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A 4095 meter tall mountain

A 4095 meter tall mountain

Mount Kinabalu is the tallest mountain in Malaysia and the 20th tallest in the World. Mainly because of the biological diversity the mountain is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Climbing the mountain is not an easy feat for the untrained; though it will absolutely be one of the best experiences ever. Watching the sun rise in the early morning will definitely make you forget all the hardships you had to endure during the hike up.

Sepilok Orangutan sanctuary

Sepilok Orangutan sanctuary

Sepilok rehabilitation centre is one of the biggest and most well known orangutan sanctuaries in Malaysia. The sanctuary is located nearby Sandakan; the total site is over 43 square kilometer in size. Around 75 orangutans roam free within the forest reserve. During their rehabilitation the animals rely heavy on the help of the people that work at the centre; and also on the donations from tourists. Tourist can snap precious pictures during daily feeding time.

Kinabatangan river cruise

Kinabatangan river cruise

One of the most popular destinations in Sabah is the Kinabatangan River. This river has a length of 560 kilometers and stretches through half of Eastern Sabah. Alongside the riverbanks there is an abundance of wildlife. During a river cruise you will have a chance to spot the rare orangutan, the pygmy elephant, proboscis monkeys and saltwater crocodiles. During night cruises you might spot the leopard cat, numerous sleeping birds, wild boars, snakes and many crocodiles.

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

TAR Marine Park is the perfect place to enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling and light jungle treks. The marine park is made up of five small islands: Gaya, Manukan, Sapi, Sulug and Mamutik. The best beaches and probably also the best corals can be found around Gaya island; the biggest of the five islands. The marine park is only a 20 minute boat trip away from the city of Kota Kinabalu.

Mulu National Park

Mulu National Park

Mulu National Park is the biggest national park in Sarawak. The park is best known for the amazing caves. The Sarawak Chamber is the world's biggest cave chamber. It is said that 40 Boeing 747 aircraft's fit in the cave. Clearwater cave is the world's longest cave with a length of over 110 kilometers. The caves aren't the only highlights at Mulu NP. The amazing pinnacles at Mount Api are absolutely stunning to witness. A visit to Mulu NP will bring your holiday in Malaysia to new heights!

20 tips when buying a car in Malaysia

Things to keep in mind when buying a car in Malaysia

1. There are almost no reliable cars below the RM5000 mark. Cars that are sold below RM5k often need repairs which could easily add a couple of thousand ringgits. Be prepared to pay at least RM7.000 to RM10.000 for an old (10+ year old) car.

2. A new car easily costs over RM100.000 in Malaysia. If you want to drive an American or European brand then be prepared to fork up a few hundred thousand ringgits. Even a BMW of at least 5 years old may cost well over RM150.000.

3. Most common brands in Malaysia are Proton, Toyota, Honda and Hyundai. Most common European cars are BMW and Mercedes. Audi is currently gaining popularity (weird enough some locals have the impression that Audi is of less quality compared to BMW and Mercedes).

4. Banks are usually eager to give out (new) loans. Expats usually have a bigger income compared to locals, though expats also often stay less long in Malaysia. Loans are available but there may be restrictions in place (like a shorter payback time which means higher monthly costs). When you take up a loan there is usually a down payment of at least 10%. To get the loan you need to bring along bank statements (that proves your income), your passport with work-permit and often a company letter. A general rule of thumb is that you must have a salary of at least 3 to 5 times the monthly payment in order to get a loan. The interest rates for a new car are usually between 2% and 4% per year (second hand cars between 4% and 8%). Loans that can be applied are typically for around 10 years in case of a new car.

5. Proton, the national car of Malaysia, is perhaps not the best or nicest car to drive; however it is a car that everybody drives in Malaysia. This means that there is much knowledge at repair garages and parts are also less expensive. If you are on a tight budget, you are probably best off with a Proton car.

6. Make sure you bring along a local that at least speaks Bahasa Malayu. Chinese is often even better (as the 2nd hand car market is mostly dominated by Chinese Malaysians).

7. Check the service record to verify the vehicle’s history and mileage.

8. Have the vehicle tested by an independent service/repair shop and use the outcome to haggle on the price.

9. Use places like Mudah.com.my to get an impression on prices for a certain type, year and model. If you see a car for sale for half the regular 2nd hand value then ask yourself the question what might be wrong with it. Believe it or not; it is not uncommon to see stolen cars offered for sale.

