Why is a car in Singapore ridiculously expensive?

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Buying a new car in Singapore is expensive, and that’s an understatement. The cheapest Porsche Taycan will cost you around 303,200 euros and the entry-level version of a Volkswagen Polo will cost you more than 55,300 euros. But why ? And why such a difference between modest models and high-end cars? The answer has everything to do with a tax surcharge.

Written by Joris Bosseloo

A YouTube video (see below this article) that we discovered thanks to Carscoops, explains how it is that new car prices are so huge in Singapore. The example cited is that of a Volkswagen Polo.

First of all, there is the price of the car itself, without taxes or additional costs, which is called the “open market value” (OMV). This amounts to 17,796 Singapore dollars or 11,103 euros. But then you have to add an additional excise duty of 20%, another “goods and services tax” (GST) and, to top it off, a tax of 7% on the sum of the previous amounts.

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Then there are the additional registration fees, the amount of which is calculated by a scale system. For cars with an “open market value” of less than or equal to 20,000 Singapore dollars (nearly 12,479 euros), a surcharge of 100% (!) of the VMO must be paid, in addition to the initial VMO, excise duties and GST. If the VMO is between S$20,001 and 50,000, a surcharge of 140% of the VMO applies in addition to the initial VMO, excise and GST. If the VMO is more than 50,000 Singapore dollars (31,193 euros), the customer will have to pay 180% (!!) of the VMO in addition to the VMO, excise duty and GST. Options are taxed separately, so it’s best to buy a base model.

So, a VW Polo…

Since the VMO of a new Volkswagen Polo is 17,796 Singapore dollars (11,103 euros), the additional registration fees “only” add the same amount. In other words, the price is doubled, with an additional 3,559 Singapore dollars in excise duty (2,220 euros) and 1,494 Singapore dollars in GST (932 euros), bringing the total cost at 40,646 dollars, or just under 25,360 euros.

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