A while ago, I read an article in Balkoni Hijau on the True Cost of Car Ownership in Malaysia where he compiled the actual ownership costs for 5 best-selling cars in Malaysia: Perodua Myvi, Honda City, Perodua Aruz, Proton X70, and Honda HRV (spoiler alert: the costs for Perodua Myvi is the lowest while Proton X70 is the highest).
Now I’m curious to see the actual cost that I’m incurring every month in owning, maintaining, and using my beloved Axia SE.
Disclaimer: Whilst Balkoni Hijau explained everything in detail including the differences in the technology of the car (which apparently affects the cost), I’ll keep this post simple because, for the life of me, I couldn’t even differentiate the type and brand of cars that I see every day.
A little background, I bought my car brand new in 2018. I was determined to get a cheap car but I didn’t want to get a used one because I didn’t want to deal with the uncertainties of dealing with a problematic used car. So Axia it is.
Fast forward to today after a little over 2 years, my car is still running well. Unfortunately, my bank account is not. What I didn’t realize back then in 2018 was how much money that car needs every month just to be on the road.
Here’s my personal breakdown.
These are the costs that I incur every month.
1. Loan Commitment
My car monthly loan repayment is RM480 per month. To make it easier for my non-math brain, I simply make RM500 payment each month.
Loan payment = RM500
This varies greatly for everyone. I am however a bit unfortunate in this department because I take long drives everyday for work, roughly 70km per round trip. If I don’t go anywhere else, RM50 would last me a week. That’s a minimum of RM200 per month.
But let’s factor in those occasions where I have to drive for work meetings, social meetups, and weekend outings, and taking road trips to my hometown twice a month – that’s an extra RM100.
In total, I spend around RM300 per month just for petrol. I’m so sorry, that’s a lot of environmental pollution just from one person.
P/s: I did try to take public transport to work but it’s taking so long as I have to drive for 15-20 mins one way just to get to the train station which doesn’t make sense. So that’s that.
Petrol = RM300
I am also very unfortunate in this category. I have to pay for tolls to get to work. I top up my TnG for RM250 and that’s normally enough to cover tolls and occasional parkings at shopping malls.
I know that’s a lot so I want to make it clear. I do want to live nearer to my office but the rent in the middle of the city is just insane. It’s almost impossible for a single lady to get her own space without sharing with others. Now I’m living comfortably and cheaply in my own space although it is far from the office. Sigh, a sacrifice that I’m willing to make.
Toll = RM250
I don’t pay for parking at work or at home. So thank God. Anywhere else, I would usually use my TnG so I never really know how much I spend on parking. If I ever use cash for parking (which is rare), it’s usually less than RM10. So for completeness, let’s include that as well.
Parking = RM10
5. Car Wash
There’s only one benefit of having brothers – you can ask them to wash your car for free. Lol. If you’re able to wash your car yourself, do it lah. It’s saving money and it’s fun playing with water. Aha. But sometimes I do send my car for car wash for RM10 once per month.
And I should also include car air freshener here. If you haven’t figured it out, car air freshener is expensive. And it doesn’t even last that long. If you know what lasts longer, please share with me. And that’s like RM20 per month.
Car Wash & Air Freshener = RM30
These are the costs that do not come on a monthly basis, but once a year or once every few months. And they are necessary expenses.
6. Car service & maintenance
I’m servicing my car at the Perodua center, every 3-4 months once it hits the preset mileage. The costs differ each time because sometimes it’s a minor service, sometimes it’s a major one.
I’ll just refer to my past car services to gauge the real costs. So in 2018-2019:
- May 2018 – RM136.65
- August 2018 – RM162.20
- December 2018 – RM512.00
- May 2019 – RM235.50
- September 2019 – RM406.45
- December 2019 – RM412.00
Ah, that’s a lot of money – roughly around RM1k per year. I believe the cost is just gonna go higher from now on.
For now, I don’t have any sinking fund for this, but if I were to have one (which I believe I should) I would have to save at least RM100 per month, which may or may not be enough.
Car service & maintenance = RM100 per month
7. Insurance & road tax
I have a sinking fund for this, I save RM100 every month in anticipation of this yearly commitment. In April 2020, I paid RM849 for both insurance and road tax. I heard that this is considered cheap because other cars’ are more expensive. So I’m glad.
Regardless, it would still be difficult to pay RM849 at one shot without a separate saving for this. So sinking fund saves me. Setting aside RM100 every month would get me RM1.2k when the time comes to pay for my car insurance and road tax which is more than enough.
Insurance & roadtax = RM100 per month
TOTAL MONTHLY COST
Oh god, it is insane that I spend this much on my car every month. Mind you, my car is like the cheapest one in the market and it still costs me this much. Fuh. Personally, I could save more on petrol and toll if I live nearer to my office, but the rental cost would be more than both my toll and parking combined.
I want to make it clear that this varies for everyone, depending on your car and usage.
If you’re an owner of a car or two, do your calculations I bet you would be surprised as well by how much you’re paying every month/year. If you’re considering getting a car, I hope the above will give you a general idea of how costly owning a car is. But again, it varies.
Let’s continue figuringgitout.