There is a huge chance you may have encountered sports and luxury cars for sale for near dirt-cheap prices online, hailing from Johor Bahru.
Exhibit A. Image source from Carousell
Combing through the details you’ll notice most of these listings have either “Singapore scrap car” or “Fresh Singapore” in the listings. What does this mean?
Exhibit B. Image source from Carousell
Welcome to the world of scrap cars from Singapore. These cars hailed from our neighboring country meant for the junkyard due to an expired COE but have made their way to our shores in Johor Bahru.
What is COE and How Does This Relate to Singapore Scrap Cars?
Think cars in Malaysia are expensive? Think again. Across the Causeway, a Certificate of Entitlement (COE) is necessary to own a car. Introduced in 1990, this is enacted to reduce traffic congestion in a country that has very limited land.
These permits are obtained via a bidding process and in most cases, can make car ownership in Singapore expensive.
To put things into perspective, a brand new 1.3X Perodua Myvi costs SGD 64,000 (RM222, 889.06 as of October 2023). With the second round of Category A’s COE last ended in October 2023, the sum was SGD 102,000.
Your grand total? A whopping SGD 166,000 (RM 578,118.50 as of October 2023) just to own a Myvi in Singapore!
Think about how many cars you can buy from CARSOME with that money!
Furthermore, a single grant of COE can only last up to 10 years. Once time’s up, you have to sell off the car for scrap, or, go through the bidding process again.
Bear in mind that you can only do this twice and your COE will be more expensive the next round.
In most cases, Singaporean car owners will sell their cars for scrap. These cars have their stories end in junkyards or spare parts… or do they?
Some Get Reincarnated As a Road-Legal Car in Malaysia
A few lucky survivors occasionally made it across the Causeway to be sold at Johor Bahru. Yes, you can buy them. Registering them on our roads, however, is where the waters begin to get muddy.
There are tons of bureaucratic red tape involved in getting your Singapore scrap car registered legally on our roads. Even then, the consequences are too much of a nuisance to keep it running on a day-to-day basis.
To be clear here, a scrap car does not mean it’s not road-worthy; most of the time, the owners refuse to pay for COE. Thus, it is declared as scrap.
However, because Malaysia Boleh right, is why these cars, somehow, are driving on our roads. With registered and having the proper paperwork to boot. Some sellers even flaunt in their ads on social media claiming they can settle everything for you too.
Does CARSOME Take In Singapore Scrap Cars?
Absolutely not. If you do wish to get rid of a scrap car, you can still gut the car for spare parts and then sell the rest to a junkyard.
With That Said, Should You Still Buy One?
At the end of the day, not all who glitters is gold. One man’s trash may not always be another man’s treasure. Use your head and think – if the price is too good to be true, it usually is.
However, if you still insist on owning your dream sports car for cheap, the only compromise left is to turn it into a track car for sanctioned racing.
Otherwise, look for reputable dealers that sell properly used cars that come with the original grand and paperwork.
With that, we urge you to stay away from Singapore scrap cars. Unless you do need to harvest it for spare parts.