10 Things To Consider Before Getting A Car In Singapore

Some responsibilities to take into consideration
By: agnes
July 22, 2022

Buying a car in Singapore is not a common thing to do. This is because cars in Singapore generally cost more than in other countries. Furthermore, the public transport in Singapore is also one of the most convenient modes of travelling. However, there are also many benefits of owning a car. For example, you get to cut travelling time alongside being able to transport your own shopping items. But there are many things to consider before getting a car in Singapore. From taxes to loans and insurance, here’s everything you should know.

1. Singapore Driver’s License

Source: Unsplash / Evgeny Tchebotarev 

Of course, one of the first things to consider before getting a car in Singapore is getting a Singapore driver’s license. Even without a car, you can own a driver’s license. With it, you can driver someone else’s car, a work vehicle, rented car and more. But if you’re thinking of getting your own car then this is a must have. The price to get a Singapore driver’s license might cost you $2,000 and above, depending on a few factors. These factors include whether you’re getting private lessons or attending a driving school. Other than that, auto or manual cars alongside peak months or non-peak months may also affect the pricing.

2. Certificate of Entitlement (COE)

Every car in Singapore requires a Certificate of Entitlement (COE). You must first place a COE bid before registering a vehicle. During the open bidding exercises that are held twice a month, you can submit a bid for a COE. The vehicle quota of COEs that are available for each category will also be made public by Land Transport Authority (LTA). You can then register and drive a car for ten years once you receive a COE. In addition, you have the option of deregistering your vehicle at the conclusion of the 10-year COE period or renewing it. You can be qualified for rebates from the unused portion of your COE if you decide to deregister your car before it runs out.

3. Road Tax

Source: Unsplash / Winel Sutanto

One of the few things to consider before getting a car in Singapore is road tax. In addition to the COE, if you own a car, you must pay a statutory road tax. This is before you can drive your vehicles on the road. In most cases, road tax options can be renewed either annually or six months after the initial term has expired. But make sure to know the requirements of renewing road tax. This includes obtaining motor insurance coverage, passing a vehicle inspection, and clearing any outstanding fines that may have accrued.

4. Car loans

There’s a good chance you won’t be able to pay the vehicle dealership with cash. Therefore,  one of the few things to consider before getting a car in Singapore are loans. The maximum loan term for cars with an OMV of less than $20,000 is seven years and capped at 70% of the car’s purchase price. On the other hand, maximum car loans are limited to 60% of the vehicle’s MSRP if your OMV exceeds $20,000.

5. Insurance

When it comes to car insurance, one of the few things to consider before getting a car in Singapore is the quality of your insurance. Fire, theft, death or injury to others, damages, and medical costs are all covered by comprehensive car insurance. But before making a final decision, do some research. This is because there are cheaper car insurances and then there’s more pricey ones. However, we highly recommend that you don’t take the cheapest, as you may not know what might happen in the future. Depending on whatever insurance company you select and your driving/claims history, the actual price is different. Comprehensive auto insurance typically costs $1,250 per year for a new car owner.

6. Electronic Road Pricing System (ERP) 

Source: Unsplash / Kylle Pangan 

As a means of reducing traffic congestion, Singapore implements the Electronic Road Pricing System (ERP). This is essentially a system of tolls that you must pay with your newly purchased car’s in-vehicle unit. In order to pay ERP and parking gantries and tolls, all Singaporean registered vehicles will be equipped with a unit that scans the NETS stored value card. Therefore, this is one of the few things to consider before getting a car in Singapore.

7. Parking Fees

One of the few things to consider before getting a car in Singapore are the parking fees, which aren’t cheap. Even in the comfort of your own HDB home, you’ll have to pay at least $110 a month for parking. In addition, if you travel to work, you might need to pay an extra $100 for parking (or even more). While there are apps that help save some money when it comes to parking fees, it’s impossible to not spend at all.

8. Petrol

Source: Unsplash / Erik Mclean

Petrol is one of the few things to consider before getting a car in Singapore. Because let’s be honest, it’s not cheap at all! For example, if you were to spend $100 a week on petrol, that means you’ll have to spend a total of $400 a month. And if you’re thinking about heading over to Malaysia for cheap petrol, you better read about the new three-quarter tank rule. So you might want to think about it. 

9. Car Maintenance

When it comes to car maintenance, it’s hard to estimate because it really depends on your car. Some cars are more problematic than others. Thus, car maintenance is one of the few things to consider before getting a car in Singapore. Depending on the condition of your automobile, how often you drive it and how well you maintain it, you may avoid high fees. However, it’s important to note that the older your car gets, the more maintenance you might need to spend on. We estimate that you’ll need to save aside at least $5,000 throughout the 10 years in case anything happens. 

10. Emissions Surcharge

Source: Unsplash / Meriç Dağlı

Singapore places utmost importance on maintaining a good environment. Due to this, your car may be charged extra if it exceeds the emissions limit. Every car will be tested on 5 different air pollutants and its emission levels. The pollutants include hydrocarbons, carbon monoxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxides, and other matters. Bands are designated based on the worst pollutant in your vehicle. If your vehicle doesn’t produce much pollution, you may get a rebate. However, if your vehicle produces a lot of pollution then you may be charged. 


There are many things to consider before getting a car in Singapore. In fact, some people may say that owning a car in Singapore is truly a luxury. This is because Singapore is not that big of a country which unfortunately means that there are many restrictions. In addition, there are also many requirements and extra things you may need for a car. All of these extras may not be needed in other countries. Nevertheless, if you’re ready for the commitment then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t own a car. Ultimately, it really depends on you and how much you want to own a car in Singapore. If it’s too much of a burden for you then Singapore’s public transport will always be there for you.