“Gold” became the ten-year car ownership certificate in Singaporereaching… 106,000 dollars (100,000 euros).

Under Singapore’s system in place since 1990 to control the number of vehicles in the small Asian country, car owners must first purchase a ten-year “certificate of entitlement” (COE).

Singapore adopted the 10-year certificate of entitlement system in 1990 as an anti-traffic congestion measure.

Prospective car owners in Singapore must have a COE to be able to purchase a vehicle. They are auctioned every two weeks, with the government controlling the number of certificates for sale.

Including the certificate, registration fees and taxes, the price of a car that costs under $30,000 in the US is over $180,000 in Singapore. A small apartment in the Asian city-state, subsidized by the government, costs about $90,000, according to Reuters. The BBC reports that a Toyota Camry Hybrid costs $250,000 in Singapore after taxes and COEi.e. six times the price compared to the USA.

There are different types certificates for smaller cars, motorcycles and commercial vehicles.

In 2020, when fewer people in Singapore were driving, lower demand for the certificate had seen its price drop to $22,000. However, increased economic activity following the COVID-19 pandemic has led to more car purchases.

The total number of vehicles on the road cannot exceed 950,000 in a country with a population of 5.9 million.

The number of new certificates available depends on how many older cars have been removed from the registers. This price jump puts the cars out of reach for the majority of Singapore’s middle class.

The lowest value COE for a car costs $106,000, almost three times as much as in 2020, when there was less demand for new cars during the pandemic. The so-called “Open” class, which has no restrictions on the cars it can be used for, also reached a record high of $152,000.

The average annual household salary in Singapore it is about 87,000 dollars (83,000 euros).

Singaporeans have been hit by persistent inflation and a slowing economy, with some selling the cars they bought when certificate prices were low in order to make a profit.

Jason Guan, 40, an insurer and father of two, bought his first car in 2008 for $47,000, including the cost of the certificate, he told Reuters.

Now, he lives without a car, focusing on the other perks Singapore has for his family. “As a family man, it doesn’t really affect me as Singapore still has a good and stable education system. It is also still one of the safest countries,” he said.