In Singapore, the right to own a car costs more than €100,000 - plus the cost of the car

Motorists ply along the central expressway in Singapore on June 4, 2020.
Motorists ply along the central expressway in Singapore on June 4, 2020. Copyright ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP or licensors
By Doloresz Katanich with Reuters
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The city-state introduced the license system decades ago to combat traffic jams and pollution.


To own a car in Singapore, a buyer must bid for a certificate and the price for one has just increased to all-time high. 

Singapore, the city-state home to one of the highest number of millionaires in Asia-Pacific, has a 10-year 'certificate of entitlement' (COE) system, introduced in 1990, to control the number of vehicles in the small country.

The price of this licence to get the right to purchase a car, has just reached a record S$146,002 (€101,045.61) for a large car on Wednesday, more than quadrupling from 2020 prices. In the US, this is enough money to buy four Toyota Camry Hybrids, writes Reuters. 

The average annual household salary in Singapore is S$121,188 (€84,057), leaving owning a car out of reach for the majority. 

To get a certificate, people need to bid at auctions every two weeks, and the government is controlling the number of certificates for sale.

The post-COVID increase in economic activity has led to more car purchases while the total number of vehicles on the road is capped at about 950,000. The number of new COEs available depends on how many older cars are deregistered.

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