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 – and one could say, at a perfect time – as Singapore appears ready to adopt Electric Vehicles (EVs) as the preferred car of the future.
When it comes to EV cars in Singapore, the Tesla Model 3 is in a great position as it was, by far, the best-selling EV car in 2021, making up 924 units out of a total of 1,740 cars sold in 2021. In 2022, Tesla sales have remained strong in Singapore despite the high COE prices with a total of 464 sales in 2H2022 (July to November 2022). In contrast, both Mazda and Nissan saw lower sales than Tesla during the period.
Tesla is unique because it’s the only brand in Singapore that is currently selling directly to customers. 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.
Just How Affordable Would A Tesla Model 3 Costs In Singapore?
While Elon Musk’s vision for the Tesla Model 3 was to provide an affordable EV for all, just how affordable can a car be in Singapore?
Based on information from Tesla’s sales portal, we can see that the Standard Range Plus Model 3 will cost $104,754 (before COE). The Model 3 Performance variant would cost $155,040 (before COE).
As you can see from the screenshot above, the original cost of the Model 3 (inclusive of GST) is $75,990. However, because of the Additional Registration Fee (ARF) that 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 of $104,754 (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 an 84-month repayment, the Model 3 will cost us $852 a month, or $71,568 over 7 years. With a down payment of $41,902, the Tesla Model 3 would cost us $113,470
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 ($120,889) as of April 2023, the Model 3 would cost $225,643.
At about $225,643, the Tesla Model 3 is more expensive compared to the likes of the Audi A3 Sedan ($203,809) and the BMW 1 Series Hatchback ($217,888). However, it’s more affordable compared to models such as the Audi A4 ($270,827), Volvo S60 ($265,000) and BMW 3 Series Sedan ($291,888).
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 $2,136. This is much more expensive compared to other vehicles on the road. In contrast, the Audi A4 has a road tax of $1,194 a year, which is about 50% lower.
While the first year is inclusive in the cost of the car, over the next 9 years, this will add up to a further $19,224
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 $2,500 per year in fuel savings, or about $208 a month. And with petrol prices increasing, the potential savings will likely be higher.
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 no loan taken)
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.
If we were to add in the cost of insurance and the cost of charging your car (assuming you have your own home charger), expect the total cost of the car to be about $300,000 over a 10-year period.
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.
As part of the Singapore Green Plan, all HDB towns will be an EV-Ready Town by 2025, and more EV charging points will be installed in HDB carparks in the next few years. By 2030, there will be 60,000 EV charging points installed island-wide.
This article was first written on 10 February 2021 and has been updated with the latest information
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