SINGAPORE – When it comes to cars, there are not many kinds of people in the world who treasure their vehicles as much as Singaporeans do.
This is probably most evident in the fact that we pay some of the highest prices for car ownership in the world.
In a new survey with 500 motorists conducted by specialty insurer DirectAsia, Singaporeans were found to use their cars not just as convenient transport tool, but also as an integral part of their everyday lives.
For Singaporeans, cars represent some of their fondest memories. One in three drivers surveyed said they recalled driving home with their newborn baby, or taking their grandchild out in the car for the first time.
Nearly half of the participants said they had fond memories of going on a date their cars (46 per cent), while one in five had shared a first kiss with a partner in their cars (22 per cent).
Gen-X (36 to 45-year-old) drivers were also most likely to enjoy ‘making out’ in their cars, according to the survey.
And while Singapore is a small country, about 77 per cent of respondents said they spent more than five hours in their cars every week. This is more than the time spent on well-loved Singaporean pastimes such as shopping (51 per cent), cooking (49 per cent), seeing friends (64 per cent) or watching TV (74 per cent). About 40 per cent also said that they liked to go for drives even when they did not have a destination in mind.
The survey results also showed that almost half of those who are between 46 to 58 years old saw driving as a way to bond with the friends and family they were chauffeuring.
Singaporeans love their cars so much that about 68 per cent said that it’s their preferred mode of transport, over public transport, walking or cycling – with one in four saying they couldn’t live without their car. Hence, it is no surprise that the two biggest worries for drivers are getting into a car accident (73 per cent) and having their car stolen (53 per cent).
Another favourite activity Singapore drivers have is to listen to their favourite songs in the car, with 65 per cent saying that they did so. Millennials are most likely to test their vocal chords, with 67 per cent saying they like to sing out loud compared to just 23 per cent of those over the age 55. About 58 per cent even invest in new speakers and sound systems as an upgrade for their cars.
Interestingly, traffic and road rage do not put off the younger generation from driving, with as many as 41 per cent reporting that being in the car was a calming experience.