Published on November 23, 2022

A Guide to Used Cars In Singapore

Used car loan

Everyone loves that new car smell. But with the current inflation and having to consider various financial responsibilities, is getting a new car a wise choice? Turning heads while you drive around in your new set of wheels may be the Singaporean dream but the financial burden that comes with it will often burn a larger hole in your pocket than necessary. 


A used car usually makes much more financial sense and just like a new car, it can bring you from point A to point B safely. Of course, buying a used car would require you to do your own extensive research and homework on different aspects like the used car loans in Singapore, what you should do before buying a used car and even how to inspect one. But here is where this guide will help you with all the information you need to buy a used car in Singapore. Let’s get started. 

Why Should You Buy a Used Car Instead of a New Car?

Buying a car, used or new is a big commitment and it can be quite overwhelming with the many car makes, brands and models to choose from. However, buying a used car may require some extra steps because of its used nature and assessing the car’s quality is very important. 

If you are still deciding between a new car and a used car, here are some reasons that might steer you towards buying a used car

1.Saves You Money

No doubt, purchasing a used car instead of a new one makes for a more cost-effective solution. For one, a used car is way cheaper than a new car but that’s not where the savings stop. You will also be saving money in terms of dealership fees, insurance, and vehicle depreciation.

Depending on the model and mileage, a used car will usually cost 30% less than a new car of the same model. If you are getting a model that is no longer in production you can bargain for it even more.

2.Lower Depreciation Rate

An ideal used car is two or three years old, although most owners would wait a little longer before deciding to sell. A new car would suffer the greatest amount of depreciation in value during the first three years. So, buying a used car after that would mean greater cost savings. 

Most cars depreciate by 20% in the first year and a further 10% over the next two years. So if a car initially costs $100,000, you would have saved yourself a $30,000 loss, allowing you to leverage those savings into other more important financial responsibilities you might have in your life.

3.More Options For Your Budget

Perhaps the greatest benefit of buying a used car lies in the myriad of choices available despite your budget. Unlike with new car depreciation, your hard-earned money can take you into the advanced market section when looking at used cars. Your budget may be able to get you only an entry-level car when going for new vehicles, but in the land of used cars, it can get you a higher-end model, with better features and a more suitable fit with the best in house car loans in Singapore

Perhaps the greatest benefit of buying a used car lies in the myriad of choices available despite your budget. Unlike with new car depreciation, your hard-earned money can take you into the advanced market section when looking at used cars. Your budget may be able to get you only an entry-level car when going for new vehicles, but in the land of used cars, it can get you a higher-end model, with better features and a more suitable fit with the best in house car loans in Singapore

If these benefits have changed your mind towards buying a used car, do still take a moment to consider these factors first before purchasing one.

Factors to Consider Before Buying A Used Car

The first step in buying a car is understanding your wants and needs, which is why it’s always best to do your research before placing a booking. Additionally, you will need to factor in your budget and your lifestyle too. Here are some other aspects you should ponder over before making a decision. 

  • Set A Budget – The most important tip when it comes to buying a used car is to set a reachable budget according to your financial situation. You can find different car models that can be purchased based on your set budget. If your overall budget is S$50,000, you can get a used car loan from finance companies in Singapore from as low as S$500 to S$1000 for 5 to 9 years depending on your monthly commitment. Make sure you get a car according to your needs and your financial ability, not based on your wants and dreams.


  • Survey Online – In today’s modern technological world, information is right at your fingertips. Travelling long distances to a used dealership to survey used cars is no longer a necessity as there are now various online platforms that offer used car trading services. It is also recommended to conduct some research before going directly to a physical dealership. This will enable you to make more informed decisions.


  • Check the Mileage – Car mileage affects the value of the care. The higher the mileage the lower the value. In general, it is best to choose a car with low to medium mileage for greater quality, which is akin to getting a brand-new car. But do keep in mind that this also depends on the age of the car. Buying a newer car with higher mileage triumphs buying an older car with low mileage as different car parts will start deteriorating over time regardless of the distance it has covered.


