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Owning a Car in Singapore may become an Impossible Dream

Updated: Dec 6, 2021

Sooner or later, owning a car in Singapore may become an impossible dream for the average person. The latest COE premiums released on 20 October 2021 are as follows:

  • Category A - Car (1,600cc & below) - SGD52,709

  • Category B - Car (above 1,600cc) - SGD80,210

  • Open Category - SGD85,000

Before owning a car that is above 1,600cc, you have to first pay for the 10-year certificate that costs more than SGD80,000!

Add on the actual car price and all the other taxes, the final selling price of the car will be out of reach for the average income earner.

With news of a smaller quota of COEs for November 2021 till January 2022, many in the industry are predicting that the COE premiums will go up even more!

With the ever changing circumstances of how we work in the 'new normal', it may make sense for some of us to give up car ownership. We have written an article on the potential savings here.

However, there are people who do need a car for their line of work in order to save time and increase productivity. There are also people with large families or with small children that it becomes a need for them to own a car in order to ferry their children or the elderly around.

Even before this latest round of COE results, we did a comparison of buying a car in Singapore to Malaysia and the differences are incredible! Click here to read the article.

Owning a car is becoming more and more a sign of status here in Singapore. We can understand the need to control the number of cars on the road in our small island.

We also know that we have a great transport system and for a number of us, it is better to utilize public transport and save the extra money.

There are groups of people who truly need the use of a car...

For larger families with small children or the elderly, it is not always convenient to take public transport, taxis or use ride-hailing services. For people whose work requires moving around a lot, it will reduce their productivity and waste their precious time to use public transport.

Unfortunately, these groups of people might be left with no choice if the COE premiums keep rising, eventually making car prices unaffordable.

Just get a used car then, some might say. That is possible... for now. However, in the long term there will always be a domino effect. Higher priced new cars will mean higher priced used cars in the future. It's the same with property. When resale HDB prices went up because of the longer waiting period for BTOs, the prices of new and resale private properties increased accordingly as well.

Should there be a solution for those who really need a car?

This got us thinking. Should there be rebates given to the groups of people who truly need the use of a car?

There should a way to validate the authenticity of their needs to own a car and provide them with grants for their car purchase, similar to when a family gets a grant when buying a property close to their parents.

This is just one suggestion and we certainly hope that something can be done to support this group of people. Owning a car should not only be a status symbol for the wealthy to flaunt. Yes, by all means get the wealthy to pay the premiums for this.

At the same time, personal car usage should also be something made affordable for the people who really need to utilize them..

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