Hopefully I’m wrong, but I get the feeling that the current regime to encourage the use of less harmful fuels either isn’t working, or doesn’t exist at all. Just look at the number of CNG refueling stations on the island. The NEA’s job seems to be to just “hope to create the critical mass of CNG vehicles needed for the CNG refueling infrastructure to be put in place early.”
According to my understanding, if not for the good people at the car dealers’ who’ll do the math for you, you’d have to whip out your calculator when you want to buy a car that is worth, say $10,000 and has an engine capacity of 1.6L:
So you pay:
$10,000 for the car
COE of say $15,000 depending on the mysterious “open” bidding system,
subtotal so far: $25,000
ARF (Additional Registration Fee) (110% x 10,000) = $11,100
subtotal so far: $36,100
RF (Registration Fee) = $140
subtotal so far: $36,240
Excise Duty (20% x 10,000) = $2,000
subtotal so far: $38,240
Got that so far? OK, now, we’re not going to add on road costs like road tax and insurance yet. But say for instance, you wanted to save the earth, and your car is an electric-petrol hybrid, and we know that electric hybrids are roughly 8 to 10% more expensive than their conventional counterparts. So that makes your car worth say, $11,000.
The LTA gives you a whopping discount of 40% off your car’s original value, or OMV, which you can use to offset the ARF payable.
So, if your baby is a green car:
$11,000 + 15,000 + 140 + (12,100 – 4,400 = 7,700) + 2,200 = $36,040.
Hmmm… $2,200 cheaper than a petrol car. Think I’ll go save the earth and buy a hybrid. Oh wait, that’s only less than 6% cheaper. WTF?! I get better deals at the Great Singapore Sale!
A big, big disclaimer here though – as my teachers would attest, my math could very likely be wrong, and I could have misled myself into thinking that it’s not worth the trouble getting a hybrid car and saving the earth. So, please, if you could correct me, let me know. Leave your workings and answers in the comments box.
Or if you prefer, work out a scheme where you get discounted meals at McDonald’s because you’ve used their used cooking oil as fuel.