Drivers in Singapore do not have it easy. We have strict driving laws under the watchful eyes of our LTA and TP officers, we are faced with ridiculously expensive car prices, and almost everything in Singapore is abbreviated !
For new drivers, and perhaps foreigners who are new to driving in Singapore, this can be a challenge. Luckily, we have a list of common abbreviations in Singapore, for those who are new to driving here. So let’s begin :
TP – Traffic Police
You should know this, since they are the ones who pass or fail you during your driver’s test. You’ll also hear drivers occasionally warning you to slow down because “eh got TP in front”. Otherwise, you’ll here “eh slow down! Sniper on bridge!”. “Sniper” here refers to a TP officer camping somewhere with their radar gun pointed towards motorists. Looks something like this :
LTA – Land Transport Authority
If you don’t know LTA – chances are you probably rented/leased your car instead of buying.
LTA is the govt body that spearheads land transport developments in Singapore
Better known amongst some locals as the guys who are out to saman you, LTA officers are the ones who keep Singapore’s streets organised by handing out summons to motorists who park illegally, and can also perform enforcement checks on traffic/car related matters, such as illegal modifications.
If you plan to modify your car and it’s not on LTA’s auto approved list – you’d better check with them if your modification is approved.
Speaking of cars –
COE – Certificate of Entitlement
Anyone who wishes to register a new vehicle in Singapore must first obtain a Certificate of Entitlement (COE), in the appropriate vehicle category. A COE represents a right to vehicle ownership and use of the limited road space for 10 years.
To summarise, if you wanna register a new car in Singapore – you’ll have to pay for a COE, which is essentially what entitles you to the ownership of the car. You don’t have to worry too much about this however, because if you’re buying a brand new car, the dealer will help you with the COE stuff.
If you’re buying a used PARF car, the COE has already been paid by the first owner who bought the car brand new, so there’s not much to worry about other than the duration of COE left. When the COE ends, it means you’ll have to scrap the car or pay a premium to renew the COE.
What is a COE car?
COE Cars simply refer to cars that are more than 10 years old (i.e their COE was renewed either for another 5 or 10 years). These cars are not eligible for PARF rebates.
ARF – Additional Registration Fee
ARF is a tax imposed on all cars during registration (i.e when you buy them brand new). If you are buying a used car, this is important because when you car’s COE ends – the amount of PARF rebate you are eligible to get back from LTA is dependent on this amount.
Confusing? Let me explain :
Suppose you bought a used car that is 8 years old. Your car then has only 2 years of COE left (10 years – 8 years = 2 years). You use this car for 1.5 years and 6 months before your car’s COE end date, you decide to scrap it. According to the table above, you are then eligible to get 50% of the ARF back from LTA because your car is 9.5 years old (i.e between 9 and 10 years old). If the ARF on your car is $20,000 – then you are eligible to get back 50% of that – which is $10,000. On top of that, you can also get a COE rebate – which is the unused portion of your COE (in this case, 6 months).
OMV – Open Market Value
The OMV of a vehicle is basically the price paid or payable when a vehicle is imported into Singapore. In other words, it’s like the ‘base price’ or ‘sticker price’ of the car.
While you’re on the road –
ERP – Electronic Road Pricing
AKA every Singaporean driver’s worst nightmare, and we tend to avoid this like a plague. ERP are those gantries that you see on the roads, which will deduct a certain amount ($0.50 to $6.00 for cars) from your cashcard if you drive through it while it’s active. Check out the map of ERP locations, prices and more at one motoring.
While we’re on the subject of ERP, do always remember to have a cashcard with sufficient balance and make sure it’s in the vehicle IU unit while driving.
List of expressways in Singapore that you should know :
PIE – Pan Island Expressway
AYE – Ayer Rajah Expressway
BKE – Bukit Timah Expressway
CTE – Central Expressway
KJE – Kranji Expressway
ECP – East Coast Parkway
MCE – Marina Coastal Expressway
TPE – Tampines Expressway
KPE – Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway
SLE – Seletar Expressway
NSE – North South Expressway (yes, the latest expressway which is under construction at the moment – not to be confused with Malaysia’s North South highway)