Tuesday, July 13, 2010

LTA and the numbers game

Although I have owned many cars in my 40-plus years of driving, there are still some things related to the buying and selling of vehicles in Singapore that intrigue me.

I discovered another one this week when I made a deal to sell my almost five-year-old car Camry so that I could buy another used but newer car. For sentimental reason, I wanted to retain my current registration number.

However, to my surprise, I was told that the Land Transport Authority (LTA) would charge me $1,300 for the retention of the number to be used for my next car.

I had paid $1,000 for that number in Year 2000 when I bought a new car and had it transferred to another new car five years later, paying only $100.

I have a number of questions:

1) why does LTA charge such a high fee -- $1,300 --- for the transfer when I had already paid $1,000 when I first bought the number?

2) Why is there such a vast difference in fee --- $1,300 for transfer to a used car compared to only $100 to a new car? Is the administrative work so much more difficult between one and the other?

3) Could this be another not-so-subtle way to weed out those whom they think would not be able to afford to own a car in Singapore?

I have asked LTA to give me the rationale for this apparently unfair, illogical and inconsistent policy.


  1. How about a quick answer: because LTA can charge what they like (since when was dissent allowed in Singapore?) AND what makes you think you own the number? Like your car, you only have it by the grace of the LTA so consider this rent! Bottom line: LTA is not a non-profit.

  2. Yes it puzzles me too now that you mention so LTA must give you an explanation as such. Could it be their typo 130 instead of 1300 perhaps?

  3. No, Shionge, it is definitely not a typo mistake. In fact, I have already given a cheque for $1,300 to the car dealer to do the number retention for me. Incidentally, an LTA guy called me this morning but couldn't explain it clearly to me. So I told him to go back and read the posting in my blog. Sigh!

  4. must have really like the number to want to retain it ya ;)

    Anyway, I feedback to LTA (online) this morning about safety measure near the MRT station and I shall wait and see their response. On many occasion when I called or feedback about missisng arrow signages, they responded very fast :D

  5. Yes, I have retained the same number twice -- once for another new car but this time to a used car. There is a little sentimental value.

    LTA is pretty efficient and I have praised them in my blog. However, sometimes there are inconsistent policies which I feel I should point out so that they can be rectified.

    This one is so obvious and I cannot see any justification for it.