Monday, September 1, 2014


Our friends in S’pore drove us round in a mid-range Toyota SUV.    When I innocently asked them what it cost they said that I didn’t want to know.    I pressed the point and was completely floored when they said they didn’t get much change out of a quarter of a million = NZD250,000 +/-.     Works out something like this .....

Before you can own a car you have to have buy a Certificate of Entitlement (COE).   There are only a limited number of those issued each year based on a complex formula that takes account of the number of vehicles deregistered during the period.   You bid for COEs in open tender.   There are auctions every month.    In the August auction the Quota Premium for cars under 1600cc and 130bhp was $65,710 (575 sold) and for cars over 1600cc and 130bhp $72,990 (506 sold).   Your COE is valid for ten years.   That’s just the starter.

All cars imported into Singapore (there is no local car industry) pay a 20% excise duty calculated on the vehicles open market value (OMV).     There is a annual registration fee of $140 and, when a car is first registered, you pay an additional one-off registration fee (ARF) calculated on a tiered rate.   For a car with an OMV of $75,000 the ARF is $107,000.

Doesn’t stop there.    You also pay Road Tax which, for a 1600cc vehicle, works out at $372 per six months.     Finally, if your vehicle is a diesel you pay a Special Tax which, for a 1600cc Euro Compliant vehicle, comes to $1,000 every six months.

In addition there is Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) designed to limit road usage at peak times.    All cars are required to be fitted with an electronic In-Vehicle Unit (IU) costing $150 which you load with a pre-paid card.     When the car passes under an ERP Gateway at the entrance to the city the card is automatically debited a fee dependent on the time of day.   A peak hour trip from Woodlands to Raffles Place via Yishum costs $15.    At other times the cost could be as low a $2.   If your card does not have sufficient credit the owner receives a fine = to the cost plus 10%.   If that isn’t paid with two weeks a penalty of $70 is added.    After 30 days the penalty increases to $1,000 or one month in jail and 30 strokes of the rotan (joking about the rotan).

And let's not forget insurance.

Petrol costs much the same as in NZL although for 98 premium you now pay $2.35/litre.

Trust you believe the quarter of mil bit for a car now.

And we think we’ve got it hard in NZL.    Hope Wussel and the Gucci Sheila ain’t reading this.


workingman said...

I believe the same of costs occur in Hong Kong. An additional cost will be parking. Most people in Hong Kong, and Singapore, live in high rise apartments. The purchase of an apartment does not include a parking space.

In Singapore public housing tenants (who may own the property) is $65-90 a month for a parking place.

Here is an article about Hong Kong from 2012 about parking spaces costing from nearly NZ$100,000

The Veteran said...

workingman ... you're right with that and interesting enough the current generation of HDB (Public Housing) flats are being built c/w parking areas/buildings attached.

Not germane to this thread at all but the Marina Bay Sands Casino (leaves Sky City for dead) changes S'pore residents $100 (about to increase to $200) just to get thru the door (for 'foreigners' it's free on production of your passport).

I guess it's supposed to act as a disincentive to gambling. Not sure it does, the place was packed to the gunwales when we saw it.

Angry Tory said...

What's wrong with that?

Remember Roger Douglas & Don Brash openly admire Singapore's policy settings.

Of course - Singapore has no welfare, no public health or education. If you can't look after yourself, sue your kids to provide for you. If you don't have any kids, you starve.

The Veteran said...

AT ... not saying anything is wrong. Horses for courses and that's their course. But just remember that S'pore has long had the CPF in place designed to provide a retirement income. It's compulsory with no opt out.

Persons in the private sector <50 pay 16% of their wages into their retirement account with the employer paying a further 20% and that's a big impost for both mitigated to an extent by a low taxation rate (ranges from 0 up to 20%).

Outside of that and for everything else you pay through the nose. This particularly applies to health care where the Govt only spends 1.6% of GDP on Health compared with 7% here in NZL. A key principle of Singapore's national health scheme is that no medical service is provided free of charge, regardless of the level of subsidy, even within the public healthcare system.

The data on vehicle costs reflects the pay through the nose approach.