Insurance

Average Cost of Servicing Your Car 2017

Owning a car is an expensive proposition anywhere, but it's especially so in Singapore. In addition to the high upfront cost of purchasing your car, you also have to pay for a COE and insure your car before you can drive. But even once you've hit the road, a recurring cost you'll need to pay if you want to ensure a long lifespan for your car is regular car maintenance. But how much should you be expecting to pay to service your car? We took a look at some of the most popular workshops in Singapore to find out.

Average Cost of Car Maintenance

After analyzing quotes for car servicing from three major workshops, we found that the total cost of getting your car regularly serviced over a period of 5 years (translating to approximately 100,000 kms) would cost S$2,640 on average*. Generally, cars will require both cheaper regular servicing and occasional, more expensive major servicing to help keep your car ship-shape as it ages and accumulates mileage. On average, a regular servicing is often recommended in intervals of every 10,000 kms you put on your car or every six months (whichever comes sooner), and costs about S$188. Major servicing that involves the replacement of more expensive parts could cost an average of S$425.

Below is a sample maintenance schedule for a Toyota Corolla Altis at the Borneo Motors workshop. For this model, Borneo Motors replaces the engine oil, oil filter and drain plug gasket every regular servicing, while checking or adjusting other important car parts. During major servicing, they replace the aforementioned parts in addition to the air filter, brake/clutch fluid, transmission fluid, engine coolant, differential fluid and standard-type spark plugs.

Total Mileage10,000 kms20,000 kms30,000 kms40,000 kms50,000 kms60,000 kms
Type of ServiceRegularMajorRegularMajorRegularMajor
Estimated CostS$253S$368S$253S$368S$253S$368

Dealership Workshops or Third Party Workshops?

Car-owners in Singapore have a variety of options for where to get their car serviced. On one hand, many authorised distributors that are officially affiliated with a car manufacturer, such as Borneo Motors (Toyota) and Kah Motor (Honda), have repair centers where you can count on reliable and thorough service. On the other hand, you can also opt to go to a third party workshop, which may be a small business or, like AutoSaver, part of a larger chain. The cost and convenience of getting your car periodically maintained will often depend on which of these options you choose.

To help illustrate the difference between using the workshop at your dealership for regular maintenance or third party workshops, we analyzed the prices of car servicing packages for Honda and Toyota vehicles at their respective authorised distributor and at AutoSaver, a third party workshop chain that services these two brands.

This graph displays the difference in average cost of servicing a Honda and Toyota at their respective authorised workshops and at a prominent third party workshop.
Comparison of the average costs of servicing a Honda and Toyota at their authorised distributors' workshops and at a third party workshop

Dealership workshops

Dealership workshops tend to offer reliably high-quality service. They are also very convenient as they offer servicing packages with maintenance schedules made specifically with your car model in mind, and you can be assured they will have the car parts you need. This is important because it reduces the likelihood of getting unsatisfactory service that you may get at a third-party workshop. However, they also tend to be the most expensive. For example, the total average cost of servicing a Honda over the course of 100,000 kms of use or 5 years at its authorised distributor, Kah Motor, is S$3,686 (prices will vary depending on the model). Servicing a Toyota over the same timespan/total mileage at its dealership, Borneo Motors, costs S$3,582 on average.

Third party workshops

You may find cheaper prices at third party workshops, which run the gamut from larger chains like AutoSaver to your local neighborhood garage. If you are prepared to do your research and scope out your options, it's very possible to find high-quality service for cheaper rates. For example, the average cost of servicing a Honda at AutoSaver over the course of 100,000 kms or 5 years is S$2,306 - over S$1,300 less than it is at the Kah Motor dealership. The average cost of servicing a Toyota at AutoSaver is S$2,137, which is over S$1,400 less than it is at Borneo Motors. If you do your homework, you might be able to find a good mechanic who will service your car for even less.

However, it can be less convenient to use third party workshops. Many of these workshops may not include quotes for servicing on their websites, requiring you to call or visit to find out. Some workshops don't even have a website. Furthermore, it may take longer for your car parts to be replaced at smaller workshops if they don't have a part you need stocked and need to order it. Finally, you do run the risk of being charged unfair prices or receiving lower-quality service, so you need to make sure the workshop and mechanic you choose have a reputation for doing quality work and being fair and honest.

Methodology

To conduct this study, we surveyed 107 individual service package prices from Kah Motor (affiliated with Honda), Borneo Motors (affiliated with Toyota) and AutoSaver (third party workshop). Our averages reflect the mean of the quoted cost of regular maintenance for each model of vehicle serviced by the three workshops surveyed. Makes included in the study are Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Kia and Hyundai.

We chose to highlight Honda and Toyota vehicles due to to their popularity as the two highest-selling brands in Singapore. We selected AutoSaver to contrast with Borneo Motors and Kah Motor as it services both Honda and Toyota vehicles and is a well-known third party workshop chain with locations throughout Singapore. These three workshops were also selected for their transparency, as they are among the few workshops in Singapore that openly list the cost of their service packages on their webpages.

*As a rule, luxury cars cost considerably more to have serviced. They were excluded from this study so as not to distort average costs.

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