10. Don’t believe most of the unique selling points. In Malaysia every 2nd hand car only had 1 previous owner, who is always 76 years old and always used to be a school teacher that only drove 50.000 kilometers in all those years.

11. Take the car for a test drive. Check whether essential functions like brakes, tires, clutch, gearbox, visors, lights, doors, electric windows (if any), central door lock and air-condition are working.

12. Cars keep their value more in Malaysia then in other countries. If you buy a car for RM15.000 chances are that two years later the car is still worth around RM13.000. Brand new cars do lose value immediately after buying the car (around 30% max).

13. Please check that the vehicle is actually owned by the seller. This can be done at JPJ (Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan).

14. When you are buying the car you head over to JPJ near Amcorp Mall in Petaling Jaya just outside KL city center to have it registered under your name.

15. Only after you have registered the car under your name (and made sure up front that there are no outstanding loans, warrants and after the official car inspection) you will do the payment.

16. In Malaysia people can take up a loan (similar to a mortgage) on a car that is transferable after the sale. This means you can buy a car with an outstanding loan. Always check the background or history of the vehicle if possible before deciding to buy the vehicle for sale.

17. If you bring your car to a regular repair shop; always join the mechanic for a short drive to test the car. Our experiences are that they tend to fix the problem(s) at hand, but often do not look further than that. This means that there is a chance that you will run into new problems. Always be alert and always ask how many days of warranty come with the repairs.

18. If you run into trouble on the road be sure to have proper insurance. Our experience with Axa is pretty good. We ran into troubles a few times with our cheap car and we never had to wait for more than two hours for the towing company to arrive. Be sure to keep the number of your insurance company at hand.

19. Never rush into buying a car. Also try and find a trustworthy source first that has no ties with a dealer (or seller) whatsoever. Do not put too much trust in the advertisements you often see along the roads. Always make sure all the documents are in order and there has not been tampered with the car.

20. If you are selling your car (private sale) then always make sure payment is done in cash on delivery. There have been many cases of expats being fooled without any time left to actually solve the issues.

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20 comments on 20 tips when buying a car in Malaysia

  1. raj
    11 months ago
    September 17, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    if im not mistaken, it is BMW not B&W

    Reply
  2. Ilya
    11 months ago
    September 17, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    You are correct :). I don’t really know why I would have written B&W instead of BMW :)…I fixed it..thanks

    Reply
  3. Henrik
    11 months ago
    September 23, 2013 at 6:52 am

    Thanks for an informative read. Very good information, thanks!

    When I bought a RM5500 Proton Saga for my company, the car salesman was insistent that I pay the car FIRST, before transferring the ownership to me, which indeed sounds reasonable. We ended up compromising by paying half upfront in cash, and worked it out that way. The purchase was legit and nothing has gone wrong since, but are you sure everyone accepts a ownership transfer before payment is done?

    Is it possible to buy a car in Malaysia even if I still do not have a visa? I am on tourist visa…

    Thanks for your writing and help!

    Reply
  4. Ilya
    11 months ago
    September 23, 2013 at 7:20 am

    I guess it depends on the seller. I mean, the car I bought was from a trustworthy seller. He was acquanted with a friend of mine, so there was no real reason to take precautions…

    You can by a car without visa…you have to consider however if you want to take the risk of owning a car without a visa; should you be denied entry at some point; how will you get rid of your car?

    Reply
  5. Henrik
    11 months ago
    September 23, 2013 at 7:29 am

    Thanks for your answer. Yes it seems buying from a trusted source (who trusts you too) is a recommended option to secure your investment. If you pay cash upfront as a tourist like I did, and the seller screws you, what can you do… The risk is big….!

    Good to hear you can buy a car without a visa. The car is simply registered to your passport then is it?

    I understand the risk with this, but for a car worth RM5k or so, there is not much to worry about :-)

    Which online site do you recommend to source your car from? Or do you recommend a cheap-car dealership in KL to visit possibly?

    Thanks again.

    Reply
  6. Ilya
    11 months ago
    September 23, 2013 at 7:55 am

    In the RM5k range you do not have that many options. It is either finding something through Mudah or going to the car dealerships. We found ours at Mudah, and called to make an appointment to see/try the car. Another option are the car markets, like the Sunday morning market at PJ Old Town for example.

    Again, RM5k as budget means you will not have that many options….

    Reply
  7. Henrik
    11 months ago
    September 23, 2013 at 8:26 am

    Alright, I might try to up the budget a few thousand. Thanks for your answers!

