Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Vehicle Purchase - Further Considerations

At last I think I'm starting to get to the end of the road of the decision over which car to purchase. As I have mentioned before, when I first came here I thought quite simply that I would just get a Honda CRV, Accord or Toyota Camryas they are nice comfortable cars and, with the MM2H tax incentive, the prices are quite attractive. If you see my previous post regarding insurance premiums however to you will see that road tax and insurance for vehicles with engines of 2.0 litre and over are expensive, they also guzzle fuel faster, alarmingly so in some cases!!!

Further ponderings led me to thinking about just how much I'll be using the car, where and what for, concluding that 95% of the time it will be parked at the apartment with main journeys being to Tesco, the beach, Georgetown, the hawkers and of course Bagan!! With the traffic and parking problems it very quickly leads many people to the decision that small is better with many of the small cars here also being comfortable and capable enough for the odd drive to KL too. Any longer journeys that may require a larger and more powerful car can always be dealt with by way of rental if you don't need to do it too often.

At the moment therefore I'm pretty much torn between two: Toyota Vios and the Honda City. I did consider the Civic too but it's merely a bit larger than the other two but has a 1.8 L engine too, which again for me, starts to needlessly push up the running costs.

Now, aside from the fact that I think I like the look and spec of the Vios more than the City there is also another running cost consideration. Servicing. Honda requires you to service the vehicle every 5,000 km or every three months. With Toyota it's every 10,000 km or six months. This is worth bearing in mind in cost terms but also in terms of hassle of for me it would be a real pain to have to get a vehicle serviced every 3 months. Every 6 will be bad enough but 3!!!! Each time a service was due I'd be thinking "but I only just had it done!!!". Worth bearing in mind IMHO!

So that's another thing swaying me in favour of Toytota and the Vios in particular, and I'd suggest anyone contemplating one goes for at least an 'E' or 'G' spec (the specs above G merely relating to different body kits).


  1. PoP, Toyota is a great choice. Congratulations. I read someplace that the air conditioner in the Vios was specially designed for the tropics. A related car, Etios in India, has even special cooled compartment that holds six 500ml bottles of water!

    Just curious what you thought of if they were in your sights: Ford Focus and Toyota Prius. Focus would be in the Vios price range, and has received great reviews, and has a better utility with a hatchback. Prius apparently has tax exemptions, bringing the price down, and also is a hatchback.

    1. Hi

      Just two problems with those cars. Neither are on the CKD / CBU list (a list which changes often) and as such do not attract the MM2H import tax discount. On a car of that size that discount can be between RM 20-30,000 so it's significant.

      One of the other issues to consider here is availability and popularity. Both help in terms of the amount of service centres, price and availability of parts and, at some time down the line maybe, re-sale value. On that front, Ford is not common here. Without doubt the most common small family type cars here are Toyota, Honda, Proton, Perodua and Kia.

      With regard to the Prius, nice looking, no MM2H discount (or any other incentive here) so, pricey, and I don't like very long and overly sloped rear hatch which gives very poor rear visibility. So for me, the Prius was not a vehicle to consider.

  2. PoP, Good points. Thanks. A clear view around the car is really essential, especially in Malaysia, where many forms of transportation crowd the roads. The City and Vios both have excellent greenhouses, enabling a good 360 degree visibility.


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