Drivers in Singapore now need to pay £88,000 for permission to own a car (vehicle not included)

Drivers in Singapore now need to pay £88,000 for the right to own a car – and that doesn’t include the cost of the vehicle itself.

The city-state is the most expensive place in the world to be a motorist, with skyrocketing prices putting cars out of reach for most middle-class Singaporeans.

Back in 1990, a 10-year certificate of entitlement (COE) was launched to control the number of vehicles on the road, which is capped at about 950,000.

Would-be motorists need to bid for one of these certificates, which now cost four times more than they did in 2020.

The cost of buying a Toyota Camry Hybrid in Singapore – when combined with a COE, registration fees and taxes – now stands at £151,000, five times more than in the UK.

That’s also twice more than the median annual household salary, which stands at £72,716.

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Persistent inflation and a slowing economy mean some Singaporeans are selling the cars they bought – when COE prices were low – to make a profit.

“There is a need to lower one’s aspiration from achieving the ‘good life’ to settling with a ‘good enough life’,” said sociologist Tan Ern Ser.

Jason Guan, 40, an insurance agent and father of two, said he bought his first car, a Toyota Rush, for £39,000 in 2008 – including the price of the COE.

Now he lives without a car, focusing on other perks that the city-state of 5.9 million has to offer.

He said: “As a family man, it doesn’t affect me much as Singapore still has a good and stable education system.

“In terms of security, it’s still one of the safest countries.”

It takes less than an hour to drive from one end of Singapore to the other.