This week I find myself in Singapore, whenever I travel outside of Canada and the US, I always keep an eye out for Amaroks. On the first day here I went for a nice long walk and saw various vehicles, but no Amaroks. I spoke to some locals and expats that told me that the cost of vehicle ownership was artificially high to encourage the use of public transit. I had used the public transit and taxis and both seem to get on quite well, but how expensive could owning a vehicle here really be?

I did some checking and decided to do a quick cost run down on owning a VW Golf GTI.

It appears that the Golf GTI has an Open Market Value (OMV) of approximately $34,000SGD (approximately $30,000CAD at the current rate as I write this). So far it doesn’t seem that bad, but we need to have a Certificate of Entitlement (COE) to own a vehicle in Singapore. The GTI has a 1984cc (2.0L) engine, so it is in the highest category and to obtain a COE it is basically a bidding war, because only a small number are made available each year. Bidding results from last month for this category would place the cost for the COE at roughly $70,000SGD, almost twice the cost of the vehicle. However it gets worse, because now you need to register that vehicle. The registration fee is $140SGD, some relief there, but wait there is still the Additional Registration Fee (ARF), I’ll spare you the details, but it is approximately $40,000SGD and finally the excise duty which is 20% of the OMV or approximately $7,000SGD. So add all of that up and that new VW Golf GTI would cost you $150,000SGD or $130,000CAD. Then you need insurance, road tolls, fuel, etc. I think I would just stick with the bus/train and take taxis as necessary.

So the next time you are going to complain about the high cost of vehicle ownership, just remember that things could be much worse.

I’m off to another city here in Asia next week, maybe I’ll see some Amaroks there.

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