CarQuotes: SME Excellence Business Award & Top Business Service & Quality Award 2022/2023

Collage of Carquotes founders
Collage of Carquotes founders

Founder of CarQuotes, Mr Sean Koh, and his associate, Mr Derrick Kwa

Singapore is a country where nearly every family owns a vehicle, be it for transport or work. With nearly 12,000 carparks in the country hosting up to 1.4 million parking lots, car ownership has since meant more than just a status but a great convenience for Singaporeans and their daily commute. With that in mind, Car Dealerships and workshops in Singapore are aplenty, serving the customers with a wide range of car choices and servicing options. 

Founded by Mr Derrick Kwa and Sean Koh, CarQuotes is a vehicle dealership dealing with vehicles for sale or rental, be it new or used. The name of the business – CarQuotes came from a short and simple concept, they deal with cars, and they have good quotes for their customers.  

Located at Enterprise One near Kaki Bukit, CarQuotes started out with Mr Koh bringing Mr Kwa into the business. Over the years, the two started to gain their passion for cars, something that grew with their experience in car trading.

Image of Mr Kwa

Mr Kwa shares that the best part of this friendship was having no opposing opinions against each other, but respecting choices and decisions and combining different views into a better solution. 

Some of the early difficulties encountered starting out is capital and manpower, the latter of which was solved through time. With each individual including the two owners taking upon themselves to achieve more sales and going the extra mile and taking up more roles, their cash flow was soon stable which allowed them to expand to where they are today. 

Image of Mr Koh

Mr Koh shares that CarQuotes values honesty, transparency and genuine service to their clients. By explaining every detail of the payment mode during the purchase, they can reduce misunderstandings to a minimum while also maintaining the trust they have with their clients. Facebook reviews and comments on CarQuotes indeed reflect their strength in social media presence, with many positive reviews a testimony to their service. 

When it comes to communications, CarQuotes is known to go beyond the traditional role of a dealership, picking up calls of customers needing help regarding breakdowns and connecting them with vehicle workshops and settling these problems for them, and thus retaining a large portion of their client base. 

As business owners, they share that not only do they handle sales returns, but the welfare of the staff. Taking special emphasis on the care of their employees, they share their employees came to work with them, and so it’s up to them as bosses to ensure that their welfare is met. CarQuotes isn’t built up by just Mr Kwa and Mr Koh, but by every staff who came to work with them to bring the company to where they are today. Treating each other like family with little red tape or distinction between boss and employee, Mr Koh shares that even during the pandemic the team spirit remained high, and is evident in their work rate for both customers and each other. Mr Koh also shares that this culture solved most issues of office politics; with the CarQuotes team being able to avoid the madness which might harm an employee’s working experience.  

Focusing on quality than having quantity, the CarQuotes team consists of a small but talented sales team, with support staff clearing the paperwork in the back end. With the digitalizing of their work process, CarQuotes started using their website and social media to create exposure and attract people to their content. One can go to their platforms to see the testimonials of happy customers, as well as updates for future plans, like integration of Electric Vehicles for example. CarQuotes also provide competitive prices, not the lowest to assure the quality of the products they are dealing with. To maintain standards, they hold frequent meetings where progress and advice can be shared among the team members, exchanging their knowledge for the good of the company. 

Some of CarQuotes’ proudest moments include being able to break sales targets, and seeing their customers being satisfied with their new vehicles. Being able to sell about half a thousand vehicles in a year was also a great achievement for them. Mr Kwa and Mr Koh both attribute their success to being able to give way to the other when it comes to decision making. Not one to cross each other’s ideas, they worked hard to complement them, and respected each other’s decisions, with Mr Kwa calling himself the Right Hand Man of Mr Koh. 

Additionally, Mr Koh also contributed to Singapore Red Cross Society by means of donation and volunteering on ground. 

Some future plans for CarQuotes would be to expand the business, with a showroom and branches for their pioneer staff to manage on their own. The opportunity to create more jobs for others and bring them into CarQuotes is also an ambition for them, as well as promoting their loyal workers with more career progression! 

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