    Reply
  8. Matthew
    10 months ago
    October 26, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Hi there,

    Thanks for your tips on buying a car :)
    I am about to buy a second hand car, and am wondering what are the compulsory fees involved.

    I am aware that the car has to be sent to puspakom for inspection, and there’s a transfer of ownership fee. May I ask how much roughly in total are these fees? Are there any other fees that I should know?

    The dealer quoted that all the fees needed for the transfer would be RM850, but I guess a large chunk of the money is paid for their “service” in helping us make the transfer smooth. However I’m more keen on settling it myself and probably save a couple of hundred if they allow.

    What do you think? Thanks:)

    Reply
  9. Ilya
    10 months ago
    October 26, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Can’t remember the exact amount. Also can’t remember if this transfer fee is based on the type of car or something. I do remember it wasn’t that much, only a few hundred RM max…so RM850 is mostly because of the service yes….

    Reply
  10. Anonymous
    10 months ago
    October 30, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Hi Matthew,

    I’m not an experience buyer/seller, in fact i was half way doing research on how it works when i read your question in above.

    As far as i understand, only RM130 (again, i might be wrong)
    1) Puspakom inspectation – to pay to Puspakom RM30
    2) JPJ – to pay to JPJ RM100 (But needs to fill up several forms)

    Hope those links in below helps:-
    Link: http://xaivierchia.blogspot.com/2011/01/procedure-of-selling-buying-second-hand.html
    JPJ Link: http://www.jpj.gov.my/en/utama
    Puspakom Link: http://www.puspakom.com.my/en/index.

    Reply
  11. Gamma
    9 months ago
    November 29, 2013 at 6:18 am

    Hi, great tips you wrote there.
    My question is can an international student with student via apply for a car loan?
    Thanks.

    Reply
  12. Sin
    9 months ago
    December 2, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Im try to get a second hand car…im so worry about the transfer process , and everything . Please help me to understanding the documents , process , money i have to prepare to get a second hand car . TQ

    Reply
  13. Tommy
    8 months ago
    December 11, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Hi.you guy should help me out. Recently the dealer quote me RM1500 for transfering fee.is it worth? Why so expensive? Is there any chance i can deal it of my own?

    Reply
  14. Tommy
    8 months ago
    December 11, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    I am so dying to reduced the car price cut but later the service fee is kiling me!

    Reply
  15. Tommy
    8 months ago
    December 11, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    How much they really earn?what sort of things they are charging?
    1 st party insurans?
    Road tax?
    Switching new owner at Jpj?
    They are not even telling me the part that they using for? You see i am buying a 2005 year kancil for my needs at RM7600.Then after include the so call service on the road price at total of RM9100. And and how do i know if it is free from previous ‘saman’ or loans?
    ~~~~~~faint.

    Reply
  16. Andy
    8 months ago
    December 30, 2013 at 5:14 am

    Hi,
    I am planning to buy a new car(Sedan). I am not having big budget but looking something below RM100,000 . Is there any diesel engine available in this budget?

    Are there some other good options according to you in that budget!

    Thanks,
    Andy

    Reply
  17. keimah
    2 months ago
    June 23, 2014 at 1:39 am

    Am planning to buy a proton 2010 2nd handcar with rm 19000. The dealer said after everything:registration, inspection, one yr insurance etc…the price would go up to rm 22500. And, I left there without buying it. How is it? Can I do registration under myname by myself?

    Reply
  18. nanda
    1 month ago
    July 14, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    interesting forum. Well im a private malaysian car owner of a Perodua Kelisa who is looking for a suitable home for my car as i need to get a bigger sized car. Price is negotiable, and i am an enthusiast who tinkers abt with my car so if you are interested to get a kelisa, do email me. At me.

    [email protected]

    Any purchaser are welcome and will be best if its on october or november as i will be travelling abroad for work prior. Thanks

    Reply
  19. Spund
    3 days ago
    August 19, 2014 at 7:04 am

    I will be working in KL for a Little over 6 months, what would be the best way of renting a car? I have tried Hertz and Avis, but they seem rather expensive, when it comes to these type of leases – can you recommend anything?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Ilya
      2 days ago
      August 20, 2014 at 8:29 am

      Hi,

      I’d recommend contacting the car rental companies directly to negotiate a good deal for 6 months. Also, check local rental companies as that is the source (Avis and such rent there too). Examples are Hawk Malaysia and Iprac.

      Reply

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