4 optional extras on a car that you may actually want to pay for
The right engine
Suppose you have narrowed down the car that you want to purchase, and now it’s a matter of choosing the right car within that lineup but you’re unsure of which to go for.
For example - you’re set on getting a BMW 5 Series. But you’re still unsure of the engine choice since there’s the BMW 520i, 530i Luxury, 530i M-Sport, 540i M-Sport - all with different engine outputs, from 184 horsepower in the base model all the way to 335 horsepower in the top of the line model.
While the average driver may not need 335 horsepower (definitely not on Singapore roads!), it’s always better to have a more powerful engine and not need it, then to have an underpowered engine and feel like you made a wrong choice. Cars in Singapore are expensive - so you shouldn’t fork out so much just to ‘tahan’ living with an underpowered engine, which can be quite annoying especially in situations where you need the power.
In the BMW’s example, the 520i and 530i both have the same engine capacity at 1,998 cc, meaning you are paying the same amount of road tax - $1,210 per year. However you are getting a more powerful engine in the 530i. Sure, the 530i costs more to buy and may cost a bit more to maintain - but it will also bring more driving pleasure for you as a driver knowing that you have the power on tap. This will make the 5 or 10 years that you own the car more meaningful and content.
2. Upgraded infotainment
In cars such as the new Audi A4, it comes with a standard speedo cluster showing analogue dials with a small digital window in the centre. However, this can be upgraded to the new Audi Virtual Cockpit - which is one of the most expansive and integrated information and entertainment systems you'll find in a car.
The virtual cockpit is truly a masterpiece, because it takes up the entire space of the speedo cluster - for you to enjoy viewing things like your navigation, music, etc. It also displays almost everything you need as a driver, meaning you don’t have to meddle with an infotainment screen in the centre console to get the information you want. Plus, when you’ve decided to let the car go, the car can be sold for a bit more as compared to cars without the virtual cockpit.
Furthermore, you interact with the speedo and use the infotainment system every time you drive. So it makes sense to use an infotainment system that you actually enjoy using. Having the best in infotainment screens also means that you never have to think about getting third party infotainment screens.
3. Sound system
The sound system in a car is something drivers use almost every time they drive. If you use it often, then it makes sense to get it upgraded (unless you don’t really care about sound quality). Having a good audio system also gives you a more enjoyable driving experience, as you cruise down the highway late at night listening to your favorite tunes.
What’s more, you won’t be tempted down the line to upgrade your sound system for an aftermarket one - which can be quite expensive. Choosing the upgraded sound system also means that it’s already integrated into the infotainment system right from the start, so you won’t have any compatibility or integration issues. For example, the Meridian sound system in the latest Range Rover Velar provides an immersive and authentic surround sound experience to the occupants.
4. Extended Warranty
If there’s one thing a car owner fears - it’s their car getting into an accident, or breaking down. What’s worse is when the diagnosis reveals an expensive repair job required to get the car working again. For car owners, this is one of the biggest downsides of owning a car - expensive repairs.
Which is why we would always recommend getting an extended warranty. If your new car dealer has it - then you should go for it, unless you are very certain you won’t have any issues with the car (which can be a gamble).
For buyers of used cars or parallel imported cars, warranties are even more crucial since these cars do not have a proper warranty set in place. There have been cases in Singapore whereby used car buyers end up in disputes with the dealers because of the gray area when it comes to warranties. It’s not very clear what the ‘warranty’ covers - and since it's a gray area, it’s down to the customer and dealer to come to an agreement for repair or replacement works.
Used cars can also be a nightmare if the buyer does not do a proper check before purchase. Which is why warranty plans like the TrustCircle are important. TrustCircle provides a warranty solutions for parallel imported car dealers and used car dealers, who in the past may have problems coming up with a warranty plan for their customers.
Parallel-imported cars up to three years old, or with 100,000km mileage or less, as well as used cars under 10 years old, or under 250,000km, will be eligible for TrustCircle. All vehicles under the program will undergo rigorous testing for roadworthiness, The Warranty Group said.
This is welcoming news for used cars buyers as it gives them a better piece of mind when buying used cars. Especially since cars under 10 years old (parf cars) and which have a mileage of under 250,000 km (which is almost all of them!) are eligible.