In Singapore, having a car costs the price of an apartment

Buying a car in Singapore costs an arm and a leg. It is not from today, but it has never been so true, reports Bloomberg, which provides the current price of the Certificate of Entitlement (COE), the substantial license, the cost of which is added to the price of the vehicle and other taxes levied by the city-state, for “overall category”: count a little more 110,500 Singapore dollars, or 77,500 euros . At this level, the purchase price including VAT for a Toyota Corolla, for example one of the best-selling cars in the world, is ultimately virtually multiplied by five.

Combined with the high interest rates on car loans, the price of fuel and the cost of maintenance fees, buying a new car has become “a financially incorrect decision”, apologizes to a resident interviewed by Bloomberg. “This is the price for an apartment bought from the Housing and Development Board [HDB, l’organisme gouvernemental chargé des logements sociaux]. Why spend so much money on an asset that is depreciated very quickly? “

The most expensive cars in the world

The price of permits – the number of which is strictly limited – is a function of the market, “the current high prices are the natural result of the strong demand that has been maintained since the second half of 2020”, explains the Land Transport Authority of Singapore. And buying a used car is not even an option, exactly Bloomberg, because sellers have raised their prices to follow the development of the new vehicles.

The cars circulating in Singapore are therefore the most expensive in the world. This policy is not without risks, please note Bloomberg because rising prices can greatly reduce the city’s appeal to international talent, when the city – state is already the second most expensive city in the world for foreigners, just after Hong Kong, according to the latest study by Mercer on the cost of living. Especially because the effects of global inflation are also being felt in Singapore, especially on rising rents and on food.

But Singapore’s model for limiting traffic by making the car a luxury, offset by the billions spent on an efficient public transport system, “starting to look less crazy, as elsewhere in the world other cities are trying to design more sustainable infrastructure”, highlighted Bloomberg.

“You do not need a car here”

“Planners are aware of what is happening in Singapore, explains Song Seng Wun, an economist at CIMB Private Banking. You can not build more roads without taking space and resources from others. ” And that is Singapore in fact “one of the only major cities in the world that manages to reduce its car fleet”.

Most Singaporeans make do with public transportation, take taxis or use carpooling services. “In Singapore, you do not have to own a car.observes Walter Theseira, professor at the University of Social Sciences in Singapore. Unrestrained growth in the car fleet would lead to unbearable traffic jams. ”

The city also intends to expand the fleet of buses and trains in circulation further. Eventually, 80% of households should be less than ten minutes walk from a metro or bus station. In total, the government plans to invest more than S $ 60 billion in the rail network by 2030.

In 2019, just before the pandemic, Singapore (which has 5 million inhabitants on an island whose surface represents about half of London’s urban area) was ranked 96th out of the 416 cities listed by the TomToms Traffic Index. , which provides an overview of car traffic in the most important urban areas in the world, recalls Bloomberg.

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