The actual cost of owning a car is a lot higher than just your monthly instalments, and we’re not talking about insurance or maintenance, itself already a big chunk of a car’s total ownership cost.
Beyond maintenance, depreciation is the biggest ‘cost’ for a car owner. However, very few see it that way because it’s not something that you feel until you have to sell your car. It’s like losing money on stocks; it’s paper loss until you actually sell it, which you have to at some point.
Remember that life doesn’t always turn out the way you plan and circumstances could force you to sell the car earlier. It could be involved in a bad wreck, got caught in a flood, or even stolen - making it not viable to be kept any longer.
A RM 100,000 car - irrespective of the make and model - loses at least RM 15,000 of its value the moment it’s driven out of the showroom, before losing RM 10,000 more in each subsequent year.
In comes GoCar Subs. To explain briefly, GoCar Subs (which is separate from app-based GoCar car sharing service) is best explained as an all-inclusive long-term car rental, but a lot cheaper - cheap enough to match traditional hire-purchase car ownership model.
Since GoCar includes insurance, road tax, maintenance (including tyres), and you don’t have to absorb any depreciation, the numbers work to your favour, if you can accept an unconventional ownership.
So what's the catch?
Your travel mileage is capped at 1,650 km/month, but do you drive more than that? Additional mileage can be purchased separately, just like topping up your mobile data plan.
Why subscribe when I can own?
The sales pitch of GoCar Subs is simple: Why pay to own something that has a limited service life and is only going to cost you even more money in the longer term? Why not subscribe it, like signing up for a smartphone plan?
GoCar Subs currently offers a wide range of cars to choose from – from the cheapest Proton Saga to Malaysia's favourite Perodua Myvi, to SUVs like a Nissan X-Trail Hybrid, 7-seaters like a Nissan Serena, to even an F10 BMW 5 Series.
Its service plans package range from as short as one week (perfect for holiday getaways), to 36 months.
A 2019 Proton Saga with barely 1,000 km on the clock can be had from RM 820/month with a 3-year plan.
In comparison, a 9-year hire purchase loan (a tenure which we don’t recommend) on the same Saga will set you back RM 450/month – yes that’s cheaper but once you include insurance, road tax, maintenance, tyres, the total ownership cost jumps to at least RM 750/month.
Also, remember that Proton’s 5-year/100,000 km maintenance cost list doesn’t include prices of battery, brake pad replacement and brake fluid flush, air-conditioning service, tyre alignment and balancing. The crucial timing belt replacement (RM 630) is conveniently hidden because it’s adjusted to be done at 110,000 km - just outside the 5-year/100,000 km service menu.
The Proton Saga will lose about RM 330/month in the first five years, even more beyond that, thus raising the ownership cost further to RM 1,080/month.
What happens when the subscription ends?
Well, you simply return the car, or you can buy the car at the prevailing market value. Plus, since you’ve spent less on the car than the guy who bought the same new car via hire purchase, it’s a total bargain!
Do you also know that if your subscribed car is due for service, GoCar Subs team will come over and fetch the car from you? If the maintenance work takes more than 48 hours, a replacement car will be provided.
Here are some other FAQs about GoCar Subs:
Where is the service available?
At the moment, only Klang Valley is covered.
Can I physically view the cars before subscribing?
Of course. You can view the cars at GoCar Subs’ PJ hub. Just make an appointment by calling 1800-18-8663 or emailing email@example.com.
I want to switch between models/plans subscribed. What are the charges/penalty?
There will be an administration fee. The subscription fee will be adjusted based on the vehicle selected.
Can drivers with P license subscribe?
What if I get into an accident in the car subscribed? Do I get a replacement car/penalty?
A courtesy car will be provided. Depending on the severity of the accident, there may be some fees incurred. Whilst there’s insurance coverage on the vehicle, there may be some instances where the coverage is insufficient or not applicable.
Can other drivers drive the car? Will they be insured?
Yes. Subscribers can nominate up to two additional named drivers to be insured.
Are there are any other fees that I should know?
There is a security deposit fee for subsriptions that are 12 months or longer, amount varies by model. The security deposit for a Proton Saga is RM1,640 (still a lot cheaper than a down-payment for a hire purchase). This deposit is refunded at the end of the contract when the car is returned in good condition. Reasonable wear and tear is acceptable.
Anything else I should know?
If MCO/RMCO has hit your job/business hard, you can sell your car to GoCar Subs, get paid in cash, and still keep your car. How it works is that you are basically transferring ownership of your car to GoCar Subs, converting it into a subscription package.