Conveyance is one of the most important part of our lifestyle. While public transportation is cheap, bicycles are eco-friendly and two-wheelers are easy to navigate on crowded roads, car is a necessity if you are travelling in a group of more than two persons. Cars are a perfect family vehicle, with most normal cars having a 5-person seating capacity. Cars are also great for groups of friends to travel together. Whether it is a family trip to a KTV, cinema or amusement park, or a road trip with friends to Malaysia, a car would be of immense use to you.
However, not all of us can afford to buy a car with merely our savings. Singapore is one of the costliest places in the world to own a car. A small family sedan or hatchback could cost S$75,000 or more. So we need some external funding to fuel our vehicle-owning dream. Unless you have a super-generous friend of family member who would lend you the money you need, what else would you depend on but a car loan from banks? Car loans are secured loans given by banks for the specific purpose of buying a car. The tenure would be similar to personal loans but the interest rate would be lower.
Typically, banks across the world offer 3 kinds of automobile loans:
All banks in Singapore do not offer different kinds of automobile loans to buy different types of vehicles unlike in many other countries. There is no disparate used car loan or a pre-owned car loan in Singapore. With a car loan in Singapore, you could buy a new car or a used car. However, a few banks do offer a separate vehicle loan product to buy used cars and commercial vehicles. Even though the loan product is one, the interest rates offered might vary based on the age and condition of the vehicle.
There are several ways in which a car loan can benefit you. Let’s look at the advantages of a car loan in detail:
The following banks in Singapore offer car loans to its customers:
The interest rate for car loans in Singapore are considerably lower than what you would pay for a personal loan. Let us look at the interest rates offered by different banks for their products:
*Interest rate as on February 14, 2016; subject to change. Effective interest rates vary as per the tenure of the loan. Please check with the bank before proceeding.
|Loan product||Current interest rate|
|DBS Car Loan||2.08% p.a. (promotional offer up to February 28, 2017) 2.78% p.a. without promotional offer|
|POSB Car Loan||2.08% p.a. (promotional offer up to February 28, 2017) 2.78% p.a. without promotional offer|
|OCBC New Car Financing||2.78% p.a.|
|OCBC Used Car Financing||2.98% p.a.|
|OCBC Car Refinancing||1.99% p.a.|
|Maybank Car Loan||3.25% onwards|
|UOB Car Financing||3.25% for new cars 3.875% for pre-owned cars|
To get a car loan in Singapore, you need to meet the following eligibility parameters:
A bank will approve your loan only if you submit all the supporting documents. For car loans, the mandatory documents are:
Before you get a car loan, you need to know how much your loan would be and whether you would be able to afford the EMIs to be paid on the loan. For this, there are car loan EMI calculators available online. EMI calculators help you determine the monthly repayment instalment repayment that would be required to be paid on your loan. EMI calculators are available on bank website as well as on BankBazaar. EMI calculators are a boon in the following ways:
Buying a car is not a simple process in Singapore. Until 2016, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) had put in a lot of restrictions on taking a car loan. MAS was trying to reduce household burden and boost eco-friendliness by discouraging people from buying cars. These restrictions included a Loan-To-Value (LTV) ratio of 60% for cars costing S$20,000 or less, and 50% for cars costing more than S$20,000. In addition, the maximum loan tenure was 5 years. However, in 2016 these regulations were mitigated and the LTV was raised to a maximum of 70% and the loan tenure extended to 7 years. This has made it easier or a Singaporean to buy a car.
Apart from these limitations, here are some legal/regulatory practices you need to be aware of about buying a car:
You need to bid for a COE at the open auctions held on the first and third Mondays of every month. You need to bid against the others to get yourself a COE. The bids can be made online through the COE website. Each category will have a limited number of COEs going on sale at each bidding exercise. Those who bid above or equal to the current COE price (CCP) will be able to secure a COE for their car. You also have to pay a Quota Premium at the time of buying a COE, which will depend on the amount paid for successful bids. You don’t have to make bids for renewing a COE.
If you are buying a new car through an authorised dealer, the dealer will take care of the COE for you. The dealer will ensure that you get a COE and register your car before it is sold to you.
A little homework doesn’t hurt anybody, right? Before embarking upon the first step towards your dream set of wheels, pay attention to the following factors:
First you need to decide on the car that you want to buy, the dealer you want to buy it from, and the bank from which you want to obtain car finance. After these things are achieved, there are 3 ways to apply for a car loan:
Annual car insurance is mandatory under Singapore laws. The insurance has to be renewed every year. There are 2 kinds of car insurance available in Singapore, as in many other parts of the world. They are:
Third party insurance covers damages caused by you to another person or vehicle in an accident, while comprehensive insurance covers not only damages to another person or vehicle but also to yourself and your own vehicle. Third party insurance is mandatory, while comprehensive insurance and any other additional features to be added to your motor insurance coverage is up to you.
