Have you ever heard someone say something and immediately thought, “That… smells like bullshit”? That was our reaction pretty much when we heard that the gomen will officially move from Proton Perdana to Toyota Vellfire. The switch isn’t the part that smells crap; here’s the reason given – apparently Vellfires pay and maintain cheaper than Perdanas…?
Now, before we all drown in our own prejudices about these costs, it might be a good idea to take a moment to check that the statements of the Ministry of Finance (MOF) are true. Lucky for all of you, we’ve worked the numbers so you don’t have to, and it turns out…
Is the cost cheaper to lease than that of buying?
Anyone with automotive knowledge will know that there is no way that a completely imported luxury minivan from Japan is cheaper than a domestic premium sedan. The rest of you walk or ride rickshaws everywhere, this may not seem so obvious to you, so we’ll break down the price for you (as best we can).
The Treasury Department says some government-issued Perdanas are approaching six years old, so to be fair, we’ll take the 2016 Proton Perdana 2.4L Premium as standard. Since Proton has removed old promotional materials from their website, this article from paultan.org should do the trick.
According to them, a new Perdana 2.4L Premium was priced at RM 138,888 in 2016. Easily determine the price of a 2021 Toyota Vellfire 2.5L – RM 367,881. So say yes on their website (why RM1 extra, Toyota?). The level of math skill in Cilisos is astounding, but we can see that Vellfire costs almost 3 times more to buy than Perdana. “Hey Cilisos, commuters don’t buy vehicles, they rent them,” we hear you say.
Sure, but that makes it even weirder since it’s obvious that renting old Perdanas is more expensive than new Vellfires. YES. The Ministry of Finance says the monthly rental cost of Vellfire is RM4,851.61 while Perdana’s is RM4,854.41. Spanco, the fleet management company that has been supplying our gomen vehicles since 1994, certainly has attractive pricing policies for their rental.
The reason why it is expensive for owners of Vellfire to maintain their cars
Driving a car means you’ll have to take it in for regular maintenance checks. It’s just a fact of life, like your girlfriend leaving you after you forgot her birthday for the third year in a row. How does Perdana compare to Vellfire in this division?
Just in case you don’t know, you’ll usually send your car in for service after it’s done about 20,000 km or after 12 months. First, Perdana. So a trip to an official Proton service center will result in a Perdana owner’s RM206.74 in possession. In the other corner, Vellfire. Toyota actually offers three different maintenance packages for its 10,000 km maintenance services: Basic, Advance and Advance Plus. The Advance package is the most similar to the Proton and is equivalent to the RM316.
At first glance, the Vellfire costs more to maintain than the Perdana, but if you look closely at the price list, both cars don’t cost much to maintain as Proton doesn’t charge for their labor. In fact, Proton’s fully synthetic motor oil is lagi mahal. While all of the above doesn’t take into account other factors like the occasional traffic accident or the quality of the vehicle, it’s still surprising (at least to the author) to see the near-term cost of maintenance. how much is the same for both vehicles.
Those who is in favor of luxury cars
This is not the first time our soldiers have been criticized for “zooming in” on cars; we did a comparison between the Perdana line and the Mercedes-Benz S450 L AMG when the Kelantan government had Menteri Besar, Exco members and 14 heads of state from German-made gasifiers. Earlier this year, in January, Malaysia’s first multi-ethnic reform movement, Aliran, criticized the Penang government for dropping a Mercedes-Benz S560e limousine in the lap of the country’s prime minister.
Things like this raise the question we’re sure on everyone’s mind: do our politicians really need this level of comfort while driving? Why not use these funds for other, arguably better purposes, such as improving our medical institutions or paying our civil servants more?
In the end, the decision is really up to the administration, but if we don’t voice our concerns, especially when public funds are being used in a way that we believe doesn’t fit the bill , then who will? We are looking forward to see your comments below.