Individuals in Singapore prefer to buy cars from authorised distributors, even though parallel importers can offer cheaper cars. Many of my friends have done the same too.
On 26 July 2006, the Business Times, Singapore, reported that "a total of 61,069 passenger cars were registered by the LTA [Land Transport Authority] in the first half of 2006, and parallel imports accounted for 12 per cent".
A key reason for this trend is the warranty of up to 3 years that comes with the car one purchases from an authorised distributor. This enables a person to have peace of mind, should any manufacturing defect affect the car in the short term.
Now, NTUC Income has started an initiative to make it as attractive, if not more, for individuals to buy from parallel importers. It will work with selected parallel importers to provide a similar warranty on parts due to manufacturing defects. It will also offer motor insurance cover at competitive premiums. More information is available at this website.
In my personal view, this is a useful development for the budget-conscious consumer.
It will also make the growing private transport sector in Singapore more competitive.