Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Random thoughts: Overpaying by 400% for years.

Car servicing and repair, is what I am talking about.

I have always gone to the authorized dealer for servicing and repair. I wanted a peace of mind. The fact that one of my friends had a bad experience with cheaper workshop also created my bias.

Yesterday, my car's air-con was spoilt. I drive it back to Buneo Motors. I was told it was most probably a coil problem. I was quoted $2300 after discount. Although the price is ridiculous, I am still willing to go along with it, as it has become my habit and I thought since I am renewing my car, I might as well get the original part.

Deep inside, I am wondering why it cost so much, since a system 2-3 air con cost the same. 

What broke my back is I was told that since I did a walk-in, my car will be ready earliest on Wednesday, and there is a possibility that I might get it on Thursday.

I chat with the taxi driver and he gave me his workshop contact. I asked for a quotation and it was $600. That's almost 4 times difference. I can change the coil every 2 years and I still save. 

I got a rude shock. I have been a corkster all this time. From year 3 onwards till now. I asked about servicing package and again what I was quoted was 3-4 times cheaper. I had always thought the premium I pay us 30-50% more. Not 3-4 times more. 

Good luck to the new management of buneo motors. I understand some people like to bring their car for servicing in style, with lounge etc. But to close down sin Ming and let customers wait 2 days or more for their car is going to be a bad mistake in Singapore. 

I am going to try their servicing service. The air con is working fine. 

I have been paying for things I don't need, such as a nice lounge, receptionist  etc. I am cheapo, I actually like the no-drill direct talk with the mechanics. 

Good bye buneo motors. I am not coming back. 


  1. Hi SI,

    Same issues, air con. Same quotes, a few k vs $600+. So what I did in the past was to go authorised service centre for servicing, but I always go outside for repairs. Find a good workshop, build up a relationship, and they will take care of you :)

  2. Hi LP,

    I agree with u about finding comparative advantage. For u, it's servicing at original and repair somewhere else.

    While I am very happy with the workshop I went, the repainting of a scratch part of the body cost around 400. I can get it done at half price or less at another place. That usual place I go done the job for me at 120. U can see what kind of driver I am
    Lol hahahahaha

    It's important to shop around.

  3. Hi SI,

    Glad you decided to go 'outside' for your car needs. Authorised dealers always charge a premium be it servicing or repairs. This is the same for BM or other dealer. I suspect a big chunk of their revenue comes from this stream.

    I also changed my cooling coil recently at a regular workshop that I went to. Was charged $550 including the coil itself, aircon filter and gas top up.

    By the way nice blog there. Keep it up.


    1. Hi Jass,

      From my conversation with the employee, the servicing branch of the business is bleeding due to high rental. The spare parts selling is the only part profitable. They have the selling part that is profitable too.

      Close sin Ming is part of cost cutting. Thought it's a bad move.

      U know what, since workshops do such a good job at competitive prices. I will just do pick and go service. Make a appointment and our drivers will come pick up your car for servicing and return it to you ...

      Fuss free and most prob profitable lol hahahah keyboard warrior ! Go

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  5. Hi SI, LP and JASS,

    Thanks for your post SI and all for your comments. I have been going to BM to service my Toyota for past 8 years now. Find it expensive but never thought of going to any other workshop for servicing/repairs.

    Your article and comments have opened my eyes. Never in my life would I have know that I've been overpaying by so much, and I'd like to give workshops a try. The chance to save $$ going forward is very enticing, and I'd probably consider all the overpayments all these years as tuition fee... Would you guys be able to recommend me your workshop(s)? - I'd really appreciate it.

    Thank you all so much!

  6. Hi dunk,

    Haha, it's good to share such info :) Mine is Kai motor trading.

    1. Thanks LP! This looks good and near my place, too.

      Much appreciated and wishing you all a great weekend!

      p.s. - have been following your blog for a number of years now; not 10+ years ago but ever since the GFC. Great blog going on there, though I'm just a silent reader. Many thanks for your sharing and commitment over the years. Finally, congrats to you and the Mrs! May you have a blessed parenthood.


    2. .... and just to add that I've been following SI's blog as well for the past few years! :D


  7. Whoa!! Dunk, I can cry ...

    Sobz thanks for following for years. I always thought I am the joke in the bloggersphere. Now even if I am still a joke, a joke for years is a classics LOL

    Mine is soon huat tyre at E-entreprise, Toh guan

  8. Thanks SI too! - Sorry, was on biz trip and couldn't follow up earlier. I'll check them out as well :)

    All the best,

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