MOT concerned about Malaysia’s decision to levy entry fee for foreign vehicles

In response to media queries, a Ministry of Transport (MOT) spokesperson said that there is concern whether Malaysia’s decision to levy an entry fee on foreign-registered vehicles is directed towards Singaporean vehicles, as it was reported that it would only be levied in Johor. The Ministry has contacted its counterparts in Malaysia for details of the fee, and will consider its response after getting them.

The spokesperson also explained that the basis of Singapore’s Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) and Goods Vehicle Permit (GVP) fees is not discriminatory but serves to equalise the cost of owning and using foreign-registered vehicles on Singapore roads, with that for Singapore-registered vehicles. Singapore-registered vehicles are subject to significantly different costs such as the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) and vehicle taxes, amongst others. In fact, the last time the VEP fee for cars was changed in 2004, it was lowered, largely because of the lower cost of COEs during that period.

The VEP fee for cars and motorcycles was last raised in 1994. In 2004, the VEP fee for cars was lowered. The GVP fee for goods vehicles had remained unchanged at S$10 per month since it was introduced in the 1960s.

MOT explains that as the cost difference in owning and using foreign-registered and Singapore-registered cars and goods vehicles has widened in recent years, this had given rise to the need to revise the VEP fee for cars and the GVP fee for goods vehicles, from S$20 to S$35 a day for the former, and from S$10 to S$40 per month for the latter. The VEP fee for foreign-registered motorcycles remains unchanged.

The ministry also noted that all foreign-registered cars and motorcycles continue to enjoy the following VEP-free days and VEP-free hours:
a) Saturdays, Sundays and Singapore Public Holidays;
b) 10 normal weekdays per calendar year; and
c) Between 5pm and 2am on all other days (these VEP-free hours are extended to start at 12 noon instead of 5pm during the June and December Singapore school holidays).

Which works out to a total of around 125 days per year that are VEP-free on top of the daily VEP-free hours.

About 13,000 foreign-registered cars enter Singapore daily. Based on 2013 data, almost nine in ten foreign-registered cars will not be affected by the VEP fee increase as they enter and stay in Singapore on VEP-free days or during VEP-free hours.

About 8,000 unique foreign goods vehicles enter Singapore every month.

On 16 July, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak confirmed plans to impose a Vehicle Entery Permit (VEP) fee on vehicles entering Johor Baru from Singapore following Singapore’s announcement in July that it would raise its VEP fee for foreign-registered cars to S$35 from S$20 from August.  Details on the exact fee and implementation timeline are still being discussed, but Johor Chief Minister Mohamed Khaled Nordin has previously proposed a levy of RM20 (S$7.80).