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Costs of owning a car in Hong Kong - updated version

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  1. #1

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    Costs of owning a car in Hong Kong - updated version

    Hi all-

    The last thread on this topic was in 2007, so I'd just like to get a better idea of what the costs are these days.

    I'm a new, inexperienced driver, but would like to purchase a second hand car to use on weekends. Before I jump into it, would love to know what it would roughly cost to purchase, run and maintain a 'starter' car - including all the additional costs; parking, tax, insurance, and maintenance.

    Bonus points for recommendations on where to look for a cheap starter car! Grateful for your input.


  2. #2

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    Okay it's difficult to give you any kind of accurate estimate as there are many factors involved.

    I just looked on the other xpat website and I randomly picked this one as a kind of affordable starter (fun) car for the weekends:


    VW 2litre BEETLE CABRIOLET
    Price: :45000 HKD

    VW Beetle cabriolet for sale. First registered Dec 2006 and registered until 6 Jan 2017: 63K km on the clock with one lady owner . Great fun little car and a pleasure to drive.


    Maybe it's not what you're after, but I think you should allow for the following:

    Around $3k for insurance (assuming third party with zero no claims discount) You can check online
    Probably $2-4k a month parking, depending on where you live - check your neighbourhood for offers
    Servicing $2-5k bi-annually (that varies a lot depending on who you use)
    Annual Roadworthiness Test (I used to allow $10k for a similarly aged car)
    Annual Vehicle licence around $5900 (I think for a car that size)

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  3. #3

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    Mar 2009
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    Go ahead - if you REALLY want "an Albatross" hanging round your neck till you sell it.

    I am reminded of the tale: "There's two times when a pleasure boat owner feels happiest - the first one when (s)he takes possession of their 'toy' and the second time - when they off-load it on to some unsuspecting new owner!"




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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlclau
    Hi all-

    The last thread on this topic was in 2007, so I'd just like to get a better idea of what the costs are these days.

    I'm a new, inexperienced driver, but would like to purchase a second hand car to use on weekends. Before I jump into it, would love to know what it would roughly cost to purchase, run and maintain a 'starter' car - including all the additional costs; parking, tax, insurance, and maintenance.

    Bonus points for recommendations on where to look for a cheap starter car! Grateful for your input.
    This is my experience

    2007-2011 ( then GF- now wife, also beginner, insurance on her name, start no years no claim bonus )

    mostly weekend driver, sometimes a day or evening weekday drive short distance, parking then in 2007 was at HK$1200 per month, now in 2015 (2016 price not confirmed) at HK$2000 per month

    99 Toyota Yaris 1.3 75bhp cost HK$25,000 (27k mileage , relative's friend owner since new, thus, on a cheap)


    insurance - HK$5k, Road Tax HK$4k per year, average annual cost maintenance, around HK$2-2,500k parts and service, petrol monthly around HK$5-600 per month, sold in 2011 at HK$20k, done 50k mileage

    08 ford focus 144bhp 2.0 ghia cost HK$68,,000 (44k mileage , - expat seller ( purchased in 2011)

    insurance - HK$2k, Road Tax HK$6k per year, average annual cost maintenance, around HK$4-5k parts and service spend on new tyres, filters, suspension and brakes ), petrol monthly around HK$800-900 per month, sold in 2013 at HK$55k , done 66k mileage


    2013 new mark 7 golf 122bhp 1.4 turbo cost HK$238,000 (brand new )

    insurance - HK$3k, Road Tax HK$4k per year, average annual cost maintenance, around HK$8k official vw servicing twice a year ), petrol monthly around HK$500 per month,
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  5. #5

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    Jan 2008
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    I'll go straight for the bonus point, www.28car.com

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  6. #6

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    Jan 2008
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    And for the completely irrelevant but different angle.... you can get by with around 7k a month for a basic rear drive 70kwh Model S

    Figure the lack of need of engine/transmission oil change every 6 months would pay for the insurance too...

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  7. #7

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    Have a look at the 2nd hand cars on the classifeds/

    https://geoexpat.com/classifieds/car...sale-by-owners


  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrdollars
    Okay it's difficult to give you any kind of accurate estimate as there are many factors involved.

    I just looked on the other xpat website and I randomly picked this one as a kind of affordable starter (fun) car for the weekends:


    VW 2litre BEETLE CABRIOLET
    Price: :45000 HKD

    VW Beetle cabriolet for sale. First registered Dec 2006 and registered until 6 Jan 2017: 63K km on the clock with one lady owner . Great fun little car and a pleasure to drive.


