Congrats, you decided to get your own car. It’s a huge responsibility in Singapore (but just think of the freedom!), so we did the homework for you...
Real talk: buying a car in Singapore is a big deal. It’s true that cars here can cost up to six times more than in other countries. Sure, our public transport system is pretty decent, and car-sharing is another option if you only need to get behind the wheel occasionally. But there’s always the lure of owning your very own ride: road trips, exploring all those secret spots in Singapore, and visits to Ikea where you can actually bring home your loot yourself. Before you make that leap, here’s what you need to know.
Your checklist guide to buying a car in Singapore
1. Certificate of Entitlement (COE)
If you’re buying a car in Singapore, you don’t really have an option. Anyone who registers a new vehicle in Singapore must first obtain a Certificate of Entitlement (COE) in the selected vehicle category. The COE represents the right to vehicle ownership and the use of limited road space for 10 years. Heads up: COE prices fluctuate quite a bit – they’ve now gone up by 3.2%. The COE for cars and electric vehicles up to 1,600cc and 130bhp closed at $70,901 (up from $68,699) and the COE for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp is $92,090 (up from $90,002).
2. Loans and instalments
Chances are, you won’t have the full amount in cold hard cash to pay the car dealership. But that’s okay – that’s why we have loans and payments in instalments. For cars with an Open Market Value (OMV) of less than $20,000, the maximum loan tenure is seven years and capped at 70% of the car price. But if your OMV is higher than $20,000, the maximum car loan is capped at 60% of the car price.
3. Road tax
On top of COE, there’s also the mandatory road tax all vehicle owners must pay before their vehicles can go on the road. Most road tax options are renewable either yearly or on a six-month basis. But do take note! Before renewal of road tax, car owners must tick off prerequisites like getting motor insurance coverage, passing the vehicle inspection, and clearing any outstanding fines.
4. Car insurance
You can always take the cheaper option by getting basic auto insurance, but why scrimp on something you already splurged on? Comprehensive car insurance includes coverage on fire, theft, death or injury to other parties, damages and medical costs and more, depending on the provider. Do some shopping before settling on one.
5. Parking fees, petrol and more
Because there are space constraints, parking fees in Singapore can be steep. Most drivers will obtain season parking at carparks near their homes or at their offices. You also have to factor in parking at malls and attractions on weekends – it’ll likely set you back at least $190 per month. On top of that, you have to set aside money for petrol and the essential car servicing. So make sure you budget well.
Looking forward to buying a car in Singapore? It’s time to grab those keys and get on the road.