When I look at COE and car prices today, I think of what I could have bought at the amount I paid a year ago for M2. Today, I could buy a Mazda 3, or just save $5k or more on the same car. If I was financially rational, I would reason that having a car is just money down the drain in terms of taxes, insurance, service and maintenance, fuel, parking, and, uh... anything else I might have missed out; while its asset value continues to depreciate day after day. Oh, and parking and traffic violation fines too. Nuts.
But I don't really care about all that. The experience of owning a car over the last year alone is worth more than the money I would have saved without one. All the adventures, all the friendship bonds made and strengthened would not have been possible without a set of wheels to call my own. From beach jaunts with the dogs, to bowling with the Boyz, to never eating alone, to the odd shopping trip or two, to blading at Bishan, to the mad scavenger quest... I couldn't put a price tag on how radically my life changed because I decided to become a car owner in the last year.
More importantly, I got to see people on a social basis; not just as work colleagues but as friends, and that -- as MasterCard would say -- is priceless.