  • Check The History Of The Car – Before you decide on a used car, make sure you check the history of the car. Usually, cars sold at a price that is lower than the market value would have their own hidden history. Find out in advance whether the car you want has been involved in any major accidents or overhauling, flooding incidents, excessive change of owners, and others as all these would affect the car maintenance in the long run. Never be deceived by the perfect outer appearance of the car.


  • Check The Exterior And Interior Of The Car – Do check for the presence of any dents, bumps, or defects on the outside and inside of the car that you are planning to buy. After all, getting them fixed would involve more costs and processes. What you can do is try to negotiate for a discount if you find any damage on the car that the owner does not want to repair.


Now, if you own a car in Singapore, you would definitely know what a COE is all about. If your COE is about to expire, here comes a decision that you have to make.

Renew Your COE or Buy A Used Car

Certificate of Entitlement (COE) tends to be pricey, and often, most are at a crossroads on what they should do next. So, between renewing your COE or buying a used car, here are some important factors to consider before making your decision. 

  • Cost 

Buying a new car would definitely burn a hole in your pocket if you are not ready for it financially which makes used cars a better option. The price may be lower than the Prevailing Quota Premium (PQP) which is what you need to pay to extend your COE. 

So, before renewing your COE, do check how much the PQP is and compare the price with used cars on the market. Apart from the PQP, you should also consider other costs that would come with owning a car like a road tax, insurance and maintenance costs. 

  • Maintenance

Although buying a used car may feel like a new car to you, it has been used before, indicating a certain level of maintenance, which means more finances down the road. 

This is an important aspect to take note of because beyond cost, there is also time, effort and safety to evaluate when maintaining a used car While used cars with less mileage tabulated might have lesser wear and tear, you may be more familiar with your own car’s issues and would have already been used to maintaining it. 

  • Sense Of Attachment

Owning a car for 10 years is plenty of time to go on great adventures and create lasting memories with your car. For some, this sense of attachment might influence decision-making as well. 

What started off as just a new car has now become a trusty companion after 10 years, making renewing your COE an appealing option. Contrastingly, others may have a different opinion. Some may find change to be warranted and exciting and look forward to getting a new car. After all, memories can always be made again.

  • Risk And Process

Everyone knows the high costs of owning a car in Singapore but it’s not just that. The process can also be quite troublesome. Whether you choose to buy a used car or renew your COE, documentation and paperwork must be done. 

There are also risks that come with buying a used car. For instance, you may end up buying a poor quality car or something way over your budget.

Fortunately, at Swee Seng Credit, a vehicle finance solution expert, you never have to worry about these issues. Our process is trustworthy and transparent, ensuring you can buy cars with a peace of mind.

How To Finance Your Used Car?

If you’ve already decided to buy a used car, but don’t have enough money to pay cash upfront, fret not, as we have various refinance car loan options in Singapore. Although not all instalment plans are the same, they do have their own strong points.

  • In-House Loan Packages 

    Like the name suggests, the in-house used car financing loan options offered by car dealerships or companies deal with used cars. When you head down straight to a dealership to pick out your car, the dealer would provide you information such as the total cost you would have to pay, either in cash or other instalment payment options. 

    If you pick a monthly payment or other instalment packages — that is the in-house package, it usually promises less stringent and quicker processing of applications, more flexibility in picking a term and almost ensures a high chance of loan approval.

  • Bank Loans

A bank loan is basically a personal loan made specifically for buying a used car or a new car. This is usually the preferred loaning scheme because overall, they offer the best price due to lower interest rates and flexibility.

Customers can visit a bank of choice for an auto loan, followed by bank agents determining how much a person can borrow to get a car loan, and the possible terms available. The borrowed amount plus the interest is usually settled between 12 months to 60 months.

  • Balloon Scheme Financing

The balloon car financing method claims to provide buyers flexibility in terms of down payment and lower monthly payments compared to other options. In return, you would pay larger sums towards the end of the loan’s tenure.

You can find independent car dealers and car manufacturers’ direct dealers offering  balloon schemes. However, the process is also complicated and can get messy depending on certain conditions. A specific percentage of the car’s value would be paid off as a down payment, while several documents would be required. 

Now that you know a little bit more about used cars and how you can buy them, let’s move on to the next part



Where to Buy A Used Car

In Singapore, there are numerous ways to buy a used car. To make it easier for you, we’ve curated a list of the pros and cons of buying a used car from these sellers. 

