Singapore - Post Report Question and Answers

What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Check with your sponsoring agency/office on this, as the rules and timelines are strict and may change. The whole process can be bureaucratic and cumbersome. Buying a used car locally, unless from a departing diplomat, is impossible, in our experience (and we tried!). Cars are extremely expensive here due to the taxes piled on top of the sales price - think $100K USD for a Corolla - and availability can be limited because dealers don’t have massive lots full of cars. It’s a very complicated formula to try and price out the “stripped down” retail price of a car - you will have to directly inquire with dealers. With diplomatic pricing, an entry-level SUV or sedan from BMW, Audi, VW, or Mazda was about $30K to $40K USD in 2021. Most embassy staff try to buy from a departing diplomat. Locals do not keep cars very long, so repair shops are not used to seeing cars older than 5-10 years. Some go to Malaysia for service as prices are cheaper and there’s more experience with older cars. Your condo will probably have tight garage parking, as do many shopping centers. Public parking is generally cheap and available, surprisingly. - Mar 2022

Cars are extremely expensive here. It is Right Hand drive so it might be difficult to bring your car. Depending on what department you work for there are restrictions on bringing a car. - Aug 2015

We don't have a car and don't miss it. Great trains and busses and taxis available. It's also a very walkable city if you don't mind sweating. - Aug 2015

There are lots of rules about importing and owning vehicles here. If you work for the Embassy and can bring one in, I suggest you bring it. Before you ship it, just make sure you're following the rules. There are some cars occasionally for sale from other diplomats, but you might have only a handful to choose from. It's not like buying used cars in other places. Local vehicles are too expensive, so your only choice is to buy from a diplomat selling one or to import one. I would not bring anything larger than a minivan, because parking spaces are tight here. - Apr 2012

It is best to use public transportation as owning a vehicle is very expensive. Because of our large family we needed a minivan but we bought from someone leaving. Roads are fine but parking is VERY tight so don't bring a big car. - Nov 2011

There are very strict rules about what kind of car you can import. Mine was too old. If you are not a diplomat you have to pay large fees. - Mar 2010

Cars are expensive to own and use here. Plenty of cabs, decent and cheap bus network, subway is fine for longer trips. - Dec 2008

There's really no need for anything bigger than a sedan. Cars are extremely small in Singapore because parking spaces are about half of the size. We had a Mini and it was perfect, until the baby came along and we had to fight with the car seat! - Aug 2008

Don't bring a car-they're very expensive to have here and public transportation is fine. Sadly, Singapore would be a great place to use a bicycle to get around but the urban planning included absolutely no bike lanes. A half hour amidst the traffic here will tell you why a bike lane is a necessity. - Jun 2008

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