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Guide to get your own Motorbike in Singapore - DirectAsia

A step-by-step guide for an Expat to get your own motorbike in Singapore

Car prices are notoriously expensive in Singapore, so the other logical solution to owning your own transport is a motorbike. It is thus no surprise that many expatriates who prefer the freedom of mobility might eventually consider getting a motorbike of their own.

Being new to Singapore, you may not know how to go about getting a bike license or to convert it to a Singaporean license. At the same time, if abbreviations like “COE” and “ARF” baffle you, this is the definitive guide for you.

Step 1: Getting Your Motorbike License

Eligibility - If you are here only for holiday or on a social pass, you will not need to convert your motorbike license to a Singapore license. Rather, you will need a valid foreign license and an International Driving Permit (IDP) issued by an authorised body in your own country. If an IDP is not available, an official translation of your foreign license in English is required.

To continue driving in Singapore after 12 months of staying here, you must obtain a valid Singapore driving licence.

There are 2 ways to getting your motorcycle license here - go through the motorbike license test as everyone else does, or convert your existing foreign license to a Singapore one.

Prerequisites for converting your non-Singapore license - You can convert a non-Singapore motorcycle licence into a Class 2B licence once you pass the Traffic Police's Basic Theory Test (BTT). You can book your BTT at either the Bukit Batok Driving Centre, ComfortDelGro Driving Centre or the Singapore Safety Driving Centre.

If you wish to ride a larger motorcycle of Class 2A (engine capacity of 201 cc to 400 cc) and Class 2 (engine capacity of 401 cc and above), you’d need the following:

  1. Documentary proof of training and testing with a larger motorcycle;
  2. Documentary proof of ownership of a larger motorcycle; and
  3. At least 1 year of overseas riding experience on the road.

Applying for Conversion - Apply for Conversion

You must apply for conversion at the Traffic Police Test Centre counter located in the driving centres in person. Also, take note to bring the following items, where applicable:

  • Original and a photocopy of your passport and NRIC/entry permit/employment pass/work permit
  • Original and a photocopy of a valid foreign driving licence
  • One recent matte passport-sized colour photograph of you with a white background, eyes looking straight, and both ears and eyebrows visible in the photograph. There should be no headgear worn unless normally worn for religious purposes, and glasses worn should not be tinted
  • Processing fee of $50 (payment by CashCard and NETS only)
  • If your foreign driving licence is not in English, you must have International driving permit or an official translation of your driving licence in English obtained from the relevant Embassy, High Commission, or any Singapore registered translation companies. Translation is not required for licences issued by Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia
  • If your foreign driving licence does not have the 1st date of issue, you are required to obtain an extract of driving licence record from the Licensing Authority
  • Foreign driving licence must be obtained prior to the issuance of your Work Pass/Dependant Pass/Student Pass, etc

You must show documentary proof that you have studied or worked in a foreign country for 1 year or more, using either tax statements or education transcripts. You must also have stayed in that foreign country for a total period of at least 6 months within a period of 12 months.

Step 2: Motorcycle COE

In Singapore, you’ll need to have a COE, or Certificate of Entitlement before hitting the road in your new car or motorbike.

The COE entitles you to the right to register, own and use a vehicle in Singapore for the duration of 10 years. Before you buy a car or motorbike, you'll need to obtain a COE first. You can get a COE by bidding in auctions administered by the LTA that are held on the first and third Monday of every month.

According to the latest results, the COE price for owning a motorbike is $6,889. Yes, it’s not cheap, but already much cheaper compared to the COE to own a car.

Do note that a COE is only good for 10 years, after which you'll have to either pay to renew it for another 5 or 10 years to keep using your motorbike, or deregister and scrap your vehicle.

Step 3: Getting Your Motorbike

If you are looking to get a new motorcycle, you can go to any authorised motorbike dealers to get one. Some of these include the following:

If you are looking for second-hand bikes, your best bet would be to search for it on some of the motorbikes marketplace on the internet. While you can still go to dealers, they would usually take a cut, which ends up with you paying a higher price.  Some of the sites which lists second-hand motorbikes include:

Other Costs of owning a Motorbike

Other than the cost of getting a motorcycle license, getting the COE and buying the bike, there are also additional costs like road tax and duties. Here’s an overall estimate of the other costs involved:

Types of FeesCosts
Registration Fee$220
Additional Registration Fee~$5,000, depending on the Open Market Value (OMV) of the bike
Excise Duty12% of OMV
Road Tax~$100
Motorcycle Insurance$102

It is mandatory to get yourself a motorcycle insurance before you start riding your bike on the road. A comprehensive motorcycle insurance covers you not only from third-party liabilities claim, a stolen bike or damages from a fire, you also get protection from your own crashes, natural disasters, vandalism and towing following an accident.

Ready to bring your new bike on the road? Get an instant quote from DirectAsia today!