Buying A Car From A Dealership


  • You will be able to choose from a wide range of cars available.
  • There are various dealerships across Singapore you can choose from.
  • You don’t have to worry about the hassle of documentation and paperwork. 


  • Some dealerships are known to mark up the price of used cars
  • Some dealers might sweet talk you into buying cars that are way too expensive or of lower quality. 

Buying from A Consignment Agent


  • An agent would help you with all the necessary paperwork needed.
  • Popular consignment agents would have more used cars for you to choose from.


  • Arranging for a test drive or even viewing the car in person might be troublesome.

Buying From A Private Seller


  • You would be offered cheaper options as there won’t be any dealer mark-ups.
  • You would have more room to bargain for a price within your budget.



  • Some basic knowledge is required with regards to the car you are intending to buy, helping you know what to look out for.
  • You would have to do all the documentation and paperwork yourself.
  • The overall condition of the car might be questionable.

Ultimately, it really depends on your wants and needs and what you value most in a car. Nonetheless having a certain amount of knowledge of cars is crucial, allowing you to zoom into key details and make more well-informed decisions.

For example, buying a car from a direct seller would require you to know the car well enough to identify issues that the seller might be withholding or may have missed out on. So, if you lack the knowledge when it comes to cars, do bring along someone with the expertise or send the car to your trusted mechanic to get it checked. 

As for dealerships and consignment agents, these individuals are experts and can diagnose any problems a car might have immediately. So, depending on the dealer you engage, their background and experience might make it easier for you to make a choice. 

However, there lies the possibility that not all dealerships will be completely honest about the car you are planning to buy, here are some ways you can assess a car to better understand its condition. 

How To Assess A Used Car

The inspection process is vital with regard to buying a new car. You can never be 100% certain about the car you are buying and should know what to look out for to ensure you’re buying a car that wouldn’t give you any problems down the road. 

If you are not a car expert, it’s easy to miss out on certain red flags, especially if you rush through the inspection process. So do take your time and have a thorough look at the car. You should first obtain the maintenance record to get a better idea of how well the car is performing. These records will indicate if there have been any major fixes or issues and how well taken care of the car is over the years. 

Next, you should perform a thorough inspection of the car. These are some parts that you should pay extra attention to. 

  • The exterior part of the car for any scratches or dents
  • Electrical components like the radio, air conditioner, windows, wipers, etc
  • Signal lights
  • Warning lights
  • Oil levels like the engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid level and colour of the oil
  • Condition of the tires – check the thread depth
  • Look out for any fresh oil on the engine bay
  • Look out for any leaks under the car

Some issues might only appear once you’re on the road. So, make sure to ask for a test drive as well and while on the road, do focus your attention on components like steering, suspensions, braking and the engine. 

If you find any problems at all, bring it up with the owner or the dealer and try to get them to fix it for you. Or you can also use these issues as an opportunity to negotiate for a lower price

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to buying a used car, here are some questions people have asked.

  • Is a 5-year-old car too old? 

The best age to buy a used car is after its 3rd year as this minimises the depreciation rate that you would have to go through and gives you peace of mind, typically having fewer issues as well. 

  • Is a second-hand car cheaper? 

Second-hand cars are generally cheaper because the high depreciation rate in their early years has already passed and you might not need as much when it comes to road tax and insurance.

  • Is it better to buy a new car or a used car in Singapore? 

If you are struggling financially, a used car would be a better option for you in Singapore

  • Can I finance a used car?

There are various ways you can finance a used car from finance companies in Singapore including bank loans and in-house loan packages. 


Buying a new car can be a huge strain on your budget, especially if you are struggling financially. So, when there are really good used cars in the market, why not save your money and purchase one at a fraction of the original price? 

With us at Swee Seng Credit, not only will you be able to buy a quality used car from all makes and models, we also offer used car loans with attractive interest rates from as low as 1.68% from strong financial partners, allowing you to further your journey. 

Plus, with low monthly payments and convenient repayment options, enjoy a hassle-free experience when you take up a loan plan for new, or used vehicles, or COE renewal for used vehicles with Swee Seng Credit. Contact us to know more today