To Lease Or Buy A Car In 2023?

Leasing a car may be the solution for drivers caught between rising COE prices and market demand.

By Sean Yee        31 October 2023

Undecided on whether you should get that dream car? Well, you join many others who are left displaced by inflated COE prices and an unforgiving automobile marketplace. Sor Sin Yee, Business Development Manager of KINTO Singapore, an established car leasing agency with an international presence, joins us as we explore the current sentiments of aspiring car owners, and how leasing a car compares to owning one in 2023.  

Owning a car in 2023

On 4 October 2023, it was reported that Certificate of Entitlement (COE) premiums for the Open Category have peaked at a record high price of $152,000. This is of no surprise to many car owners and enthusiasts, given that COE premiums have been rising at a staggering rate since its inception. This will be the fifth consecutive time that the category has surpassed its previous price point. 

With these hurdles pitted against them, consumers have begun to embrace a more pragmatic approach to car ownership. Instead of a desire to own a vehicle, many consumers have settled on a “need-to-use” mentality. Sin Yee ascribes this to the prevailing exclusivity of COEs and widespread financial literacy. “More and more consumers understand the long-lasting impacts of this hefty down-payment on their financial liquidity. Leasing a car in this current climate is seen as a more favourable and cost-efficient alternative,” she shares. 

Leasing a car is almost like owning one

While COE prices are always a hot contemporary talking point, its inherent limitations have always been a bugbear for car owners.

“COE lasts for only 10 years,” Sin Yee points out. “As such, there isn’t a sustainable accumulation of equity in car ownership, especially when owners will have to reinvest every 10 years just to renew this right.”  

What of the vehicle itself? Unlike COEs, they are depreciable assets subject to its mileage, motor conditions and fuel efficiency. Selling or scrapping it at a reasonable price after 10 years can be challenging. And that is without considering the insurance premiums and maintenance fees that naturally accompany car ownership. 

Leasing a car essentially grants you the same benefits as owning one, without the worry of COE renewals, vehicle depreciation, maintenance, and insurance premiums. It may lack that sentimental sense of ownership, but technically, no one actually owns a vehicle here in the purest sense. 

So really, how different is it, to lease a car as opposed to owning one? 

Unlimited mileage, cross-border travel, fuel discounts and more

If you do intend to lease a car, KINTO is one of Singapore’s most reputable partners. Powered by Toyota Financial Services Singapore, you can drive a beautiful range of Toyota or Lexus models without actually having to own one.

And unlike most leasing firms, KINTO doesn’t have a capped mileage. You can finally go on that long road trip to Malaysia without forking out additional charges. That, and KINTO’s connections extend beyond our shores, with partners ready to provide you 24/7 roadside assistance when you drive in Singapore and Malaysia. 

Speaking of affiliated partners, KINTO also has existing relationships with Shell and Esso, which bring you subsidised rates whenever you refuel your car. 

As for the cherry on top, you can feel assured driving a KINTO car as it comes with comprehensive insurance and maintenance coverage. 

Beyond its rich array of benefits and complimentary services, KINTO, at its core, simply wishes to provide its customer base with a “hassle-free, personalised and mobile solution that allows them to navigate around the island comfortably.” 

Speaking of cross-border drives, SAFRA members can join the Travel Passport Expedition: Johor Bahru Edition with a KINTO car and take part in a social media giveaway! Prizes include cash vouchers and more! More details here.

Like no other leasing partner

KINTO is the only leasing partner in Singapore that allows you to transfer your No Claim Discount (NCD)* to your future purchased vehicle. 

“You can continue to enjoy the discounted motor insurance premium when that is granted to drivers with an impeccable record,” Sin Yee explains. “In fact, we even go a step further with our NCD+ initiative.”

“NCD+ helps potential car owners to build and earn their NCD. Not only do we help you retain your NCD, we also actively help you progress towards the highest achievable tier in its framework. This is done through a careful assessment of the lessee’s driving behaviour and habits during their lease period with KINTO.”

* NCD is granted by insurance companies to policyholders who have not made any claims during a stipulated period (typically a policy year). Consequently, responsible drivers enjoy lower insurance premiums and exclusive discounts for policy renewals. 

More than just getting a car

Driving isn’t just a functional means of travel. Each driver embodies a lifestyle that is unique, varied and nuanced. KINTO understands that it cannot accommodate this vast mix of inclinations and desires alone.

When you lease from KINTO, you gain access to its network of partners, from ubiquitous fuel providers to recreational clubs like SAFRA. This includes a whole trove of exclusive affiliated discounts and services, one of which is KINTO’s monthly free concierge service, which also comes with unlimited access to its premium lounges at SAFRA Yishun and Midview City. These lounges that also serve as pick-up points come with complimentary wireless connection and power plugs. Its lounge at SAFRA Yishun also has two parking lots exclusively reserved for KINTO members.

And that’s not all that KINTO has awaiting you in the pipeline. Drop them a call at 8876 1523 or visit their website at one.kinto-sg.com for more information! 

SAFRA Members enjoy free membership when they sign up with KINTO. Some member-exclusive benefits include petrol discounts, islandwide free tyre patching and a $150 insurance renewal voucher! Find more information at safra.sg/festive-wanderlust-with-safra/festive-travel-expedition-passport!

SAFRA members can lease a Altis Hybrid for 12 months at the special discounted rate of $2,280 per month. (U.P $2,800 per month). This includes a year of free petrol (capped at $200/month). For leases spanning 24 months or longer, you’ll also enjoy 10 days of free access to its Alphard, Vellfire or Serena models. You can find more information at safra.sg/promotions/kinto. Promotion is valid until 31 December 2023. 

For other SAFRA-exclusive car leasing deals, you can visit safra.sg/promotions/bluesgSAF and safra.sg/promotions/comfortdelgro-rent-a-car

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