Owning a car in Singapore involves a range of ongoing expenses, and one of the most significant is road tax. Understanding how road tax works, how it's calculated, and the steps to renew it can save you time and avoid potential penalties. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about road tax in Singapore, from the calculation methods to renewal processes and troubleshooting common issues. Allow Drive lah, your favorite Singapore car rental to give you all the details and ensure you're well-prepared to manage your road tax responsibilities.

Understanding Road Tax: What Is It and How Is It Calculated?

Road tax is an annual fee that all registered vehicles in Singapore must pay. This fee can be paid either every six months or annually. The amount you pay is based on your vehicle's engine capacity or power rating. Vehicles with larger engines that consume more fuel and emit more pollutants incur higher taxes.       Here’s a breakdown:

Engine Capacity (cc)
Road Tax Rate
≤ 1,000
1,001 - 1,600
1,601 - 2,000
2,001 - 3,000
≥ 3,001

Checking Your Road Tax Status

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) uses specific formulas to determine your road tax based on engine capacity and power rating. For those who prefer not to dive into the math, LTA offers a road tax calculator.

This calculator will provide:

  1. Road tax expiration date.
  2. Insurance coverage status for the renewal period.
  3. Road tax amount due.
  4. Any late fees if applicable.

Requirements Before Renewing Your Road Tax

Before renewing, ensure you meet these criteria:

  1. Valid Car Insurance: Your vehicle must be insured for the entire renewal period, covering third-party liability for death and injury.
  2. Vehicle Inspection: If due, complete your vehicle inspection at LTA-Authorized Inspection Centres. You’ll receive an inspection notice about three months before your road tax expires.
  3. Clear Outstanding Fines: Pay any outstanding fines or warrants from LTA, HDB, URA, and Traffic Police.
  4. Number Plate Seals Inspection: For Off-Peak Cars, inspect your vehicle’s number plate seals at an LTA-Authorized Inspection Centre.

Steps to Renew Your Road Tax

Renew your road tax online, in person, or via GIRO. Ensure all requirements are met at least three working days before renewal.

Online Renewal Options

For online renewals, complete all prerequisites at least three working days in advance. These services are available 24/7 except from midnight to 1:00 am.

  • OneMotoring: Accepts VISA or MasterCard credit/debit cards and eNETS Debit.
  • AXS m-Station & e-Station: Accepts eNETS Debit, DBS/POSB MasterCard Debit Card, DBS PayLah!, MasterPass.
  • AXS Stations: Accepts ATM cards (DBS, POSB, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC, Standard Chartered Bank, UOB) and credit cards (DBS, POSB, Diners Club International).

In-Person Renewal

Pay at Road Tax Collection Centres with original prerequisite documents. Check collection hours and accepted payment modes in advance.

Consequences of Late Road Tax Renewal

Failing to renew on time incurs additional late fees. Once expired, your vehicle cannot be used, and you risk a fine of up to $2,000.

Late Renewal Fees

Engine Capacity (cc)
Within 1 month
1-2.5 months
>2.5 months
>3 months

Paying Road Tax in Installments

While LTA requires lump-sum payments, some credit cards offer installment plans with 0% interest for qualifying transactions. This can help manage road tax payments more flexibly.

Refunds on Road Tax When Selling Your Car

When selling your car, the remaining road tax transfers to the new owner. Although LTA doesn’t refund road tax, you can include the unused portion in your selling price.

Additional Costs for Older Cars

Cars over 10 years old incur a road tax surcharge due to higher emissions.:

Age of Vehicle
Road Tax Surcharge
10th Year
11th Year
12th Year
13th Year
14th Year
15th Year
16th Year
17th Year
18th Year
19th Year+

Tips for Managing Road Tax Costs

Managing road tax costs can be challenging, but here are some practical tips:

1.     Choose a Vehicle with Lower Engine Capacity: Opting for a car with a smaller engine can significantly reduce your road tax. Smaller engines consume less fuel and produce fewer emissions, leading to lower taxes.

2.     Consider Hybrid or Electric Vehicles: These vehicles often come with tax incentives and rebates. The government offers schemes like the Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) and the Electric Vehicle Early Adoption Incentive (EEAI), which can lower your overall road tax.

3.     Regular Maintenance: Keeping your vehicle in good condition ensures it remains fuel-efficient, which can indirectly help manage costs related to road tax.

4.     Plan for Installments: If paying your road tax in one lump sum is challenging, consider using a credit card that offers installment plans. Some banks offer 0% interest installment plans, making it easier to manage your finances.

5.     Share Your Car with Drive lah: Earn extra income by sharing your car with Drive lah. This can help offset your road tax and other maintenance costs, providing financial relief while ensuring your car is utilized efficiently.

Maintenance Tips for Older Cars

​Older cars often incur higher road taxes due to their increased emissions and lower fuel efficiency. Here are some tips to maintain your older vehicle and potentially reduce related costs:

1.     Regular Servicing: Schedule regular maintenance checks to keep your car running smoothly. This can prevent larger, costlier issues down the line.

2.     Efficient Driving Habits: Adopt driving habits that reduce wear and tear on your vehicle. Avoid aggressive acceleration and braking, and maintain a steady speed.

3.     Upgrading Parts: Consider upgrading parts like the exhaust system to more efficient versions that produce fewer emissions. This can sometimes lower your road tax bracket.

4.     Timely Repairs: Address any mechanical issues promptly to avoid escalating problems. Keeping your car in top condition ensures it passes inspections and remains roadworthy.

5.     Share Your Car with Drive lah: By listing your older car on Drive lah, you can earn extra money which can be used for maintenance and repairs. Drive lah’s comprehensive insurance coverage ensures your vehicle is protected, giving you peace of mind.

Incorporating these strategies can help you manage the costs associated with road tax and keep your vehicle in excellent condition, ensuring a smoother and more economical driving experience.

Conclusion: Share Your Car with Drive lah and Earn Extra Money

Are you looking to offset the costs of owning a car in Singapore? Consider sharing your car with Drive lah, just like thousands of other car owners. By listing your vehicle on Drive lah, you can earn extra income while enjoying peace of mind, thanks to our comprehensive insurance coverage that protects you against potential damages. It's a safe and hassle-free way to maximize the value of your car. Join the Drive lah community today and start earning without any worries! Happy driving!

Also read:
COE Renewal: 5 Years vs. 10 Years – Making the Right Choice
Everything You Need to Know About COE Renewal in Singapore
An Insider's Perspective on Car Sharing - Interview with Host Jabez Lim