Motorcycle on the street at sunset

More people are riding their own motorcycle in Singapore. It’s the perfect compromise between skipping public transport and owning a car, which can be financially unsustainable for the average Singaporean.

You won’t need to worry about being stuck in traffic and being late for your commitments with a motorcycle. It will also save you from the stress of joining huge crowds in the MRT during peak hours.

With the prices of COEs today, owning a motorcycle in Singapore does not come cheap. Here’s what you need to know before having one.

Things to consider before buying a motorcycle

Price of COE (Certificate of Entitlement)

Before you can drive a car or ride a motorcycle in Singapore, you need to bid for a Certificate of Entitlement (COE), which grants you the license to register, own, and use a vehicle for 10 years.

A motorcycle in Singapore is fairly inexpensive before you factor in the COE. The prices for decent Class 2B bikes in the market range from $5,000 to $10,000.

The COE is what leaves a dent in the bank accounts of vehicle owners. The cost of COE under Category D (motorcycles) is at an all-time high of $8,000. (For a list of current COE prices, you may check the Land Transport Authority’s website).

However, the cost of COEs for motorcycles will still save you five times more money than a COE for a car. The COE under Category A (car up to 1600 cc & 97 kW) is now at $45,600.

Down payment and Carry-On Instalment (COI)

When purchasing a car or motorcycle, buyers need to prepare a down payment of around 10-20% of the motorcycle cost, the price range of which can be $1,000-$3,000. From then on, you’ll be paying the remaining balance monthly over a period of 10 years through Carry-On-Instalment (COI).

If you’ve saved enough money for a motorcycle, you have the option to pay for it in full immediately. This can save you a lot of money in the long run since you won’t be burdened with high-interest payments. Additionally, some COI arrangements can be disadvantageous for those planning to sublet their motorcycle in the future. However, if this option is unavailable to you, then go for a COI.

Road Tax

Every vehicle owner in Singapore must pay road tax, which must be renewed every six or 12 months. You can incur fees or penalties for its late renewal.

The amount of road tax is calculated based on your motorcycle engine capacity if fueled by petrol or power rating if it runs on electricity.

Engine Capacity:

Engine Capacity (EC) in cc 6-Monthly Road Tax Engine Capacity (EC) in cc 6-Monthly Road Tax
EC ≤ 200 $40 x 0.782
200 < EC ≤ 1,000 [S$40 + S$0.15(EC – 200)] x 0.782
EC > 1,000 [S$160 + S$0.3(EC – 1,000)] x 0.782

Power Rating:

Power Rating (PR) in kW 6-Monthly Road Tax
PR ≤ 10 $40 x 0.782
10 < PR ≤ 96 [$40 + $1.4(PR – 10)] x 0.782
PR > 96 [$160 + $2.4(PR – 96)] x 0.782

Motorcycle Insurance

In Singapore, it is mandatory to have motorcycle insurance, which will immensely benefit you in the future in case of accidents. You must take out a valid insurance policy that, at the minimum, insures you for third-party liability in case of death and bodily injuries as part of its coverage.

Insurance policies for motorcyclists in the market consist of third-party-only (TPO), third-party, fire and theft (TPFT), and comprehensive.

Things to consider after buying a motorcycle

Inspection fee

If you are driving a motorbike that has been operating for more than three years, you are required to have a vehicle inspection yearly. It entails the inspection of a motorcycle’s brakes, tires, lights, handles, among others.

The inspection fee will cost you less than $20 per session.

Petroleum price

Your fuel price will depend on various factors such as motorcycle engine capacity, distance covered, and frequency of usage. The engine will also consume more petrol as the load increases. Thus it will cost you more if you plan to ride with another person or carry heavy baggage.

Motorcycle Maintainance

The cost of motorcycle servicing varies per rider. Those who want to save on money and have the ability to maintain their bike will incur little to nothing on servicing. Others want to leave it to the professionals and send their motorbikes to a workshop.

You should schedule motorcycle servicing once every three months to make the most out of it. It will cost around $20 for regular maintenance and more than $200 for major repairs and replacement parts.

Accessories

Some motorcycle accessories are optional, but some are integral to your safety. Every motorcycle rider needs a helmet, but you may also buy a phone holder, raincoat, gloves, and jacket.

