Owning a car in Singapore is one of the countries in the world The most expensive Countries, it has always been something of a luxury. But costs have now risen to all-time highs.
A 10-year certificate of entitlement – a license that people in the wealthy city-state must buy before they are even allowed to buy a car – now costs at least $76,000 (S$104,000), more than four times what it did in 2020, according to Land Transport Authority numbers.
This means only the right to purchase a standard A-class car, with a small to medium-sized engine of 1,600 cc or less.
Those who want something larger or flashier – such as an SUV – will have to pay $106,630 (S$146,002) for a Class B license – up from $102,900 (S$140,889).
Then there are the costs of the car itself to think about.
The quota system was introduced in 1990 to reduce traffic and reduce emissions in a space-starved city-state that has a population of 5.9 million but boasts an impressive public transport network.
It has put cars out of reach for the average citizen in Singapore, with the average monthly household income in 2022 standing at $7,376 (S$10,099), according to the Department of Statistics.
Ricky Goh, a local car dealer, said he “almost fainted” when he heard about the price increase. “Sales have already been very bad. And on top of that it’s going to be worse for business,” he told CNN.
Wong Hui Min, a mother of two, said she may need to rethink her reliance on her car despite mostly using it for her family.
“I run a lot, send my children to and from school, and also for other activities like swimming lessons and teaching. I need my car. Taking taxis or shared rides everywhere is not convenient for me,” she said.
“The average Singaporean family has to save up for years to buy a car to help make ends meet,” Wong continued, adding: “I don’t know if I can afford to keep my car in the long term.”
For some, this announcement is just another financial blow.
Locals living in Singapore say, already ranked The most expensive city in the worldhave become unusually expensive in recent years amid persistent inflation, rising public housing costs and a slowing economy.
But supporters of the quota system say it has helped spare Singapore the kind of congestion that routinely besieges other Southeast Asian capitals such as Bangkok, Jakarta and Hanoi.
Those who cannot afford the cost of a certificate of entitlement can also take advantage of Singapore’s extensive public transportation system as they point out.
Failing that, there is the option of getting a motorbike – permits for which cost $7,930 (S$10,856).
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