In Singapore, It Costs $76,000 Just For The Right To Own A Car, Excluding The Cost of the Car Itself

Singapore probably has one of the most expensive car-buying systems in the world. Because unlike in the United States where it costs about $28 to renew your driver’s license, it can cost a lot more just to have the right to purchase, register, and drive a vehicle.

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What Does It Cost To Own A Car In Singapore?

Singapore residents must take part in a bidding process in order to receive a Certificate of Entitlement (COE), which allows them the right to own and drive a vehicle for ten years. This was introduced in 1990 in an effort to manage the amount of vehicles on the road. Naturally, the cost to obtain a COE have skyrocketed.

The cost of a COE depends on the size of the vehicle. Category A is for vehicles with engines no larger than 1.6 liters or under 130 horsepower and has a starting price of S$104,000, which equates to $76,000 US dollars. It should also be noted that the cost of a COE has nothing to do with the cost of a vehicle.

Then there is Category D, which consists of larger vehicles with engines greater than 1.6 liters or 130 horsepower, and is priced at S$146,002, or $106,000 US dollars.

Lastly, there is the “Open” category, which has no restrictions on the type of vehicle a Singapore resident can purchase. The cost for an Open COE is set at the steep price of S$152,000, or $112,000 US dollars.

COE CategoryCategory ACategory BCategory CCategory DCategory E (Open)
Quota PremiumS$104,000 ($76,000 US)S$146,002 ($106,000 US)S$85,900 ($62,715 US)S$10,856 ($7,925 US)S$152,000 ($112,000 US)
Bids Received1,039643191661261

As seen in the chart above, residents have largely outbid the maximum quota of certain vehicles allowed on the road. Given the actual size of the country, the government has set a limit of 950,000 vehicles to be allowed to travel on local roads.

According to Reuters the total cost to purchase, own, and drive a stock Toyota Camry Hybrid in Singapore calculates to about S$251,388 ($183,000 US). Since the average income for a Singaporean citizen is S$70,000 ($51,200 US) per year, the very concept of owning a car is unrealistic for a large portion of its population of 5.5 million people.

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