Singapore drivers now need to pay £88,000 for permission to own a car

Drivers in Singapore must pay £88,000 for permission to own a car (and that does not even include the price of buying a vehicle!)

  • The price of the right to own a car is now more than an average household earns

Singapore drivers now need to pay £88,000 to be able to own a car, before even factoring in the cost of the vehicle itself.

When combined with a Toyota Camry Hybrid, registration fees and taxes, that totals £151,000, five times more than it would in the UK, and over double the average household salary. 

The city-state has become known as the most expensive place in the world to drive, with soaring prices putting cars out of reach for even most middle-class residents.

Vast increases in costs to be able to own a car are a result of the rising price of 10-year certificates of entitlement (COEs).

Singaporeans who wish to drive in the city need to bid for a COE – of which only around 950,000 are available – with one now costing four times more than three years ago. 

Singaporeans now need to fork out £88,000 for the right to own a car, even before accounting for the cost of the car itself

COEs were launched in 1990 to control the number of vehicles on the road.

The cost of a Toyota Camry Hybrid, all things accounted for, as well as being five times the UK equivalent, is over twice the median annual household salary of £72,716.

But the desire to drive in the country could be on the wane, as inflation persists and the economy slows, meaning some Singaporeans are selling the cars they bought when COE prices were low to make a profit.

Sociologist Tan Ern Ser said: ‘There is a need to lower one’s aspiration from achieving the “good life” to settling with a “good enough life”.’

It takes less than an hour to drive across Singapore. 

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