The car loan approval process is slightly different for new car loans and used car loans, but the general process is as mentioned below:
For used cars, you may either purchase through the dealer or buy a car directly from an individual seller. In case you are buying individually, you can contact the a bank directly, and you will need to provide additional documents such as vehicle log card or seller’s IC and car plate number, and car insurance papers. The bank will also sign a Sales and Purchase Agreement with the seller and disburse the loan amount to him/her. Your car will be yours within 3-5 working days.
Despite the easing of car loan restrictions by MAS, buying a car could turn out to be a bigger commitment than buying a house. Let’s look at an example.
You’re buying a new Honda Civic at S$110,000. You will be able to take a car loan of 70% of the car price, which would be S$77,000. The down payment would be S$33,000. At an interest rate of 2.78% and tenure of 7 years, your monthly repayment instalment would be around S$1,095.
Let us compare this with a home loan. You’re buying an HDB flat at S$420,000. The loan amount would be 80% of the price of the house, which would be S$336,000 and the down payment would be S$84,000. At a loan tenure of 35 years and interest rate of 2%, your Equated Monthly Instalment (EMI) would be around S$1,113.
You can see that in Singapore, buying a house is just a slightly higher monthly commitment than buying a car. Of course, there are obvious differences, such as:
Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR): This is your total monthly commitment towards debt. According to Singapore government rules, you cannot have more than 60% of your monthly income as EMIs.
Loan-to-Value ratio (LTV): This is the amount of loan you will be sanctioned in relation to the actual cost of the car you are buying.
Open Market Value (OMV): OMV is the best price in the market for the car that you are buying. The amount of loan you will be granted depends on the OMV of the vehicle.
Down payment: This is the amount you would be paying for your car from your own pocket.
COE: Certificate of Entitlement is a document that certifies that the car belongs to you and you have the right to use it in Singapore for at least 10 years. You have to bid for a COE in an open bidding session, against others who also want a COE for their vehicle.
Quota Premium: This is the amount you need to pay to get your COE. You can also renew your COE based on the prevailing quota premium without a bid.
Hire Purchase Agreement: This is the agreement between the bank and you that certifies that even though the automobile is in your name, the bank is entitled to its ownership because it is paying up to 70% of the cost for the vehicle.
Equated Monthly Instalment (EMI): EMI refers to the monthly repayment instalment that you are required to pay to the bank from where you have taken the car loan. EMI is calculated on the basis of the total loan amount and the interest applied to it, divided by the total number of months for which the loan is taken.
Car insurance: This is a protective insurance product mandated by law, which has to be taken out for your car. An insurance will pay for the damages you cause to another person or vehicle in a road accident.
Log card: The vehicle log card refers to all the data regarding your vehicle. The log card contains details about all driving offences and accidents the automobile has been in, if applicable.
Depreciation: Car is one of those assets whose value comes down as time passes. Depreciation is the reduction in the value of a car as the years roll by.
Refinancing: When you decide to change your lender and transfer your car loan from one bank to another, it is known as refinancing. Essentially, in a refinancing, another bank buys out your loan from the existing bank, and you have to pay EMIs to the new bank instead of the one you originally took the loan from.
Servicing: Every car has to go through annual or monthly servicing. Servicing refers to checks for performance and function, and maintenance checks. Servicing ensures that your car is functional and at optimal performance.
Need all the information you can find about car loans in Singapore, wrapped in an easy, interactive and speedy interface? BankBazaar.sg is just what you are looking for. The benefits of using BankBazaar for your car loan research are:
A. Yes, you can apply for a car loan to purchase a used car in Singapore as many of the banks and financial institutions cover pre-owned vehicles through their car loan products.
A. Banks and financial institutions offer car loans as a secured loan product against your vehicle. So if you fail to pay off the loan amount they can take possession of your vehicle. With a new car there is less risk as the vehicle is likely to be good condition and the banks can easily get their money back by taking possession of the vehicle. However, the value of a used car decreases with time and it cannot offer the same advantages as a new car. Thus, it is a high risk loan compared to a loan offered for a new car, which is why the banks charge a higher interest rate on the loan amount.
A. Yes, you can. You will be required to produce documents such as passport, work permit, utility bills and rent lease contracts to substantiate your loan claim.
A. There are no specific loans to make down payments. If you do not have enough funds, you could consider applying for a personal loan alongside the car loan. However, this will increase your TDSR and lower your credit score, so be wary of how many loans you take simultaneously.
A. This criteria differs from bank to bank. Most banks offer up to 60-70% of the vehicle’s purchase value, while some banks also offer up to 100%. As a rule, lower loan amount equates to cheaper EMI, but with an obligation to put down a bigger amount initially.
