In Singapore, the price of a Certificate of Entitlement (COE) – a road tax aimed at limiting the number of vehicles in the small island state – is nearing S$100,000 (US$80,800). Here’s what you can get for the same cash in North America and Europe.
Currently the The COE premium for Category A – cars 1,600cc and below – stands at S$91,010, down from a record S$92,100 in the previous bidding exercise two weeks ago. The premium for Category B – cars above 1,600cc – inched down from S$96,210 to S$95,501.
Why Use a Toyota Corolla for Comparison?
Because this car model defines ‘mid-range’. This is a car for people who need private transport, but still hope to eat three meals a day.
To be precise, we’re looking at the Toyota Corolla Altis 1.6 (Classic). This a no-frills 1600 cc vehicle (COE Category A). As of January 2013, this car costs between $148,000 (non-guaranteed COE) and $153,000 (with COE). Note that most mid-range family cars in Singapore cost around the same.
But take that money elsewhere, and here’s what you can own instead:
1. Porsche 911 4S Cabriolet (in North America)
And all I had to trade for it was a house.
It goes from 0 to 96.5 km/h in 4.5 seconds, and maxes out at around 300 km/h. If you go on the car park ramp with the accelerator floored, you’d better have a pilot’s license.
The suggested retail price (in North America) is about S$144,281. Assuming the dealer sticks close to that price, you could buy this car instead of an Altis, and still save about $8,700. That should barely pay for all the condoms you’ll shortly need.
2. 2013 Maserati Quattroporte (in America)
Finally, a definitive cure for the condition of having too much money.
This car is the answer to 90% of the questions you’ll face in life. For example, pointing at your Maserati is an adequate response to all of the following:
- Why should I marry you?
- Why should I listen to you?
- What besides a low flying F-22 could have done this to the windows?
Hitting around 307 km/h, it’s also slightly faster than the Porsche 911 in point 1.
The Maserati Quattroporte goes for around S$154,000 – S$$156,000, putting it in the same general price range as a Singapore Altis (you might have to top it up by a few thousand).
3. Mercedes Benz SLK Series (in Canada)
Oh, you know, sometimes I need to pick up a carton of milk, so…
There are times when you truly need an 8 cylinder roadster. I can’t think of any that don’t involve car chases with the Russian mafia, but I’m sure there are.
This luxury car retails at around S$99,650, if you buy it in Canada. Yeah, that’s right; this 8 cylinder monstrosity, which goes from 0 to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds, and makes the neighbours literally curl up and die from envy, costs about S$50,000 less than a Toyota Altis in Singapore.
4. BMW 640i SE Gran Coupe (in the United Kingdom)
Never gets a parking ticket. Because hell, you probably own the car park.
BMW = Break My Window. Nothing says “success” like having the one car guaranteed to be targeted by vandals, car thieves, and the four communists still alive.
The typical 6 series BMW costs about S$100,816. Maybe a little more if you want to soup it up (different upholstery, bigger engine, probably reinforced windows, etc.) That’s still cheaper than than a Toyota Altis in Singapore; you’d be left with almost S$50,000.
5. Jaguar XKR (in America)
You aren’t at top speed. My skin hasn’t peeled off my face yet.
No one will overtake you, honk at you, or cut you off if you drive this. This car is the accepted way to say “badass” in 59 different languages. How many other cars are named after something that can kill you? Yeah, none.
The XKR has a 5 liter V8 engine, which is known in technical terms as “Oh my god, please slow down“. It can do everything the Toyota Altis can, such as deliver groceries, drop the kids off at school, etc. Some might say it can’t carry four people like the Altis, but this is irrelevant. It could make 2.5 trips in the time it takes the Altis to make one, so that might as well count.
It costs around S$130,000. Again, it’s actually cheaper than the Toyota Altis in Singapore.