car ownership

Fuel Prices and Car Ownership Cost in Malaysia

When it comes to car ownership, Malaysia has a very different landscape as compared to the neighbouring countries like Singapore and Thailand. This is because Malaysia has its own production of oil and gas which determines the petrol prices to a certain extend. Malaysia has one of the most systematic and organized public roads in the region which makes it a great place to own a car. This is why many Malaysians own a car.

Car ownership and fuel prices in Malaysia

To begin with, the fuel prices in Malaysia has underwent several changes in the past decade. From being a government-controlled and subsidized product to one which relies heavily on the global crude oil prices, it changes each time a general election comes around since there will be a new government of the day that will then implement a new policy.

Pricing of fuel

The rule of thumb is to look at the latest fuel prices as they are available online. As such, the price of petrol will change every week. At the current practice, the price of petrol in Malaysia is determined by the floating price of oil in the global market. As such, there will always be changes on the pricing of petrol (for all grades) by a few cents each week. The types of fuel that are commonly available in Malaysia includes:

  1. RON 95
  2. RON 97
  3. diesel

For better understanding, the average price of RON 95 petrol is around RM2.20 per liter while it is about RM0.20 more for RON 97. Meanwhile, diesel price is usually lower than both which hovers around RM2.15 per liter.

What about car ownership in Malaysia?

So, is there any co-relation between fuel prices and car ownership in Malaysia? Definitely. This is because if the price of fuel continues to rise in Malaysia, the buying power of cars in Malaysia will drop. Older cars like the Proton Saga and Perodua Myvi (best selling car in Malaysia for years) are known to use RON 95 petrol. They remain very sellable cars but would be a problem if the price of fuel continues to increase.

Meanwhile, the newer models like Toyota Vios, Honda City, Kia Sorento and such would be better and more efficient if run on RON 97 grade fuel. This means that buying the car is easy, maintaining it would be quite challenging.

However, with a recent change in the federal government of Malaysia promising cheaper fuel and reinstatement of the government subsidies for petrol, it might be good news for Malaysians who are planning to buy a car.
Another factor which is contributing to the decision to buy cars in Malaysia is in the toll prices. All the highways in Malaysia are mostly tolled expressways. This means that the cost of maintaining a car will be quite costly. However, new policy-makers have promised to remove tolls in the expressways which will now surely influence the decisions to buy cars in the near future.