While many might spend their paychecks on fancy cars, this Malaysian guy has found that buying an old car has been a much better investment for him
Meet Ken, a 27-year-old Malaysian, who has been driving an old Proton Saga for the past few years.
In a Facebook post on 5 August that has since gone viral, Ken explains why he decided to keep his 1999 Proton Saga Iswara 1.3 Aeroback instead of just buying a new car.
"Owning a car in Malaysia can be extremely expensive considering the price of a new car per average monthly income ratio," he explains
By average, Ken shares that "it is easily over RM500 per month for the upkeep of a new car in Malaysia even if it is an entry-level car."
In contrast, the average upkeep of his Proton Saga is around RM300, including fuel, maintenance, and other random repairs.
That totals up to RM3,600 annually, which is enough to keep his car running throughout the year. He adds that of course, it does not need repairs ever single month so he saves cost on those months.
During his early days of driving the 21-year-old Proton, Ken received negative feedback because it was in a seemingly bad condition
The old car, which first belonged to his grandfather, was left in a neglected state for a year in 2016 before Ken took over to restore it.
This was how it looked before:
And this is how it looked after:
Many people had advised him to take up a loan for a new car instead of wasting his money to fix up the Proton Saga.
But he's glad he didn't. Otherwise, he says he would still be paying at least RM500 a month under the nine-year car loan instalment. This excludes the costs for fuel and its yearly insurance, which isn't exactly cheap for a new vehicle.
"My current income is eligible to sign up for a RM50,000 to RM60,000 car loan from a bank but why spend so much per month to pay for a new car that I use as a daily point A to B transport?"
On top of that, as most know, the value of a new car depreciates very quickly every year
"Say if I buy a car for RM60,000 under a nine-year loan, by the time I finish repaying the loan, the car is probably worth only RM20,000 by then. RM40,000 lost in depreciation and I have not even factored in the amount that I've lost in paying interest rates to the bank," he explains.
So instead of tying himself up with a loan commitment, Ken says that he is better off driving the Proton Saga and saving up the extra money per month, which he can then give to his family, keep as savings, or use on property and his future.
With that said, of course, there is a certain perception of driving an old car
"Obviously compared to my similarly aged peers, I look like the sad poor guy who drives an outdated old Proton Saga that his family handed down to him when others are driving shiny brand new cars with the latest technology," he says.
"Some will even say that I am risking my life because of the poor safety features in this car. Hmm, does that mean that motorcycle riders are battling against life and death daily as they ride out? Or maybe your parents or the older generations are risking their lives too during a few decades ago when they are driving cars like this?"
In conclusion, he says that regardless of what car you drive, there isn't a 100% guarantee in road safety.
However, he adds that an almost empty bank account every month due to high commitments is a guaranteed risk in personal finance management.
In an interview with SAYS, Ken shared that some important things to look out for when buying an old secondhand car are accident damages, fake parts, and the engine
To spot accident damages in general, he advises to look at the consistency of the car's panel gaps, and welding point edges on doors and bonnets.
"You can even check out the small wordings on lamps and side mirrors to identify if those parts were genuine original parts which help to tell you a little about the car if they were replaced before with non-genuine parts," he says.
"Engine-wise, it would be best to check out the cooling system to prevent overheating."
Since his post went viral, many Malaysians have been praising Ken for his unwavering stance
Others even shared photos of them proudly posing with their old Protons