Singapore, Oct 5 (EFE).- Owning a car in Singapore, one of the world’s wealthiest places, has become even more expensive, after the price for a certificate for a family-size car soared to a new record of over 100,000 dollars.
The island’s population’s aspiration for the five “C’s” – condo, car, credit card, club and cash – is becoming increasingly out of reach to most because of one of its components, the car.
The exorbitant cost of the vehicles – recognized in the Guinness Book of Records as being the highest in the world – is largely due to the Certificate of Ownership (COE), permits that are acquired through auctions held twice a month, which are valid for 10 years.
The COE of a medium category car like a Toyota Altis now amounts to more than 146,002 Singaporean dollars ($106,000), according to the motorist.sg, which shows an upward trend in the different classifications in recent months to historic highs.
The certificate does not cover the cost of the car itself, nor the taxes – imported vehicles have a customs duty of 41% –, insurance, or maintenance.
For Singapore, which introduced the COE in 1990 to help ease congestion on the road in the small city-state of about 5.4 million people, which can be crossed from end to end in half an hour by car and has one of the highest GDPs per capita in the world.
The cost of the permit is determined by demand and the vehicle quota designated by the island’s Land Transport Authority (LTA), which in 2017 froze the number of cars allowed on its car parquet.
According to August data, Singapore has 851,580 registered vehicles, which equates to about 150 cars per 1,000 inhabitants, almost 10 times fewer than the US.
The initiative, which seeks to promote sustainability, avoid traffic jams and encourage the use of affordable public transport, which is heavily invested in by the government, means that only new cars can hit the road – and COEs be issued – when old ones expire. EFE