    Maybe it's not what you're after, but I think you should allow for the following:

    Around $3k for insurance (assuming third party with zero no claims discount) You can check online
    Probably $2-4k a month parking, depending on where you live - check your neighbourhood for offers
    Servicing $2-5k bi-annually (that varies a lot depending on who you use)
    Annual Roadworthiness Test (I used to allow $10k for a similarly aged car)
    Annual Vehicle licence around $5900 (I think for a car that size)
    Also bare in mind that VW beetles like to consume parts, so expect that you are going to have to pay, to play.

    Expect quite likely transmission valve body replacement, unless it can be proved that it has had this part replaced at some stage. If there is a bit of jerk between 1st to 2nd and especially 2nd to 3rd gear change when the car is at full running temperature, also when engaging reverse then back to drive etc if it has back lash ( jolts ) then expect around $12,000hkd for a new VB.

    Vacuum hoses, especially the the ones related to the brake booster/system, on the passenger side of the engine bay that connect to a series of junctions that split off to the ABS pump etc these like to leak, and when they do, no brakes !

    Oil Dipstick ( plastic) housing tubes that disintegrate ( yellow in colour ) also watch out for glove box latches/handles that break, also the factory car stereo at this age are usually cactus, either the radios dont work or the cd changer dies. You'll need an after market special facia to fit a DIN mount replacement ( Pioneer,Sony.Alpine ) car stereo, which will cause a bit of fun sourcing here. Easy to get in the USA though.

    Sticky main dashboard plastics which for some reason go off with age on VW's ( they dont on Audi's) . SRS airbag sensors in the front seats, under where you sit, fail at this age, at about $1200 each to replace. ABS brake wheel sensors and CV joints can be an issue at this age also, the later are VERY expensive to replace. Power steering leaks are another common problem at this age.

    Now this is of course providing nothing goes wrong with the roof, if that isnt seating properly when it shuts against the windows the car will leak when it rains, some more major than others, filling up with water.. NOT nice. worse on the TT because the main central locking and roof mech ecu is sitting in the back, if the roof rear window leaks, it sends a stream of water into the electronics and fries the electrics. Not sure if the beetle adopts the same wiring diagram, as both cars are based on Golf underpinings.

    As the owner of a 2005 Audi TT Roadster, ( 3rd car kept as a toy plus I am a big fan of Peter Schreyers automotive designs) owning modern Audi and Volkswagen cars is akin to what it was like owning MG's back in the 60's and 70's, when something breaks, its usually going to be expensive and often. The cost of ownership might seem cheap initially, but it wont be long term, a price one pays for cars that I absolutely agree are fun and very enjoyable to drive with the top down. Worth it? Yeah lol

    If you can find a car that has lots of maintenance receipts to explain what has already been replaced, it might be a good buy, because, if a lot of the things I have already mentioned that go wrong with these VAG products, have already been dealt with, then a good comprehensive service history will give you peace of mind. If the car has no service history included then Caveat Emptor, cross fingers and ask yourself, do you feel lucky!
    Last edited by Skyhook; 19-01-2016 at 11:28 AM.
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  9. #9
    Mat
    Mat is offline

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    BMW 318i. First registered in 2001 - bought second hand in 2012 for 36.5K.

    Last 3 years:

    - Insurance: 2.4 to 3k/year - Less and less every year
    - Parking: 1K/month (used to be 600HKD) at a covered car park with security etc. Probably 200HKD more of various parking per month (malls etc)
    - Annual Roadworthiness Test ~2 ot 5K/year depending of repairs to be done (never been more than 5K).
    - Annual Vehicle licence ~ 6K/year
    - Gaz ~ 800HKD/month
    - Tolls/tunnels: 200/300 HKD/month

    Driven on weekends mostly.
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  10. #10

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    Jan 2008
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    there is a ford focus mk2 for less than HK$20k for a 10 year car on this classified, 1.6, even apparently verified and service by expat garage in sai kung, comsumption is not too bad for 1.6 litre, nevertheless, get a car expert friend or our friendly inhouse car expert on this forum to check it out ( if he is willing and it's in his area, maybe he is willing for a pint or two )

    i like my ford focus when i had mine from 2011 to 2013, great drive (but i wanted even more economical without compromising the bhp that much), though parts in inchcape hk isn't cheap

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