With lower depreciation costs, COE cars dramatically lower the barrier of entry into car ownership. This lower cost means a better chance at building a pool of money for a rainy day.
But the benefits of owning a COE car extends far past that. You can realistically and comfortably own cars from marques that you would have otherwise been not able to afford fresh off the showroom floor.
Not all COE cars are in-demand though. The popularity of certain models help to keep prices higher and for longer. If you’d like to check it out for yourself, we have a dedicated COE-renewed section on our used car directory here!
Otherwise, here are 5 factors we believe plays a part in making certain COE cars so popular!
5) Long Initial Production Run
Pictured: BYD e6
Car models are typically replaced after about 5 years. However, there are models that have been in continuous production for significantly longer periods of time. But you can’t just keep producing the same vehicle for over a decade – your competitors would have come up with more compelling options to lure the consumer in and make a sale.
Midway through a typical lifecycle, a car will be given a facelift. This extended production period means that the cars may undergo multiple nip and tucks. Around the time in which it should’ve been replaced, the automaker may roll out fairly significant updates. This can include improvements to the mechanicals, as well as bodywork updates.
This is attractive to COE car buyers, as you can have a car that looks significantly younger than what it really is. You can buy an older variant as a PARF car, update it with all, newer OEM parts, and shave off years of the car, and convince bystanders the car is much newer than it really is.
4) Widespread Appeal As A New Car
Pictured: Hyundai i30
These cars would have been popular new to begin with. Typically, most economy saloons from the Japanese and the Koreans would fall into this category, combining reliability, build quality and fuel economy at a sensible price.
Throughout its 10 years on our roads, these cars would have had an organic, and robust, parts network. Stockists islandwide would keep parts for these vehicles, meaning that if you needed something done to your car, you will not be frustrated looking for replacements.
This increased competition also lowers the cost of spares. There also is another avenue for replacement parts in the form of examples that have either prematurely met their maker, or not have had their COEs revalidated. Parts from multiple sources mean that you spend less time and money if you get involved in a collision or come service time!
Pictured: Hyundai Avante
The older a vehicle gets, the less reliable it is, right? Anecdotally, perhaps only Toyotas are the exception to the rule, with plenty of examples exceeding 200,000 total kilometres in mileage without having any major issues. As parts wear out, and components fail, it can be frustrating to have to constantly bring your aged vehicle into a workshop for diagnosis.
The frustration is lessened if there is a robust parts network, but if you were to shop used, you would ideally like to buy a car that was not tough to deal with brand new. If something was difficult to cope with when all the oily bits are fresh, imagine the nightmare with a decade’s worth of abuse.
This goes someway into explaining why European cars tend to cost so much less as a COE car than when they were brand new. As they tend to be less reliable, there are higher costs to incur if parts do go wrong – if the price difference isn’t significant enough, then it makes little sense to buy used.
2) Tried-And-True Mechanical Components
Pictured: Suzuki Swift Sport
Economy cars from Japan or Korea are typically still highly sought after. Built to last, they come equipped with less fussy electronics, but have well-developed engines that can handle the abuse. Most engines have been honed over the decades, and have had any issues flagged up and resolved in one iteration or another.
This is atypical of the Europeans, who believe in adding more technology into their cars. When new, these luxuries are good to have. But ask any owner of a Euro luxury car from even the mid noughties, and you’d almost always here the pain in their voices as they break down the financial inlay they’ve had to put in to refresh or even replace the electronics.
The simpler mechanicals, especially of the Japanese saloons of the 2000s, also translates into efficiency – they can do hybrid-rivalling fuel economy figures despite not having any of the complexity!
Pictured: Mercedes Benz GLB
Some COE cars are popular just because they are of a prestigious brand. Automobiles manufactured by these firms may command prices that are beyond the realm of the layman when new. 10 years of depreciation later, with a revalidated COE, these vehicles may fall within the reach of the masses. This means used luxury at the price of a new economy car.
This is a tempting prospect, though there are issues you have to deal with. They may be now more affordable to buy, but they are still equally expensive to maintain. The tech onboard may also be out-of-date, and the interior fittings may be worn out. The aftermarket can help in this regard!
As a whole though, one would receive more nods of approval behind the wheel of a renewed German saloon, than perhaps when he is in a new bread-and-butter Japanese car!
The popularity of certain COE cars is driven up by the demand for specific models. They can be sought after for their bulletproof reputation, or by the brands’ reputation itself. It has allowed more to have their own set of wheels, and if you are looking to do the same, do take a look at our used car classifieds!
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