Is an Off-Peak Car Right for You?
Owning a car is incredibly convenient and liberating. You wouldn’t be reliant on public transport, you won’t have to deal with long queues or crowds during rush hour, and, most importantly, you have the freedom to go anywhere you want in Singapore. However, the cost of owning a car in the country is not cheap. It is, after all, the most expensive country in the world. With steep Certificate of Entitlements (COE) and running costs such as road tax and auto insurance in Singapore, owning a car may seem like an indulgence. Fortunately, the LTA has an Off-Peak Car scheme (OPC/ROPC) that provides you with a more affordable alternative to buying a car at full price. In this article, we list down the reasons why this might be the scheme for you.
What is the difference between Off-Peak Car (OPC) and Revised Off-Peak Car (ROPC) Scheme?
The Off-Peak Car (red car plate) scheme in Singapore provides car owners who don’t drive regularly the benefits of owning a car minus the huge expenses. There are two types of Off-Peak Car schemes – the old Off-Peak Car scheme (OPC) and Revised Off-Peak Car scheme (ROPC). The old OPC scheme refers to the vehicles registered or converted to the OPC scheme before the 25th of January 2010. This scheme is no longer available for conversion or registration. These cars are able to drive freely the country except for these restrictions.
- Mondays-Fridays – 7am to 7pm
- Saturdays & Eve of New Year, Lunar New Year, Hari Raya Puasa, Deepavali, Christmas – 7am to 3pm
- Sundays – No restrictions
- Public Holidays in Singapore – No restrictions
The ROPC scheme, on the other hand, refers to the vehicles registered to this scheme on or after the 25th of January 2010. Unlike the old OPC scheme, ROPC vehicles are only restricted to drive during Mondays to Fridays from 7am to 7pm. They can be driven on weekends and public holidays. Due to more time on the road, ROPC vehicles receive a smaller discount as compared to the old OPC. OPC/ROPC car owners can get an electronic day licence (or e-Day Licence) for days when they drive on restricted hours. For more information about the requirements of the e-Day Licence, please check out the One Motoring website here.
Why ROPC is an Excellent Choice for Car Owners?
There are numerous financial benefits when getting an off-peak car. A car owner who registers their new car under the ROPC scheme can get up to $17,000 rebate from the Quota Premium of their COE and Additional Registration Fee (ARF). This is a significant cut on the Quota Premium as current COE premiums are in the $50,000 range. September 2016’s 1st bidding results are as follows:
- Category A – $51,506
- Category B – $57,002
- Category E – $56,889
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Newly registered ROPC vehicles also get a flat discount of up to $500 off their annual road tax (minimum road tax payment of $70 per year).
Aside from these rebates, OPC/ROPC car owners can also enjoy a much lower car insurance premium. Car insurance companies in Singapore often offer discounted vehicle insurance premium specifically for low mileage and off-peak cars. Do make sure you make a comparison on car insurance in Singapore before settling on an insurance premium. Plus, you also benefit from cheaper running costs and maintenance due to less wear and tear.
This cost-effective scheme is perfect for those who do not drive regularly or those with a second vehicle. It gives you the conveniences of car ownership without the significant cost often associated with owning a car in Singapore. Whether you simply drive less or you would to save on your car expenses, OPC/ROPC has excellent benefits that you can leverage on.
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