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Singapore's Sky-High Car Prices Are Warning for Global Cities

  • City-state's taxes have pushed car prices to as much as a flat
  • Government restricts sales to prevent congestion, pollution
The government controls traffic growth with a series of quotas, taxes and duties that can push up the cost of a car.

The government controls traffic growth with a series of quotas, taxes and duties that can push up the cost of a car.

Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg
Updated on

Singapore media professional Ellie Lim gave up her plan to buy a new Volvo SUV to ferry her newborn baby when she realized it was going to cost her more than S$200,000 ($142,000). 

“I was quite shocked,” said Lim, 34. Coupled with high interest rates on car loans, fuel prices and maintenance fees, buying a new car is “a financially unsound decision,” she said. Why would you spend the cost of an apartment from the government’s Housing & Development Board for a rapidly depreciating asset? “These are all like HDB flats running on the road.”