Park space

To keep your motorcycle safe and well-maintained, park it in proper spots. If you’re an HDB resident, you can apply for season parking (costs $20 monthly) for motorcycles.

Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) Charges

ERP fees are charged to manage road congestion in Singapore. It costs around $0.25-$3 depending on the time you pass through the ERP gantries. The rate increases during peak hours.

Motorcycle at Showroom for sale

Most Popular Motorcycle Models in Singapore

Here’s a list of the most popular motorcycle models in Singapore. The prices listed below are exclusive of COE, which will cause the fluctuation of prices among the same model depending on the years left on the COE. The listed price by sellers will include the COE price.

Model Price before COE
Honda Wave 125 Fi $5,842
Honda CBR150R $5,800 to $7,900
Bajaj Pulsar 200NS $6,700
Yamaha YZF R15 $7,100 (2017 model)
Gilera Runner RST200 $8,500 (2016 model)
Suzuki Vanvan 125 $8,600 (2016 model)
Suzuki Burgman AN200 ABS $8,900 (2018 model)
KTM 200 Duke $9,900 (2015 model)
Vespa PX150 $10,000
Honda CB150 $13,500
Yamaha YBR125 $13,600

Where to get the best deals for brand new motorcycles?

You can purchase a motorbike from dealers all around Singapore and even motorcycle repair shops. Here is a list of some popular dealers in Singapore where you can score some great motorcycle deals:

Where to get the best deals for secondhand motorcycles?

If you’ve just obtained your Class 2B license, it would be in your best interest to purchase a second-hand motorcycle. Save yourself from emotional pain in case of potential scratches or damage that will likely happen due to inexperience.

You can buy second-hand models from motorcycle owners or dealers in Singapore.

Things to do when buying a second-hand motorcycle:

Check how many years of COE there are left

On average, aspiring motorcycle owners in Singapore will pay more for the COE than any motorcycle model they find in the market. Don’t shortchange yourself by verifying when the COE of the bike will expire.

When searching for bikes to buy, the owner or dealer will already incorporate the COE cost in the vehicle’s selling price. The COE will exceed the cost of the motorcycle if you’re purchasing a secondhand bike.

Check the condition of the bike.

Whether buying a secondhand or brand new motorcycle, you should test its condition before closing out a sale. It would be best to bring a friend experienced with motorcycles if you have one to give you an unbiased perspective on the bike you plan to buy.

You should conduct a test run of the motorcycle to check for engine issues. It would be best if you also asked for a chance to cold-start the vehicle and check for battery problems. You should also inspect the body of the bike and its parts, such as its lights, tires, and brake pads, for any damages that need to be replaced.

Negotiate

It would be best if you bargain with sellers since the prices they post online are higher than they should be. Furthermore, if you’ve discovered any damage or issue with the bike that the seller failed to disclose, it’s a good reason to ask for a discount or a further cost reduction.

Make sure the seller has fully paid for the bike

When looking for bikes to purchase, don’t fall into the trap of entertaining offers that include “COI” in the ad. These sellers have taken out a loan with high-interest rates with their dealers and want to shift the financial burden to you. This is why it is highly advisable to save up on your motorcycle purchase and pay the balance in cash after the down payment to avoid excessive interest payments.

Apply for motorcycle insurance

If you do not plan to buy a bike with a dealer, you should prepare for its motorcycle insurance before the sale. Since it is compulsory to have insurance before riding a motorcycle, you can only use your vehicle only when a valid insurance policy covers it.

Buy a helmet

The Road Traffic Act forbids anyone from riding a motorcycle without a helmet in Singapore. You should have one at hand before finalizing your purchase or ensure that you can get one from your seller.

Conclusion

Generally, expect that you’ll shell out around $200 to $500 monthly if you’re a motorcycle owner in Singapore. Public transport is still the norm, so every step to becoming a vehicle owner in the country, from obtaining your motorcycle license to paying road taxes, can cost significantly.

If owning a motorcycle is within your means and gives you the satisfaction you need, then go for it. However, if you’re currently suffering from poor liquidity but want to avoid high-interest payments through a COI arrangement, taking out a loan from a licensed moneylender can help.

With a licensed moneylender like Raffles Credit, you can fully pay the balance after your down payment using a personal loan with much lower interest rates.