM2,500 split over 40 hours averages out to RM62.50 for every hour of driving – quite the hefty investment indeed.
Guess how much it’ll cost to drive an X70 by the hour on SOCAR? RM21.90 per hour. And this is without the hassle of you having to remember to pay your monthly installments and insurance renewals and being responsible for sending your car to the workshop.
You still pay, even if you don’t use the car
If you own a car, you’re still liable for the costs mentioned above regardless of the vehicle’s usage, or in the current Covid-19 pandemic, even if the vehicle is sitting in a parking lot or your driveway due to the Movement Control Order (MCO).
Be smart. Make a different choice from what your parents chose to do. Spend your money and time on the things that matter. “YOLO” can be good when done right, but why burn cash on a car that spends most of its time sitting in a carpark – do you enjoy imposing a movement control order on your own car? Set yourself and the car free, drive a different car for different occasions. When you’re not using it, let someone else take it out for a spin.
Pay for what you use
Car sharing platforms put you in the driving seat. You are in charge of the car you want to drive, when you want to drive, where you want to pick it up from and how you want to drop it off. Whether it’s for 30 minutes or 30 days, you are free to decide. Need a car for an extra 10 minutes before returning it? SOCAR offers a flexible extension option.
Variety might not be the only spice of life but it certainly makes life more exciting – even if you’re just making imaginary road trips during lockdown.
Need more than just a car? Platforms like SOCAR also offer a variety of other services such as SOCAR-2-YOU, one-way trips, floating car sharing and even an on-demand Buddy Driver service that drives you home in your own car because you’re tired or had a little too much happy hour fun.
Resale value no longer matters
A significant concern for many Malaysians when selling their cars is that the residual value is insufficient to cover the remainder of the bank loan, requiring them to top up funds if they choose to dispose of the car. Car sharing platforms do away with this concern entirely. Just pay, drive – and return the car when you’re done.
Luxury or normal good?
People won’t stop buying cars just because they are bad investments. There will always be true car owner enthusiasts, but for the rest of us, is being a car owner especially cost-effective? Especially when you can choose from available money-saving, car sharing platforms.
While there may be some who enjoy the extra social media validation of having a drool-worthy ride, but how many likes is a car photo worth when it could put you in serious financial debt?
Beauty and value lie in the eye of the beholder. However, for those who are fortunate enough to not have to commute long distances every day, the benefits of owning a car might not outweigh the financial costs. For the people in this category, there is a whole wide range of options available – so give yourself a chance to save some money for what really matters and consider the multiflex transportation options open to you.