A. Car loans in Singapore are currently offered in the fixed rate format. This means that the interest rate would be the same throughout your loan period.
A. No, having a savings account in the bank that you want to get car loan from is not mandatory, though having an existing relationship with a bank will increase your chances of getting the car loan.
A. Yes, you can. However, most banks will charge a prepayment fee on partial or full repayments before the end of loan tenure. Check with your bank on how much the prepayment fee is, and make a partial or full payment only if it is affordable.
A. No. The Hire Purchase Agreement of your car will be classified under the Hire Purchase Act only if the purchase price of your automobile, excluding the COE, is less than S$55,000. If the price is more than this, your Hire Purchase Agreement comes under the purview of the Common Law.
After Monetary Authority Singapore (MAS) relaxed rules, the number of takers of car loans in Singapore has increased drastically. The rise came after the announcement that was made in May, 2016. According to a report released by the Credit Bureau Singapore, the loan amount is around $65,868 till last December. This amount was lent to people who wanted to buy new as well as used cars.
Last year, around $53,777 was lent to the same category. There has been a rise of 10.99% in the amount this year when one compares it to the figures of last year. The highest amount borrowed by an individual in the previous year was $8,37,135. This is touted to be the highest amount lent in the history of car loans.
Car buyers of open market value can get more than $20,000. One can also spot changes in the patterns of payment in the last seven years. It is being said that people from every age group can use this facility. The low rates also provide flexibility to the people borrowing the money.
20th February 2017
6th February 2017 The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) made the terms of automobile loans more lenient in May 2016. The Credit Bureau of Singapore (CBS) has found that car buyers in the country opted for larger car loan amounts after this move.
CBS member banks revealed that people in Singapore took a total of 76,942 car loans in 2016, up 25.6% from the previous year. They took out loans to the tune of S$65,868 to buy cars - both new and used - in December last year. This is 22.5% higher than the S$53,777 borrowed in May and 10.9% more than the S$59,408 taken a year ago.
Restrictions were imposed on car loans in 2013 to reduce the number of car purchases, and bring down the demand for automobiles and Certificate of Entitlement premiums.
06th February 2017
The all new version of the Audi Q5 recently made its debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show and is certainly expected to overwhelm the market. Touted to be the best-seller in Audi’s Sport Utility Vehicle Class, the all new Q5 comes with a range of design and technological upgrades. The latest of Audi’s Q5 iterations, the SUV comes fitted with a powerful 2.0 TDi engine capable of delivering a horsepower of 187 bhp. A rather prominent feature is the significant weight reduction by upto 90 kgs with the new engine taking most of the credit in enabling the unladen weight reduction. The 2.0 TFSI engine is also expected to be launched very soon and is capable of delivering a horsepower of about 249 bhp. Audi is also working on the 3.0 TDI which is expected to follow the release of the 2.0 TFSI. The 3.0 TDI is built to generate a massive output of 282 bhp with a torque of 620 Nm. The Q5 is expected to hit markets by the Spring of 2016.
10th November 2016
The 2017 version of the Infiniti Q50 sports sedan is set to receive a sound technological and design revamp after making its debut earlier this year at the Paris Motor Show. The 2017 Q50 already comes with enhanced exterior and interior features to enable an engaging driving experience. To begin with, customers wishing to buy the 2017 Infiniti Q50 can opt for a Bose Performance Series Sound System that boasts a setup of 13 speakers and state-of-the-art electronic components. Further, the Q50 is fitted with an advanced Telematic Control Unit that enables customers to remotely control various aspects of the car through a smartphone app, called the Infiniti Intouch Services. This feature has been particularly embedded in vehicles hitting the European market. The Infiniti Q50 is fitted with a 3.0 litre V6 twin-turbo engine that delivers a massive 400 bhp of power.
03rd November 2016
Borneo Motors recently announced the launch of the Toyota Sienta, the latest in the line of Toyota’s multi-purpose vehicles. The announced of the launch transpired at a media event that took place at a DW workshop in Rochester Drive. The Sienta has been conceptualized keeping in mind the urban families and young populace. The compact yet spacious 7-seater MPV seeks to present the perfect road-trip styled family holiday vehicle with its design and comfort. Certain aspects that deserve mention are the gorgeously styled front headlamps, a radiator grille and the urban trekking shoe styled design concept.
18th October 2016
Now you can enjoy more of iPhone’s in-car capability with its new wireless charging case. This new wireless charging case works with the optional Audi Phone Box connection and charging system. The Qi enabled cover has to be fixed to the latest iphone 6 and 6s models and placed in the designated centre console of the car to start charging the phone. This will eliminate the need of connecting the phone via a USB port to charge it. This feature not only works in the car but also works in any base station that has Qi functionality.
