Tuesday, May 28

A car ownership certificate in Singapore now costs US$106,000

To purchase a car in Singapore, a buyer must bid for a certificate, which now costs US$106,000 (RM501,592), the equivalent of four Toyota Camry Hybrids in the US, as the city-state’s vehicle quota system has reached all-time highs.

A 10-year “certificate of entitlement” (COE) system was implemented in Singapore in 1990 to regulate the number of automobiles in the tiny nation, which has a population of 5.9 million and can be toured in under an hour.

The COE for a large vehicle more than quadrupled from 2020, to a record S$146,002, making it the most expensive city in the world to purchase a car due to the quota, which was offered through a bidding process.

A new basic Toyota Camry Hybrid presently costs S$251,388 in Singapore, compared to $28,855 in the US, including COE, registration fees, and taxes. In Singapore, a tiny flat with government assistance costs roughly S$125,000.

A post-Covid boost in economic activity has led to more car purchases, although the total number of vehicles on the road is capped at roughly 950,000. In 2020, when fewer people in Singapore were driving, the cost of COEs plummeted to about S$30,000. Depending on how many older vehicles are deregistered, new COEs may be made available.

Most middle-class Singaporeans can no longer afford vehicles due to the growing price, which contradicts what sociologist Tan Ern Ser called the “Singapore Dream” of upward social mobility, which includes having money, a condo, and a car.

Singapore’s median yearly household income is S$121,188.

Singaporeans have been hard hit by ongoing inflation and a faltering economy, and some are trying to turn a profit by selling the automobiles they purchased at low COE pricing.

“There is a need to lower one’s aspiration from achieving the ‘good life’ to settling with a ‘good enough life’,” Tan said.

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