Yes, you must have read somewhere (for the umpteen time) that Singapore is indisputably the most expensive country to purchase a car, even more so than Hong Kong.
Just to illustrate, at today’s COE price averaging S$70,000 for 1.6l cars, an entry level Toyota Corolla Altis goes for S$120,000. In Malaysia, it cost about S$42,500. Faraway in US, this car is yours for about S$20,000.
As an ex-public officer, I understand the intent behind the high car tax structures and ERP gantries that mercilessly serves the objective of reducing congestion and discouraging ownership. On my part, I invest in a good GPS so I don’t waste petrol and time getting lost. “Happily retired” also means I can run my errands at off peak hours and avoid peak hours congestion and ERP charges. That’s how i adjust. Oh and I cycle (enjoy it thoroughly) and take public transport too.
If a car is a necessity to you, sure, go ahead and get one. Be mindful however of what you leave behind on the table for the dealer. I believe in a fair deal and avoid buying cars that are highly marked up.
If you study the table below which I’ve compiled from public data provided by LTA as at 1 Apr 2013, when COEs were $61,029 and $67,010 for Cat A and B respectively, you will be astounded by the additional taxes (Additional Registration Fees – ARF, Custom Duties, Registration Fees and COE) paid above the open market prices (OMV) and the dealers’ markup which varies from -2% (Yes, it’s no typo as that NISSAN model was priced to be offloaded) to more than 50%. No prize though for guessing which brands and models are highly marked up (Feel free to ask for serious freebies from their sales staff!) There are a couple of surprises though and you’ll have fun drawing your own conclusions.
As a savvy car buyer who sees my car as a form of transport rather than an ego booster, you will not see me coveting those cars with extremely high dealer margins.
Happy savvy car shopping!
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Taxes + COE
Total Base Cost
|1||B.M.W. 520I 2.0L AT||41,422||128,904||170,327||267,800||57%|
|2||B.M.W. 528I 2.0L AT||46,849||138,044||184,893||288,800||56%|
|3||B.M.W. 730LI AT D/AB 4DR||73,795||192,939||266,734||413,800||55%|
|4||B.M.W. 740LI AT SR LED DSC||91,023||228,843||319,866||473,800||48%|
|5||B.M.W. 640I GRAN COUPE 4DR||78,589||202,930||281,519||413,800||47%|
|6||VOLVO XC60 T5||38,611||124,171||162,783||235,000||44%|
|7||B.M.W. 320I AT D/AB 4DR ABS||36,665||120,894||157,559||223,800||42%|
|8||VOLKSWAGEN TIGUAN 2.0 TSI AT||36,250||120,195||156,445||221,300||41%|
|9||VOLVO XC90 T5 R-DESIGN||50,391||144,165||194,556||275,000||41%|
|10||B.M.W. 116I AT ABS D/AIRBAG||27,412||99,331||126,743||178,800||41%|
|11||B.M.W. 316I 1.6 AT D/AB 4DR||32,808||108,419||141,226||197,800||40%|
|12||TOYOTA CAMRY 2.0 AUTO||24,391||100,225||124,616||169,888||36%|
|13||TOYOTA ALPHARD CVT||43,728||132,789||176,517||238,888||35%|
|14||VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT 1.4 TSI DSG||27,406||99,321||126,727||169,300||34%|
|15||HONDA CR-V 2.4L SUNROOF||29,892||109,488||139,380||184,900||33%|
|16||HONDA ODYSSEY 2.4L EXV||29,337||108,553||137,891||182,900||33%|
|17||VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE 1.2 TSI AT||19,367||86,036||105,403||139,300||32%|
|18||TOYOTA VIOS 1.5 E AUTO||11,077||75,391||86,469||113,888||32%|
|19||TOYOTA WISH CVT||23,453||98,646||122,099||159,888||31%|
|20||MERCEDES ML 350 BLUEEFFICIENCY||66,385||177,496||243,881||318,888||31%|
|21||VOLKSWAGEN SCIROCCO 1.4 TSI AT||25,861||96,719||122,581||159,800||30%|
|22||TOYOTA LEXUS GS350 LUXURY AT||64,609||173,796||238,405||307,000||29%|
|23||HONDA CIVIC 1.6L VTIS AT||17,740||83,947||101,687||130,900||29%|
|24||TOYOTA LEXUS GS250 AT||49,007||141,678||190,685||244,000||28%|
|25||VOLVO V60 T4||35,310||112,631||147,941||189,000||28%|
|26||VOLVO S80 T4||37,153||115,736||152,888||195,000||28%|
|27||TOYOTA COROLLA ALTIS 1.6 A||15,150||80,622||95,772||121,888||27%|
|28||VOLKSWAGEN CC 1.8 TSI AT||34,019||116,439||150,457||190,800||27%|
|29||VOLVO V40 CROSS COUNTRY T4||30,323||104,234||134,557||170,000||26%|
|30||VOLVO S60 T4||32,088||107,206||139,294||175,000||26%|
|31||VOLKSWAGEN JETTA 1.4 TSI AT||20,994||88,523||109,517||137,300||25%|
|32||VOLKSWAGEN POLO 1.2 TSI AT||15,572||81,163||96,735||120,800||25%|
|33||KIA SPORTAGE 2.0(A) SUNROOF||21,319||95,052||116,371||143,999||24%|
|34||JAGUAR XJ 3.0S/C PL LWB||79,069||203,931||283,000||350,000||24%|
|35||KIA SORENTO SUV 2.4 6AT FWD||27,373||105,247||132,620||163,999||24%|
|36||HONDA STREAM 1.8L RSZ||25,024||101,291||126,315||155,900||23%|
|37||TOYOTA AURIS CVT||25,193||95,595||120,788||148,888||23%|
|38||JAGUAR XF 2.0L GTDI||49,939||143,248||193,187||238,000||23%|
|39||MERCEDES E250 BLUEEFFICIENCY||52,209||147,955||200,163||244,888||22%|
|40||JAGUAR XJ 3.0S/C PL SWB||74,694||194,813||269,507||328,000||22%|
|41||HONDA ACCORD 2.4L AT||30,784||110,991||141,775||168,900||19%|
|42||MERCEDES E200 BLUEEFFICIENCY||50,759||144,933||195,692||229,888||17%|
|43||MERCEDES BENZ SL 500||152,203||356,342||508,545||587,888||16%|
|44||VOLKSWAGEN GOLF A7 1.4 TSI||25,520||96,145||121,665||138,800||14%|
|45||NISSAN MURANO 2.5 CVT ABS D/AB||39,717||126,033||165,751||179,800||8%|
|46||NISSAN SYLPHY 1.6 CVT ABS||14,902||80,303||95,205||102,800||8%|
|47||NISSAN TEANA 2.0L CVT ABS||25,208||101,601||126,809||136,800||8%|
|48||NISSAN QASHQAI 2.0L CVT ABS||21,174||94,808||115,981||119,800||3%|
|49||NISSAN ALMERA 1.5 4AT ABS||14,511||79,801||94,312||92,800||-2%|
Car Prices as at 1 Apr 2013. All figures in SGD