Cost Guide To Buying A Commercial Vehicle In Singapore

Similar to running a business anywhere in the world, business owners in Singapore may require a commercial vehicle to support them in their business operations. These may include ferrying goods and workers daily or to transport equipment and materials. 

In Singapore, only registered companies can buy a commercial vehicle. This means individuals cannot purchase a commercial vehicle for personal usage. The only exception here is if the individual possesses a hawker license from NEA. 

Read Also: The Hawkers’ Development Programme (HDP): Helping You Cook For A Living

Like all other vehicles in Singapore, commercial vehicles require a valid Certificate of Entitlement (COE). This will be under Category C, which is for Goods Vehicle & Bus. Commercial vehicles can also be registered using a Category E COE though this may not make financial sense since Category E COE prices are usually higher than Category C – because it is an open category that can be used for any vehicle. As of November 2020, Category C COE price is $31,502 while Category E COE is $39,500.

Another key difference between commercial and private vehicles in Singapore is that commercial vehicles have a maximum life span of 20 years. You can’t continue using the vehicle after 20 years, even if you are willing to renew the COE. Note that you still have to renew your COE after 10 years is up.

Similar to passenger cars, the vehicle registration fee is $220 for all commercial vehicles.

However, unlike passenger cars where you can only get financing of up to 70%, those purchasing a commercial vehicle can get financing of up to 90%.

Different Types Of Commercial Vehicles In Singapore

According to One Motoring, a website by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), there are four main types of commercial vehicles in Singapore.

There are the Goods-Cum-Passenger Vehicles (GPVs); Light Goods Vehicle (LGVs); Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs); Very Heavy Goods Vehicles (VHGVs). 

The various classifications will determine how much taxes you will need to pay when buying a commercial vehicle.

Goods-Cum-Passenger Vehicles (GPVs)

Goods-Cum-Passenger Vehicles (GPVs) can be used to ferry both goods and passengers. According to LTA, they can have a maximum laden weight (MLW) – total weight of the vehicle plus the load it’s carrying –  of up to 5,000kg. 

For GPVs, the Additional Registration Fees (ARF) is similar to that of passenger cars. This means the ARF is 100% of the Open Market Value (OMV) for the first $20,000, 140% for the next $30,000 (i.e. $20,001 to $50,000) and 180% for any amount above $50,000. This makes them as expensive to own as regular passenger cars.

For example, the Jeep Gladiator, which is a GPVs (pick-up truck) costs $159,999 before COE. 

Jeep Gladiator, Source

While it’s an impressive vehicle that is comparable to many passenger cars, and there are some other GPVs in Singapore such as the Mercedes-Benz X-Class Diesel ($140,000) and Mitsubishi L200 Triton ($135,988) that are really nice as well, do note that commercial vehicle have to adhere to a different set of speed limit in Singapore. So, if you are thinking of getting a GPV to ferry employees instead of a regular car, be aware of these added restrictions. 

Road tax for GPVs is as such:

 Road Tax Every 6 Months
MLW ≤ 3.5 $372 (Diesel and Diesel Hybrid)
$298 (Green and Petrol)
MLW Above 3.5$487(Diesel and Diesel Hybrid)
$390 (Green and Petrol)

From 1 August 2020 to 31 July 2021, GPV vehicle owners will enjoy a road tax rebate of 75%. This will reduce to 50% from 1 August 2021 to 31 July 2022. 

Light Goods Vehicle (LGVs)

Light Goods Vehicles (LGVs) are commercial vehicles with a maximum laden weight (MLW) of up to 3,500kg. LGVs can be used to carry goods or are minibuses with a maximum seating capacity of up to 15 passengers. LGVs that are used for carrying goods would typically only have front seats allowing them to have only 2 or 3 passengers (e.g. lorries, vans). 

The Additional Registration Fees (ARF) for LGV is 5% of its OMV. This lower ARF tax rate makes them cheaper to own as compared to GPVs. For example, the popular Nissan Cabstar (a lorry) costs about $72,000 with COE. The Renault Kangoo (a van) costs about $74,000.

Nissan Cabstar, Source

Road tax for LGVs are as such: 

 Road Tax Every 6 Months
Diesel and Diesel Hybrid$213
Petrol and Petrol Hybrid$170

From 1 August 2020 to 31 July 2021, HGV vehicle owners will enjoy a road tax rebate of 75%. This will reduce to 50% from 1 August 2021 to 31 July 2022. 

Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs)

Heavy Good Vehicles (HGVs) are commercial vehicles with a maximum laden weight (MLW) of between 3,501kg to 16,000kg. These would include bigger lorries and trucks. Similar to the LGVs, the Additional Registration Fees (ARF) for HGVs is just 5% of its OMV.

Road tax for HGVs is as such: 

 Road Tax Every 6 Months
3.5 < MLW ≤ 7 $328 (Diesel and Diesel Hybrid)
$262 (Green and Petrol)
7 < MLW ≤ 11 $362 (Diesel and Diesel Hybrid)
$289 Green and Petrol)
7 < MLW ≤ 16 $489 (Diesel and Diesel Hybrid)
$391 Green and Petrol)

From 1 August 2020 to 31 July 2021, HGV vehicle owners will enjoy a road tax rebate of 75%. This will reduce to 50% from 1 August 2021 to 31 July 2022. 

Very Heavy Goods Vehicles (VHGVs)

Vehicles with a maximum laden weight of more than 16,000kg are classified as Very Heavy Goods Vehicles (VHGVs). Examples of these vehicles would include garbage trucks, prime movers and large container trucks. Similar to both the LGVs and HGVs, the Additional Registration Fees (ARF) for VHGVs is 5% of its OMV. 

Road tax for VHGVs depends on its maximum laden weight (MLW). This can be from $850 (MLW of between 16 to 20) to $1,488 (MLW above 55) for diesel and diesel hybrid vehicle. From 1 August 2020 to 31 July 2021, VHGV vehicle owners will also enjoy a road tax rebate of 75%. This will reduce to 50% from 1 August 2021 to 31 July 2022.

Typically, you would only need to buy HGVs and VHGVs if it’s directly related to the business services that your company provides, rather than for generic transportation of workers and goods. For example, if you own a car repair workshop, you may need to have tow trucks to recover your customers’ vehicles. If you provide passenger transportation services, then you may need to a 49-seater bus.

If you are interested in getting a commercial vehicle, whether new or used, and require some financing, you can get up to 90% of financing from banks over a period of 8 years. You can check out local banks such as OCBC to get financial support for loans that you may need.  

Read Also: Guide To Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)

Need Financing Support During This Period?

From now till 31 March 2021, SMEs can enjoy extra financing support of up to $5 million through the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme.

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