Singapore to freeze number of cars on its roads

The government has been trying to limit car numbers as there is limited space for further road expansion

Singapore to freeze number of cars on its roads

File photo dated 03/06/17 of a general view of Singapore. Picture by: Steve Parsons/PA Wire/PA Images

Singapore says it will freeze the number of cars on its roads from next February, as part of its continuing bid to limit the number of vehicles on its roads.

The tiny city state - which has an area of only 719 square kilometres and is home to around 5.6 million people - has around 12% of its total land area taken up by roads.

The government has been battling to discourage car owners as much as possible, saying there is limited space for further road expansion.

However, it now says it will lower the vehicle growth rate from the current 0.25% per year to 0% from February.

In a statement, Singapore's Land Transport Authority said: "LTA will continue to improve our public transport system. Over the past six years, we have expanded our rail network significantly, growing the rail network length by 30% and adding a total of 41 new stations.

"The Government will continue to invest $20 billion in new rail infrastructure, $4 billion to renew, upgrade and expand rail operating assets, and another $4 billion in bus contracting subsidies over the next five years to improve public transport."

The LTA says it will review the vehicle growth rate again in 2020.

A 2014 survey by Deutsche Bank found that Singapore was the priciest place in the world to buy a car - with prices for a mid-size car up to five times as much as the same car would cost in the US. 

As well as paying a registration fee and excise duty, car-owners in Singapore must secure a Certificate Of Entitlement (COE) through a bidding process.

A cert allows a car to be driven on Singapore's roads for 10 years.

Given the strict quota on COEs, the price of purchasing one can often be more than the car itself.