Our 10th Tech article this year talks about cars with renewed 10-year COE.

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Our 10th Tech article this year talks about cars with renewed 10-year COE. 

I have decided to renew my car’s certificate of entitlement (COE) for another 10 years. What are the most critical mechanical aspects of the car I should fix to keep it running well?

Extending a car’s COE for another decade does indeed save a substantial amount of money compared with purchasing a new car. 

The first thing to do is to set aside a budget to “renew” certain major components. 

Consider an engine overhaul if its mileage is more than 250,000km, it consumes more engine oil (one litre or more every 3000km) or there is blue smoke from the exhaust. 

Change the engine mounts for less vibration. While at it, replace all belts and hoses – including cooling system piping, power steering and brake hoses, and every rubber or plastic tube that is part of the engine’s induction, emissions and fuel-injection system. 

If the radiator and water pump have never been replaced before or not recently, now would be a good time to do so. Never mind if none of the above is not leaking and still looks good. 

You might also need to have the gearbox replaced or at least overhauled. Manual transmissions are the most robust and usually require only an oil change and maybe a bearing replacement. But make sure the manual gearbox’s clutch and release- bearing are renewed. 

Brake-pump and brake- calliper seals should also be replaced. Brake discs (rotors) are items that wear with use.

For the suspension, a complete new set of dampers and linkages will rejuvenate the car’s ride and handling, not to mention on-road safety. Some mountings, such as those that hold the anti-roll bar, need only replacement of their rubber bushes. Springs rarely need to be replaced, but if the car sags on one side, change all four. 

Whatever the make and model of car, have it inspected in detail by more than one workshop, so that you have a clear idea of what parts need replacement and how much it would cost. Keep to genuine and original parts as far as possible. 

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I am thinking of buying a 10-year-old car with a COE which has been extended for another 10 years. Would this be advisable? 

Typically, it makes good economic sense to use a car for as long as it is mechanically sound. The longer a period you depreciate an investment over, the less cost you incur a year. 

Having said that, it is wiser to do so with a car which you have owned. That is because you would have intimate knowledge of how reliable it is, as well as all its idiosyncrasies. 

Buying a COE-revalidated vehicle from someone else (usually a dealer) comes with risks. Often, the older the vehicle, the higher the risks. 

You can mitigate the risk by sending the vehicle to a third- party assessor, but there will still be issues which cannot be detected – until it is too late. 

So, we would advise against getting the car in question, unless you know the seller well. 


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Gearing up for a 10-year COE extension requires due consideration of the financial and mechanical aspects. 

I am considering buying a car that is approaching its 10th year and then renewing its COE so that I can keep it for another decade. This way, I can own a desirable car which would have been out of my reach when it was brand new. The financial aspects aside, what should I look out for with regard to the car’s condition?

The most critical factor would be the car’s mileage. Have the odometer reading verified through the car’s service records or ask the owner for some service or repair receipts that confirm this. A properly documented service history is a huge plus point. 

Obviously, the lower the mileage, the better. Avoid a car that has clocked up anything more than 12,000 kilometres a year, as this would mean you will be faced with plenty of major works in your first year of ownership. 

Also, stay away from modified cars. A single-owner car should also be high on your preference list. As you intend to keep it for 10 years, never rush into the purchase unless you are buying it off someone you know well. 

Have the car checked thoroughly at the official dealer or a workshop you trust. Take it for a test-drive. 

The next aspect you must consider is the dealer backup and spare-parts availability. Remember, you may not be entertained by the current authorised agent if the car was originally sold by another dealer or agent. 

Also, find out if the car’s spare parts are available from stockists both locally and abroad. 

Be patient and you may find the ideal one-owner, low- mileage and regularly-serviced COE car of your dreams. 

Regarding the revalidation of COE, could you provide some information on how insurance premiums and road tax would be affected?

Road tax for a car goes up by 10 percent each year once it reaches 10 years of age. This continues until it reaches a ceiling of 150 precent (or 1.5 times what it attracted when it was below 10 years old). 

As for insurance premiums, it depends on the driver’s or owner’s track record. If the person’s record is clean, the insurance premium should not go up. 

Some insurers charge more for older cars because of their own poor claim experiences regarding such vehicles. But it certainly is not an industry-wide practice. 

So shop around, or go to a reputable insurance broker, who can do the shopping for you.