The 42-year-old listener said he did not expect drivers to stop using their cars just because fuel prices have risen.
“I don’t think fuel costs will contribute significantly (to the overall cost of maintaining a car). You’re probably feeling (the effects of higher prices) because everyone’s talking about it now, but after some time, I don’t think we’re going to stop driving just because of that.”
For Mr. Kelvin Tay, the almost two hours saved on the round trip between his home in the east of Singapore and his place of work on the other side of the island, compared to a trip by public transport common, worth the extra S$30 he pays for his weekly petrol bill.
“We have already bought the car, so we (the drivers) just have to accept any increase and adapt to it,” said Mr Tay, who works in facilities management.
He said that could mean doing fewer errands or even changing driving habits to increase fuel efficiency.
Others, like Mr Lucas Chiam, said his family will still have to use the family car despite higher fuel prices for logistical reasons.
Like Mr Tay, the 39-year-old educator said he was more likely to change his own drinking habits than to stop driving.
On the one hand, his wife, who does business development for medical products, needs him to meet her clients across the island.
Beyond that, the couple uses the vehicle to take their two young boys to places that are inexpensive and out of reach of public transport. “So spending a little more on the trip to save time, energy and have a better experience is definitely worth it,” Mr Tay said.
IMPACT ON LOGISTICS COMPANIES
TODAY also sought feedback from several logistics companies on how the fuel hikes might affect customers.
Mr. Dave Ng, Chairman of the Singapore Logistics Association, said the logistics industry expects operating costs to continue to rise sharply in the near term.
“In addition to dealing with supply constraints, rising wages and inflationary pressures in a Covid-19 environment, the recent spike in fuel and electricity costs due to the conflict in Ukraine is worsening the operating environment difficult for logistics companies,” he said.
While logistics companies have done their best to cope with and absorb these cost increases on several fronts, the recent large increases in fuel and electricity costs are particularly difficult to bear, Ng added.
“Inevitably, many logistics companies are reaching out to their customers and asking everyone to temporarily share fuel increases, alongside recent pump price increases in Singapore, to weather the tough times.”
Either way, at least two logistics companies told TODAY they have no plans yet to pass the cost on to consumers in the form of hefty freight charges.
One was DHL, which said that the impact on the group’s results caused by fluctuations in fuel prices is minor, and that fuel costs represent only 3% of its total cost basis and are primarily related to its fleet of DHL Express aircraft.
“DHL Express applies an automatic fuel surcharge for shipments, which is updated on a monthly basis. In addition, in our other divisions, fuel price movements are automatically reflected in regular freight rate movements and are addressed in customer contracts if they are of major importance,” he added.
Another company is Pickupp. Mr. Lee Chee Meng, its co-COO, said the company is unaffected by rising fuel costs as it not only relies on those with their own transportation, but also on “walkers” as delivery agents.
“As such, we have no plans to increase our prices to customers at this time.”