Yes, it’s no exaggeration. In Singapore, there’s this saying “feeding three wives is better than feeding a diesel car”. That’s according to taxi driver Uncle Teo. He works for a cab company, and has to pay his customary rental fee every day.
“In the world, buying a car in Singapore is the most expensive thing. The handling fees, the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) is already close to S$70,000,” said Uncle Teo.
“Just paying that would wipe out all your ability of buying a new car” Uncle Teo added that the COE is nothing but a piece of paper, but it is enough to weigh people down!And the exasperating thing is that it lasts for just 10 years, and you would need to renew after that!
The Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) is another brilliant scheme of the Singapore government. Shaped like a N-gantry, they are located strategically at big busy roads, and will display the real-time charges for all types of vehicles. In the world-famous Orchard Road, both ends have been equipped with ERP. A charge of S$3 applies to diesel cars of any category, taxis included.
According to official statistics, ERP started in 1998, catering to the current 70,000 vehicle population in Singapore. Almost 96% of the vehicles are equipped with an In-Vehicle (IU) that automatically deduct charges from a cash card slotted in. The IU responds to the signals from the ERP gantries.
If you can handle both COE and ERP, then you’re mentally prepared to own a car in Singapore. Another thing is that Singapore charges 100% tax on cars!
To control the vehicle population from growing, the Singapore government also introduced high taxes on cars.
- Custom taxes can go up to 45% of the open market pricing
- Car registration fee is S$1,000
- Additional registration fee, as charged by the port customs, can go up to 150% of the open market pricing.
A driver named Mr Lim, revealed that his car expenses are around S$2,000 per month, with carpark charges up to S$500, most of it from his office area. Adding on ERP, diesel oil charges, car installments, it works out to around that sum. He joked: “Singaporeans got car and house, but just no money!”
In addition to solve this crunch, the Singapore government has been trying hard to develop its public transport lines. No matter whether you have a car or not in Singapore, you would feel proud that Singapore’s public transport is one of the best in the world.
This article was original by NextSingapo.com