In This City, the Price of Car Ownership Skyrockets Beyond Just the Car Itself

by AutoExpert   |  30 December, 2023

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Something weird is happening in Singapore. It's almost too wild to believe but we've checked and it's true. Owning a car has always been a bit of a status symbol in some of the most expensive places on Earth, but this city takes this to a whole new level! 

Long story short, if you're dreaming of cruising around Singapore in your own car, you will need something called a Certificate of Entitlement. It sounds fancy and it has a fancy price tag, too. This little piece of paper is now going to set you back a cool $76,000 (104,000 Singapore dollars). And get this – that's just for the privilege of buying a standard car with a modest engine. Want something bigger or a bit more flashy? You're looking at shelling out a whopping $106,630 (146,002 Singapore dollars) for that luxury.

Car Ownership

And guess what? This money does not include the actual car. 

It all started in 1990, when Singapore, a tiny but bustling city-state, introduced this quota system to cut down on traffic and emissions. They do have a solid public transport system, but nobody can deny the the convenience of driving your own car.

The catch? Well, this system has put car ownership way out of reach for your average Joe in Singapore. Last year, the median monthly household income was around $7,376 (10,099 Singapore dollars), according to the stats department. So, you can imagine how this price hike is causing some serious headaches.

Car Ownership

Take Ricky Goh, a local car dealer. He said he "nearly fainted" when he heard about the price jump. Car sales were already in the doldrums, and this isn't exactly helping.

Then there's Wong Hui Min, a mom of two who relies on her car like it's her third arm. She's ferrying her kids to school, swimming, tuition – the works. The thought of relying on taxis or shared rides? Not practical, she says. And she's not alone. For many Singaporean families, buying a car requires years of saving. Now, Wong's not even sure if she can afford to keep her wheels in the long run.

Car Ownership

For some locals, this is just another hit from a series of financial blows. Living in Singapore, already reknown as the world's most expensive city, has just gotten even tougher.

But there's another side to this. Some folks are all for the quota system. They argue it's kept Singapore from turning into a traffic nightmare like other Southeast Asian capitals. And hey, if you can't swing a car, Singapore's public transport is pretty top-notch. Or, if you're feeling adventurous, there's always the motorbike option – a bit more budget-friendly at around $7,930 (10,856 Singapore dollars).

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