How Much Does A Car Cost in Singapore vs Malaysia?

How Much Does A Car Cost in Singapore vs Malaysia?

The cost of owning a car goes for as long as you own the vehicle. The upfront payment of a car is just the beginning of your expenses.

Apart from that you have to factor in loan financing, road tax, motor insurance, fuel consumption, maintenance costs, and depreciation as some of the hidden costs such as repairing a car.

Last year, the total number of vehicles ownership in Singapore, led by cars, has dropped for third consecutive year.

According to statistics released by the Land Transport Authority, the private car population fell by 4% to 552,427 – the lowest in eight years.

Observers attribute the fall to a clawback of Certificates of Entitlement (COEs) in the early 2010 to correct an earlier oversupply.

While in Malaysia, according to the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), in the same year, the sales of new passenger cars alone totalled at 514,545.

South East Asia may have one of the lowest car ownership rates in the world, but Malaysia, according to a report released in 2014 by market research agency Nielsen, has the third highest car ownership rate in the world, with 93% of households owning a car.

Singaporean government aims to be a zero car ownership city by 2065, due to scarcity of land and having watched its neighbouring cities choked themselves with traffic jams and slowed their economies.

The government took pre-emptive moves to introduce COE to regulate the supply of cars, and the Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) to regulate the use of cars.

Malaysian government policies are not designed to curb, but actually encourage driving the car on a daily basis.

In Malaysia, it is all about producing more Proton and Perodua cars. And to protect them, taxes on foreign cars have been increased.

The government builds more highways with tolls, while financial institutions provide easy loans to purchase cars.

For the sake of this article, we’ve compared the cost of buying and owning a Honda HR-V for both Singapore and Malaysia:

Honda HR-V 1.8L S (2015)
Singapore (Honda HR-V 1.5L LX)
Malaysia (Honda HR-V 1.8L S)
On-the-road Price
Upfront cost
Down payment
S$57,499.50 (50%)
RM9,806.00 (10%)
Car insurance (First year)
Inclusive in on-the-road price
Cost of ownership
Loan amount
Monthly instalment
Interest rate
2.78% p.a.
3.50% p.a.
Loan period
5 years
5 years
Total interest cost
Road tax
S$978/year for 1800cc,
normal car (non-Off Peak Car).
About S$4,890 for 5 years
RM279.60/year for 1800cc,
Peninsular Malaysia.
About RM1,398 for 5 years
Motor Insuranceii
Premium: S$1,275 in first year
Total over 4 years:
About S$5,100
Premium: RM3,178 in first year
Total over 4 years:
About RM12,712
Fuel economy (17.5km/l)
Total monthly mileage: 1,000km
S$7,474.28 over 5 yearsiii
Total monthly mileage: 1,000km
RM7,440.00 over 5 yearsiv
Maintenance cost
About S$3,463.00v
About RM3,667.90vi
Depreciation over 5 years
Depreciation cost: S$68,600.00vii
Depreciation cost: RM48,049.40viiii
i. Price inclusive of COE
ii. Assuming the same premium for 5 years.
iii. Based on 95-Octane petrol price as of October 2017 at S$2.18 per litre.
iv. Based on RON95 petrol price as of October 25, 2017 at RM2.17 per litre.
vi. 1.8 2015YM.PDF
vii. Based on the average annual depreciation of S$13,750 of a Honda Civic 1.8A VTi-S.
viii. Based on the 5-year depreciation of a Honda Civic 1.8L 2012.
ix. Based on COE of S$40,000
x. Based on PARF rebate of 5 to 6 years at 70%.


From the above calculation, although the upfront cost to buy a vehicle is much higher in Singapore, the total cost of ownership is still cheaper than in Malaysia.

Other things that should be taken into consideration are petrol, daily toll charges and parking fees. As toll and parking costs are independent of choice of car, and vary depending on location and length of time in any given place. As such, these factors have been excluded from the calculations here.

The median household income in Singapore is S$8,846, while Malaysia is RM5,228. This shows that the purchasing power for a vehicle in Malaysia is much lower compared to us in Singapore. It is feasible for the majority of Singaporean to own an imported car while in Malaysia, it is expensive for the majority to own a same model as the cost of ownership is higher than Singapore, despite a much lower median household income.

However, it is much easier to purchase a car in Malaysia compared to Singapore, due to the low upfront cost.

By June Moh

June is an ex-journo specialises in covering local, general, community and political news. She is passionate about social welfare.

Main image from xb100 / Freepik
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