22nd August 2016
Latest updates have been announced by Smart recently. According to these updates the Brabus Sport Line’s price range has also been stated. The range includes the different versions like the Brabus Sport, Prime Sport, Prime and entry-level model called Passion. The Passion coupe (built for two) flaunts a roof covered with fabric. This gives the car a striking look. The Prime and the Prime Sport (both built for four) versions flaunt a fabric roof which can be controlled electrically. Across the entire range, the Passion is equipped with automatic climate control, smart audio system, multi-function steering wheel (three spoke, leather wrapped) and eight spoke wheels.
Heated front seats are offered in the Prime models. Along with this, you can get black leather upholstery, dashboard instruments with rev counter and clock, holders for your sunglasses, etc. Sports steering wheel (perforated) comes with the Prime Sport version. With the models that come with twinamic transmission (auto), you can also enjoy shift paddles. Some of the other features of the car are the 8Y spoke wheels, chrome exhaust finisher and lowered sports suspension.
The Brabus Sport comes with Brabus alloy wheels and an engine producing a power of 89 bhp. The logo of Brabus is stitched on the gear shift and hand brake. Along with these, the car comes with sports pedals (stainless steel), sports steering wheel, etc. The seat of the driver and the steering wheel can be adjusted according to the height of the driver in the Premium editions of this car. Ambient lighting, fog lamps, LED headlights and rear view camera are installed on the Premium Plus editions. If you wish to purchase this car, you could go for a car loan which would give the upfront money you require to buy this car.
18th August 2016
Suzuki is coming up with it compact crossover car called the Ignis in 2017. Instead of being a replacement for Suzuki Jimny which has already been in the car market for quite a long time, the Ignis will set its own course and help in expanding Suzuki’s range of brand.
The iM4 concept is where the new Ignis has been inspired from. The iM4 was first seen in 2015 at the Geneva Motor Show. The Suzuki Ignis has a chunky muscular ecterior along with high set and large headlamps. The car also has a petrol engine which is Dualjet. The capacity of the engine is 1.2 L, the same as the new Suzuki Swift. Along with this, it has a turbocharged petrol engine (Boosterjet) of 1.0 L capacity. Mild hybrid or full hybrid editions are also possible in the near future. It will be a good competition to Fiat Panda 4X4 and Nissan Juke. If you wish to buy such cars, you could go for a car loan. The car loan will offer you the upfront money you need to buy this car. You will not have to empty your savings to buy that car. You can repay the car loan in easy instalments over a period of time.
17th August 2016
Although, the sharp lines present on the front bumpers are compromised due to changes in styling, the new Volkswagen Beetle gets extra depth with more openings around the fog light and the indicator. The R-Line Trim version of the Volkswagen Beetle looks sportier with the unique design of the bumper. Along the top edge of the car’s bumper there are more features for greater air intake.
Brighter panel lighting and new dials are featured in the interiors of the car. This particular design is specifically made for the R-Line versions. Further styling options are brought in by the brand new materials for upholstery. The steering wheel comes with multi functions on it and has three spokes. This is inserted with an R-Line badge and colored stitches. Kyalami cloth has been used for the seats which can be adjusted for drivers with different heights.
The Sport Trim level of the Volkswagen Beetle has been replaced by the R-Line Beetle. The engine is a powerful diesel one (2.0 L) which comes with 148 bhp. You can choose between the six speed DSG or six speed manual. This particular Volkswagen comes with Twister Alloy wheels of 18 inches each. The R-Line bumper is the brand new addition which makes this car unique. Ashmie Adamantium wheel design can also be availed with no extra cost. If you wish to purchase this car, you could easily go for a car loan. The loan amount will be the upfront money that you require to purchase this car.
15th August 2016
Unique features and sport style is going to be the top features of the new city car from Citroen. This car is called C1 Furio and will be sold in the United Kingdom on and from August 1, 2016. This hatchback with three doors flaunts attractive styling on the exterior for appealing to the young generation of drivers. Youngsters today want sporty cars with great design and an affordable engine. The Citroen Furio C1 is designed based on these requirements. There are 2 powertrain options that are available with this car – the PureTech 82 and the VTi 68 (both manual).
The C1 Furio comes with black Planet alloy wheels of 15 inch diameter. Along with this, the car sports door mirrors that are Sunrise Red in colour and bold exterior design / graphics. There are two body paint options that you can go for, if you intend to purchase this car – Carlinite Grey or Lipizzan White. The centre caps on the wheels add more contrast to the entire look of the car. If you wish to purchase the Citroen Furio C1, you can go for a car loan. It will provide you with the upfront money that you require to purchase this car.
29th July 2016