Singapore is banning all new private vehicles from its roads

Wednesday, 25 Oct, 2017

Cars ply the roads in downtown Singapore.

Singapore is already one of the most expensive places to purchase a personal vehicle in part because of a requirement that vehicle owners acquire a "certificate of entitlement", which is valid for only 10 years and has an average price tag of US$37,000. The certificate lasts for ten years.

The cap will be applied to motorcycles and private vehicles. And that doesn't include the cost of the certificate. There are about 600,000 vehicles on the road in the city at present. But starting in February, it won't allow any increase. A big reason for the decline in overall cars is that Singapore began phasing out a scheme for "off-peak cars"-cars that can be driven on evenings and weekends, but not during rush hour-in 2010".

While a knee-jerk reaction from buyers is possible in the next COE bidding exercise, it would be irrational, said urban transport expert Park Byung Joon from the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS).

The capitals of Indonesia and Malaysia, Singapore's two closest neighbours, both suffer serious gridlock on an nearly daily basis, with poor public transport systems an unattractive option and many residents viewing vehicle ownership as a status symbol.

The government wants to get more people out of their cars and onto public transit. Meanwhile, the rail network has grown in length by 30 per cent over the past six years - with new projects in the pipeline - and new buses and bus routes have been added.

Come February next year, the city-state will no longer allow any new vehicles into the country, citing land shortage and overcrowded roads.

Bloomberg reports the current going rate for the smallest vehicles is more than 30,000 US dollars-that's only for the permit-not the price of the auto.

For context, Singapore has a population of around 5.6 million crammed into 719.1 square kilometres of land.

The halt on vehicle numbers might not be permanent, though. In 2020, the government is set to revisit the new policy and assess the outcomes it has achieved up to date.