In July 2021, it was reported that Tesla has leased a building in Toa Payoh Lorong 8’s industrial area for its showroom, corporate office and service centre. This follows the launch of their sales portal in February 2021, where potential buyers can make an order directly to Tesla for the Tesla Model 3.
Announced in April 2016 by Elon Musk as an “affordable” electric car for the world, the Model 3 is finally coming to Singapore almost five years later.
To be clear, there were already parallel importers in Singapore that are already selling Tesla currently.
However, at about $224,000 based on current information from sgCarMart, the entry-level Standard Plus Model 3 is far from affordable. However, going forward, Tesla will be looking to sell directly to customers in Singapore at a lower price.
This is a unique concept because while most car manufacturers would sell their vehicles via authorised dealers or parallel importers, Tesla is intending to take away the middleman by selling directly to their customers.
Based on information from Tesla’s sales portal, we can see that the Standard Range Plus Model 3 will cost $113,245 (before COE). The Model 3 Performance variant would cost $155,283 (before COE).
As you can see from the screenshot above, the original cost of the Model 3 (inclusive of GST) is $78,140. However, because of the Additional Registration Fee (ARF) which all cars in Singapore have to pay, the selling price increases.
Thankfully, and perhaps why many drivers in Singapore (including this writer) would want to get the Model 3, it enjoys a high Vehicle Emissions Scheme (VES) rebate of $25,000. This is the highest amount that cars in Singapore can enjoy.
Also, the Model 3 also enjoys the EV Early Adopter Incentive (EEAI) that the Singapore government is giving, which provides a 45% rebate of the ARF, capped at $20,000. Thus, in total, the Model 3 enjoys a rebate of $45,000, which is the highest any car in Singapore can enjoy. Do note that the EEAI will apply from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2023.
Of course, the price above of $113,245 (inclusive of first-year road tax payment) only applies if you are paying the full purchase price upfront.
For those of us who can’t just sell a few bitcoins or Tesla shares to fund our Model 3 purchase, we will likely need to take a loan to purchase our car.
Fortunately, Tesla understands this and has kindly helped us with this by providing a loan calculator for those who want to purchase the car via hire purchase.
Based on a 60-month repayment, the Model 3 will cost us $904 a month, or $$75,936 over 7 years. With the down payment of $45,298, the Tesla Model 3 would cost us $121,234.
Price Of The Tesla Model 3 Quoted Is NOT Inclusive Of COE
Unfortunately, the big catch here is that the price of the car as cited by Tesla is not inclusive of the COE price, something that we obviously can’t ignore if we drive in Singapore. If we add in the current cost of a Category B COE ($56,001 as of August 2021), the Model 3 would cost $177,235. This is close to the $165,000 price we estimated for the car when we make our wild guess five years ago.
At about $177,000, the Tesla Model 3 is more expensive compared to the likes of the Audi A3 ($167,890), Mercedes-Benz A-Class Salon ($167,888) and the Volkswagen Passat ($149,900). However, it’s more affordable compared to models such as the Audi A4 ($207,880), Volvo S90 ($220,000) and BMW 3 Series Sedan ($215,888).
How Much Will It Cost To Own The Tesla Model 3 Over The Next 10 Years?
As most of us should already know by now, owning a car in Singapore goes beyond just the purchase price of the car. Even if we assume that the Model 3 doesn’t break down over the next 10 years and requires minimal maintenance, we still need to consider road tax, fuel, parking & ERP.
Road Tax: As stated by Tesla, the road tax for the Model 3 will be $2,926. While the first year is inclusive in the cost of the car, over the next 9 years, this will add up to a further $26,334.
Fuel: The good thing about the Tesla Model 3 is that it doesn’t use fuel. This doesn’t mean it’s free since you still need to pay to charge your car via electricity. A simple Tesla comparison claims that you can save about $1,200 per year in fuel savings, or about $100 a month.
Parking & ERP: Season parking at HDB estate is $110 per month. We will assume ERP charges to be $30 each month. This adds up to $140 a month, $1,680 a year, or $16,800 over a 10-year period.
In total, we can expect the Tesla Model 3 to cost us about $220,369 over 10 years.
Cost of the car including COE (assuming 40% down payment, 7-year loan period)
Road Tax (Over 10 years, the first year is inclusive in purchase price)
Parking & ERP
|Total Cost over 10 years||
Do note this assumes that 1) there are minimal servicing and parts replacement required, 2) we are ignoring the cost of charging your car, and 3) we are not including the cost of insurance, which can easily be a few thousand dollars each month depending on the No Claim Rebate (NCR) you receive. Note that currently there are not many insurers/brokers who offer insurance for the Tesla 3 so you may wish to get a quote for the car first before committing to the purchase.
Additional Add-On Cost For The Tesla Model 3
One thing worth noting is that similar to other car brands, Tesla does charge you for add-ons.
– If you want any other colour besides white, you will need to pay an additional $1,500 (black, silver, blue) or $3,000 (red).
– 19 inches sport wheels will cost you an extra $2,000, instead of the standard 18 inches wheels.
– You can also change the car’s interior from all black to black and white at an additional $1,500.
Last but certainly not least, perhaps the biggest challenge for electric vehicle owners in Singapore including new Tesla owners is that many of us live in high-rise flats as opposed to landed property. This means we won’t be able to install our own charging station at our home since we don’t have a dedicated parking space.
While there are public EV charging stations in Singapore, it’s still limited right now at about 1,600 as of 2020. In his 2020 budget, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said that the country would aim to have up to 28,000 charging stations by 2030. Until then, however, it appears that an electric car might be more suitable for those who are living in landed property or in a private estate that offers EV charging stations.
This article was first written on 10 February 2021 and has been updated with the latest information
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