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Financial security is a top concern for Malaysians because of economic contractions brought about by movement control order (MCO) restrictions and the COVID-19 pandemic. This has made cost-cutting a top priority. The Department of Statistics found that average household spending decreased by 55% following the MCO. 

This has made car ownership a burden since Malaysians are driving around less often. However, car ownership may still be necessary for those who need to travel occasionally during MCO, whether for business or personal reasons. It would also be unfeasible to get rid of the car altogether when travel “goes back to normal” after MCO is lifted. 

Now the question is, how can Malaysians cut down on costs as a car owner during this period? Here are three tips: 

1. Use cashback credit cards or rewards points

One of the biggest costs that come with being a car owner is petrol. Malaysians are lucky in that petrol is subsidised by the government, but urban households still spend a high percentage of monthly expenditure on gas and other fuel, according to the DOS.

To optimise their budgets, Malaysians can opt to use credit cards to pay for petrol. There are plenty of credit cards that offer generous rebates specifically for this purpose. Citi Cash Back card, for example, offers 8% rebate on Shell fuel.

If you don’t have a petrol credit card, you can always use whatever credit card you have to earn points and reap rewards points. That way, you’re making the most of a necessary expense.  

2. Downgrade or switch your car to something more economical

If you’ve got a car that guzzles gas like no other, consider trading it in for a car with good petrol mileage. This means you consume less fuel for a certain distance. It also helps to switch to the lowest octane suggested in your vehicle owner’s manual. You might even consider getting a hybrid or electric vehicle to further reduce your petrol usage.

This serves a dual purpose. Annual road tax and car insurance premiums depend on your vehicle. Expensive cars with bigger engine capacities are charged higher rates for both these mandatory expenses

Cars with engines that are 1,000cc and below are only charged RM20 per year, but this figure can go up to RM1,641 and above if you drive a tank to work. Meanwhile, traditional car insurance takes car market value into account when determining premiums, so owning an expensive car will drive premiums up. 

3. Choose a flexible car insurance plan

Another option for lowering your insurance premiums is choosing a flexible car insurance plan. Since MCO has significantly lessened the need to drive around, you can opt for a plan that’s based on mileage rather than car market value. 

For example, Chubb recently came out with a MY Smart Car Insurance that offers comprehensive risk protection for low-mileage drivers. It still covers loss or damage, third-party bodily injury and death, and third-party property loss or damage, but you pay less since you’re only charged based on how often you take the car out. 

Based on the plan chosen, you can get car insurance coverage for up to 10,000 kilometres with the flexibility to top up before you reach your mileage threshold. Any mileage you don’t use can be carried forward to the next policy upon renewal. 

Car insurance is mandatory for any car owner in Malaysia, but you don’t have to be bogged down by expensive premiums when you’re only taking your car out once or twice a month. 

Drive less, save more

Another option for lowering your insurance premiums is choosing a flexible car insurance plan. Since MCO has significantly lessened the need to drive around, you can opt for a plan that’s based on mileage rather than car market value. 

This period of uncertainty doesn’t have to be all that uncertain. There’s no need to sacrifice your car or risk a lack of protection just to cut down on costs when there are so many ways for you to save. Chubb’s new flexible car insurance plan is here to help you tide through this period and keep you safe in light of the unknown. 

If you want to switch to a flexible, affordable, and comprehensive car insurance plan, get in touch with us here.

Disclaimer - This content is brought to you by Chubb Insurance Malaysia Berhad (“Chubb”) as a convenience to readers and is not intended to constitute advice or recommendations upon which a reader may rely. Chubb makes no warranty or guarantee about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of this content. It is the responsibility of the reader to evaluate the quality and accuracy of material herein.

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