Buying a Used Car in Singapore

Information on how to buy a used car, including a car with a loan attached, as well as details about transfer fees and the documentation required for a completed sale...

Second-hand cars are advertised in various newspapers, motoring magazines and websites. Many of Singapore's large dealerships sell second-hand cars. Notice boards at supermarkets occasionally advertise used cars for sale.

It is often advantageous to buy a car of about one to three years old, as depreciation is greater in the first three years. Car prices can, however, vary according to the prevailing COE price.

Before buying a used car, it may be sensible to ask a garage or the Automobile Association of Singapore (AAS) to perform a valuation and roadworthiness check.

Buying a used car with loan attached

If a seller has a bank loan attached to the car, it is common to sell the car on with the loan outstanding. The loan is transferred to the buyer, who pays the balance of the loan out of the sale price, and then passes the remainder to the seller.

The buyer pays for the used car prior to their name being transferred onto the car registration documents, and cannot register the car in their name until the loan has been either been transferred or paid off. It takes up to two working days for the bank charges on the car to be removed. In some cases, the buyer can go with the seller to make a direct payment to the loan company and pay the balance of the sale price once the loan is discharged.

Note: The buyer should ensure that they receive an official receipt from the seller.

Transfer Fees and Documentation Required

For cars less than 10 years old with a valid COE, buyers have to pay a transfer fee of two percent of the assessed value of the car, as determined by the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

  • For more information from the LTA: Click here
  • One Motoring has a checklist of what to do when buying or selling a used car: Click here
  • Transfer fees for individual vehicles can be checked on this site: Click here

Transfer of ownership must be within seven days of making the purchase. This must be done personally at the LTA Vehicle and Transit Licensing Division in 10 Sin Ming Drive, or at an Electronic Service Agent (ESA). An ESA is a business authorised to carry out certain procedures on behalf of the LTA; registered ESAs include motor dealers and tax collection centres.

Along with the transfer fee, the following documents should be brought:

  • An Ownership Transfer form (M01) completed by both the current registered owner and the buyer: Click here (PDF, select from list)
  • Identification documents of both the registered owner and buyer for verification
  • Original motor insurance certificate in the buyer's name. Ensure that the insurance policy of the motor vehicle is already in force on the transfer date and covers the full period of the vehicle's road tax
  • Original and valid vehicle inspection certificate, if vehicle inspection is required prior to the renewal of road tax

Further Information

Find reputable information about Car Dealers & Car Hire & Leasing companies  through our local business listings