Vehicle registration, transfer fees among 24 car-related fees to rise from Dec 20

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

SINGAPORE - Vehicle buyers will have to pay more for a wide range of vehicle-related services from Dec 20.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is raising the rates for a slew of fees from vehicle registration to vehicle transfer.

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

The biggest hikes include those made to registration fees, which will go from $140 today to $220, a 57 per cent hike; and transfer fees (which is levied when a vehicle's ownership changes), which will more than double from $11 to $25. The cost to lay up a vehicle (to stop the vehicle from incuring tax and insurance costs for an extended period 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".

"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," she said.

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

"I guess this is part of the tax increase which was pre-empted recently."

Mr Neo Nam Heng, chairman of diversified motor group Prime, said he would refrain from commenting on tax revenue issues, but pointed out that "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.

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