Test Driven

Written by Cheryl Tay on . Posted in Cheryl Tay Blog | Blog Post of Cheryl Tay

Here’s another feature from my Opinion series; again it is one-sided, heavily opinionated and meant to be taken with light-hearted humour… And yes, any reference made to real persons is purely a coincidence.

Whenever I encounter a dilemma in life – where I have to make a rather dramatic life-changing decision – I seek comfort in reading books about similar experiences that others face. It might be dangerous as it might influence your thinking, but humans tend to find solace in company, especially women.


When you are faced with such a quandary, what do you do? You ask around, speak to family and friends, and spend a lot of time wondering what to do. For example, you need a car – With such a wide range of options available, making a choice is not instantaneous. Or, you are offered a position in a competing company; money aside, do you dare to make that move?


There’s the Japanese or Continental choice, the power or fuel-efficient preference, the style or practicality factor and more. Like how I hang out at the bookstores to search for a book similar to the situation I am in, there are potential car owners who refer to car magazines like Wheels Asia.


As such, we as motoring writers, have the responsibility of reviewing cars and offering our opinions and recommendations, if any. It is a huge responsibility, as it might influence the minds of readers who are contemplating what car to get. Of course, consumers can make the effort to head down to showrooms and test drive every single car that they want, but the amount of time they are given with the cars are limited somewhat.


Buying a car is like choosing a girlfriend, except that the latter can eventually turn into a lifetime commitment called marriage. Due to this system called COE in Singapore, we don’t actually own cars but rather, lease them for a maximum of 10 years from the government with an option to renew the COE at the end. Most people end up changing cars every five years, scrapping the previous one or selling it off.


When you first meet a girl and you find yourself attracted to her looks or personality, you start to ask her out or call her to know her better. In the same way, when you come across a car that looks good and sounds good in the car park or on the roads, you are curious to know more about the car. If you know of friends who own such cars, you ask for a ride in the car so you can find out more about it – the same way you ask your friend for his female friend’s number when you think she’s cute.


Some people prefer to make the chick his girlfriend first, then slowly get to know each other better. Others choose to hang out with the chick more (hanging out with different chicks at a time actually) before deciding which is best. Taking the time to understand a woman before dating her is usually the most logical thing to do, but many do not have the patience to do so.


Unfortunately, we don’t have the same kind of luxury with cars the way you do with chicks. I mean, you can keep going back to the same showroom to keep test driving the same model you are considering, but there’s a limit to how many times you want to do that. Some choose to read up about the car first before going down for a test drive, while others go for the test drive first and if no Fate is struck, decide not to even bother reading up more on the car.


You hear this all the time – change is the only constant in life. We change cars, change clothes, change lovers even. How do you know when the one you are with is The One? You’ll never know. The grass is always greener on the other side, so be contented with the one you chose.


The BMW 750Li might have been your mother’s favourite, the Audi A8L was your dad’s preference, but you decided on the Mercedes-Benz S500L eventually. However or whatever you did to make that choice, only you know.


Maybe it was the Audi R8 that you were drooling over or the Nissan 370Z Fairlady Roadster that caught your eye, but first your daily needs of functionality and practicality have to be met as you need the space for the family. Only after the primary needs have been satiated can you start considering getting a second car for your material needs.


Ultimately, as long as you have the money, you can get the hottest car you want – be it a stylish supercar or a heavily-modified JDM car. But when you have a family, you need to have at least a four-seater so you can store that baby seat, one that is safe so it protects your family and also reliable so you can count on it.


It’s like how you can have the hottest girlfriend but when it comes to choosing a wife, you realise you need someone domesticated, someone who will prioritise family over work, basically someone whom you can depend on. Your wife may not have the biggest boobs or the slimmest legs, but you know that you can rely on her to clean up the house and take care of your kids.


Similarly, money can get you the hottest women to bed and “test driving” these women the way you test drive cars might be a way to “test” your women. However, while you can seek a life partner in a woman, cars are not forever. At least not in Singapore.

Cheryl Tay

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Singapore’s only female full-time motoring and motorsports photojournalist. Independent automotive consultant and prominent local motorsports personality Cheryl Tay is uniquely passionate about all things cars and motorsports. She also has a strong passion to share her interest and knowledge, hence having a dream to become the ‘Oprah Winfrey of cars and motorsports’ and create a multimedia platform for her sharing. - A female in a male-dominated world, Cheryl Tay is Singapore’s only female full-time motoring journalist and motorsports blogger and she regularly writes for prominent titles in Singapore, Asia and internationally. (See full list of titles that Cheryl Tay writes for here.)

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