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     Vehicles - Buying a new or used car

      Buying a new or used car

  Sydney: Australian scientists at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (Csiro) are warning that the reassuring smell of a new car actually contains high levels of toxic air emissions that can make drivers ill. They found that cars gave off high levels of toxins for six months or longer after they had left the showroom. To avoid this "toxic cocktail", people should ensure that plenty of outside air gets into the car while they are driving for at least six months, said Mr Steve Brown, head of Csiro's air-quality control unit. (Straits Times 20 Dec 2001)(H8)

     Before you start looking around for a car, there are a few things you need to know first. In Singapore, owning a car is not exactly cheap. Let's go through the steps one by one:

      First, you need a valid driving licence. You need to produce a medical certificate if you are over 60 years old. You may convert your foreign driving licence to Singapore driving licence at the Licensing Section of the Traffic Police.

      If you are buying a brand new car, you will first need to buy a Certificate of Entitlement. With this certificate, you can purchase the car you want. If you wish to get a second-hand car, skip this blue paragraph.

                                        Certificate of Entitlement -  Quota Premiums (2000)


Category A (1600cc & below)

Category B (1601 cc & above)

Open Category

Jan 2002




COE Prices for other periods

      Cost of Certificate of Entitlement        S$  xx xxx

      Cost of new car                                       S$xxx xxx             CURRENCY CONVERTER 

      Total Cost                                                 S$xxx xxx

      Remember, the cost of your new car includes a registration fee of 150% of its open market value (OMV).

      Also remember, a COE is valid for ten years from the date of registration of the vehicle. You will need to pay a fee to renew this COE for another five or ten years. If you renew for five years only, you have to scrap the car at the end of that period. You can't renew for another five years.

     Next you need to pay a registration fee :   S$1 000   for private registration

                                                                                 S$5 000 for company registration

     Buyers of second-hand cars need to pay a transfer fee of 2% of the assessed value of the car. The Registry of Vehicles (ROV) will calculate this amount for you. You also need to pay the road tax if it has expired. Your car insurance must be valid. Transfer of ownership must be done within seven days of the purchase. 

     The road tax payable is as follows:  1 000cc & below      S$0.70 per cc per annum

                                                                1 001 to 1 600cc     S$0.90 per cc per annum

                                                                1 601 to 2 000cc     S$1.05 per cc per annum

                                                                2 000 to 3 000cc     S$1.75 per cc per annum

                                                                3 001 & above        S$1.75 per cc per annum

     Renewal of road tax can be done half-yearly or yearly.

     All motor-cars which are over ten years old must undergo an annual inspection.

     All motor-cars over ten years old are subject to the following surcharges:

                10<11 years        10%             13<14 years        40%

                11<12 years        20%             14 years & above 50%

                12<13 years        30%

     Your car must be covered by third party accident insurance.

     Congratulations! You have got your car. Next, keep in mind the following:

     -  You need to pay a fee when you drive into the Restricted Zone. There are gantry posts clearly marked to warn you when you approach this Zone.

     - You need to pay a fee when you use certain expressways and roads. This Electronic Road Pricing Scheme (ERP) is a form of pricing system in which you pay according to what roads you use.

     - You cannot drive in the bus lanes at certain areas during the Bus Lanes Operating Hours which are as follows:

             Weekdays -   7.30 am to 9.30 am  &   4.30 pm to 7.00 pm

             Saturdays -    7.30 am to  9.30 am &   11.30 am to 2.00 pm

     - There is a Driver Improvement Point System in force in Singapore in which each driver is allowed to accumulate upto 23 demerit points within two years. If the driver a accumulates 24 or more demerit points within the period, he/she will be suspended from driving. So, try not to commit any traffic offences.

     News Snippets


     - New vehicle registration & licensing scheme by 2006