Buying a new car. Just say you love it. Stop “lying” about fuel consumption savings.

I was lucky. My father gave me a great car

When I started working way back in 1998, I drove my father’s Nissan Sunny until it reached 400,000km. I drove it from 1998 until 2013. My ex General Manager (Japanese) said this one day in year 2000 when he was in my Nissan Sunny. “In Japan, nearly everyone changes their car before it reaches 100,000km.” He was looking at my odometer showing 180,000 km and he was like, ‘what the ….” I sold the car in 2013.

My actual own car.

The first car I ever bought with my own money is a Proton Persona 1.6 (MANUAL gear). That was 11 years ago. Yes, I am still driving that same Proton Persona today. It has clocked 148,000km and would have hit 180,000 if not for the lockdowns. Yes, it was fully paid 5 years back. So, I have been driving the car for free every month. Yes, I like this Proton Persona because until today, I take corners with confidence and it’s never like a sampan with wheels. (Aiya you know which car is that lah, I will not elaborate).

Fuel Consumption Story (likely from the salesman…)

Many months back, a friend was telling me about his car which could save him tons of money from the petrol cost alone. He told me that his car’s fuel consumption is even BETTER than my 11-year old Persona 1.6  I told him, I agree!  Then he said, ‘I can save more money.’

I told him to stop joking because there’s no way he can save more money. He was a little offended. He challenged me to tell him my fuel consumption. Well, as at today, it’s 8.3 litre per 100km. That’s about 1 litre of RON95 petrol to 12km. His awesome car could give him nearly 20km to 1 litre. I did not bother to ask if that’s solely on highway because if it’s just highway, my Persona could also do way better than 1 to 12km. Anyway, he laughed at me and I laughed at him and we remain friends.

However, let’s really do some calculation here since it involves PERSONAL FINANCE. Assuming petrol price to be RM2.50 per litre for RON95 (higher than current to be conservative) That’s RM2.50 for 12km to me and RM2.50 for 20km to him. Assuming we drive 30,000km per year (very high number)

RM2.50 every 12km = 21 sen per km.

RM2.50 every 20km = 12.5 sen per km.

Whopping 8.5 sen difference per km. 8.5 sen x 30,000km per year = RM2,550 difference.

After 10 years and 300,000km later, (most drivers will never reach this), he would have saved RM2,550 x 10 = RM25,500.

That’s a LOT of money. There’s just one issue. His car is at least RM30,000 more expensive than mine. Calculations wise, I saved RM30,000 right at the beginning and he has to wait until the car has been driven for 10 years in order to save RM30,000.

What if the debate is on IMAGE of a non-national car versus an old national car?

When it’s just on image, My friend will win hands down lah. He’s not driving a national car. No one looks at someone driving a Persona 1.6 much yeah. Maybe in their mind, ‘Charles could not afford a new car?’ However, this is another story altogether and if the debate was on image alone, I would not need to write this article. In fact if the debate is about car brand, I would also not write this article. Ask me about my favourite car company, I will tell you it’s Volkswagen. (sorry, it’s not Toyota).

Ask me about favourite car over 3 years ago, it’s still Audi A6. Ask me about my favourite car today, it’s definitely Volvo XC60 yeah. Haha. Sorry, Audi A6, you were yesterday to me. if you noticed, there’s no Proton in all these choices, whether favourite car company or favourite car model.

Savings of RM100,000 over a period of 11 years

Proton Personal 1.6 was definitely a good choice for me 11 years ago because I have saved at RM100,000 just by driving the same car for over 10 years. RM75,000 for a Segment B car in the beginning and RM75,000 for a new Segment B car after 7 years. That’s RM150,000 in total and if we minus my car price of RM52,000 then the savings is roughly RM100,000. This RM100,000 I would gladly put into other investment. You can see this is by far higher than whatever fuel-savings…

Happy loving your car, whichever brand it may be. Diversity is great for everyone. Cheers.

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