Can foreigners buy cars in Singapore?

Katie Lee, A food and travel enthusiast, a dog lover.
Answered September 07, 2020

Yes, foreigners can certainly buy cars in Singapore!

Singapore’s public transportation system is so efficient that most foreign residents do not find it necessary to own a private vehicle. However, if you do plan to purchase a car in Singapore, here are the things that you need to keep in mind.

1. Car Ownership Cost
Owning a car in Singapore is not cheap. On top of the car’s price tag, you also need to pay for the following:

  • Certificate of Entitlement (COE)
  • Car insurance
  • Registration fee
  • Road tax
  • Parking fee
  • Other taxes and administrative fees

2. Car Registration
Before anything else, you need to have a Certificate of Entitlement (COE) if you wish to buy your own car in Singapore. As its name suggests, a COE is your permit from the Singaporean government to own a car. This is acquired through a public bidding process due to the limited number of certificates issued each year. Check out the online bidding website to learn more. If you are buying through a car dealer, the dealer can acquire this for you at a slightly higher cost.

    Here are the other things you need to submit for your car registration:

    • Application for Registration and Licensing of a Motor Vehicle/Revised Off-Peak Car (Form R01/R01A)
    • Notification of COE (issued by LTA as Temporary COE)
    • Employment/Immigration Pass Card bearing Foreign Identification Number (FIN) issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) or Immigration & Checkpoint of Singapore (ICA)
    • Certificate of Insurance
    • Notice of Approval with Vehicle Approval Code (VAC) issued

    Visit the Land Transportation Authority Customer Service Centre for more information.

    3. Driver License
    International Driver Licenses can only be used in Singapore within 12 months. For more extended stays, you need to convert your foreign license to a local driver license within the first 12 months. Otherwise, you will be required to take the whole driving course.

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