Fees for LTA vehicle services to increase from Dec 20

Motorists enter the financial district area in Singapore on Oct 24, 2017.
Motorists enter the financial district area in Singapore on Oct 24, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

Vehicle buyers will have to pay more for a wide range of administrative services from Dec 20.

This comes on the back of increases to a wide range of fees levied by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) for services ranging from vehicle registration to vehicle transfer.

In a letter sent out to motor traders last Friday, the authority said the change was because of the "rising costs of providing these services". These, it said, included things such as the setting up and maintenance of IT systems as well as manpower cost.

Fees with the biggest increases include the registration fee, which will go from $140 now to $220, a 57 per cent hike, and the transfer fee (which is levied when a vehicle's ownership changes), which will more than double from $11 to $25.

The fee to lay up a vehicle (for extended periods when it is not used) will more than treble from $5.35 to $17.12.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, an LTA spokesman said the changes arose from "a review of fees that are collected for administering vehicle services".

She said: "From Dec 20, 24 out of 61 existing fees will be adjusted upwards, as these fees have largely remained unchanged for more than 10 years."

Motor traders were surprised by the move.

"These fees are small when compared with things like the COE (certificate of entitlement) and ARF (additional registration fee), so I don't understand why they have to be raised," said Mr Nicholas Wong, general manager of Honda agent Kah Motor.

Mr Neo Nam Heng, chairman of diversified motor group Prime, said he would refrain from commenting on tax revenue issues, but pointed out that the "cost will be passed on to consumers".

Motorist Gay Eng Joo, 46, said: "Cars are big-ticket items here, so I don't think these changes will make much of a difference to consumers."

Mr Gay, an engineer, said other schemes such as the new Vehicle Emissions Scheme (VES), which starts next month, will have a "bigger bite".

The VES metes out tax rebates or surcharges according to a car's emission levels. The majority of cars available today will either lose their rebates or face surcharges from next month.

Even so, the fee changes will contribute to a sizeable increase in tax revenue collected. For instance, the rise in registration fee alone would translate to $9.5 million more if it was applied last year, when nearly 119,000 new vehicles were registered.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 07, 2017, with the headline 'Fees for LTA vehicle services to increase from Dec 20'. Print Edition | Subscribe