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How is my car valuated in Singapore? - 6 tips to improve your car valuation

Before buying a new car, you would often have to sell your used car (unless you are a first time car owner) and then there comes the question of how much is a good deal when you are selling your car. 
OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
14 Mar 2018

How is my car valuated in Singapore? – 6 tips to improve your car valuation

Before buying a new car, you would often have to sell your used car (unless you are a first time car owner) and then there comes the question of how much is a good deal when you are selling your car.

First and foremost, the car is valuated based on the OMV, ARF, and the COE of the car. Car valuation also takes into consideration the condition of the car as well as its mileage. Do take note that car valuation only acts as a guide and it may differ from the actual price that you can get when selling your car to a car dealer or a direct buyer. Car dealers will probably need to do maintenance and repairs, as well as make some profits when reselling your car and thus need to take these costs into account, offering you less than your car valuation.

Open Market Value (OMV)

The OMV is assessed by Singapore Customs when a car is shipped into Singapore. This value includes the actual amount of the car before it is shipped into Singapore, the freight costs, insurance, and all other costs involved in the sales and the delivery of the car safely to our shores. The OMV is the base cost of the car and will greatly affect a car’s valuation.

Additional Registration Fee (ARF)

The ARF is a tax that is imposed on the car once it is registered in Singapore. ARF is calculated based on the OMV of the car. For the first $20,000 of the OMV, the ARF is equivalent to 100% of the OMV of the car. The next $30,000 of the OMV has a higher ARF of 140% of the OMV of the car and it goes up to 180% for vehicles with OMV above $50,000.

This would mean that a vehicle of OMV of would cost:


First $20,000 (100%) =


Next $30,000 (140%) =


Above $50,000 (180%) = 180% x $10,000 =


Total ARF payable = $20,000 + $42,000 + $18,000 =


Excise Duty

For imported products, there will be a 20% of the OMV tax that is imposed on the vehicle by Singapore Customs. On top of the excise duty, don’t forget that there’s also goods and service tax (GST) of 7% imposed on your vehicle.

Certification of Entitlement (COE)

The COE allows you to have the right to own and register a car in Singapore. The COE is dependent on the demand for the registration of cars in the market (Check the latest COE prices). It also depends on the category of your car.



Updated 9th Sept 2013: COE to Undergo Revamp
New criterion that the engine power of the car should not exceed 97 kilowatts (kW) (equivalent to about 130 brake horsepower (bhp))

Car (1600cc & Below)


Car (Above 1600cc)


Goods Vehicle & Bus





Because you can only own and drive a car that has a COE, the car valuation is also derived from the number of years left in the COE vehicle.

PARF vs COE Cars

The car valuation is also determined whether or not it is in its first 10-year depreciation period (PARF cars) or cars that owners chose to renew the 5-year or 10-year COE (COE Cars). The valuation of PARF cars tend to be higher as it includes the Preferential Additional Registration Fee (PARF) and COE rebate. The PARF rebate is a percentage of the ARF paid when the car was purchased.

Car Dealer’s Markup

The car valuation is also dependable on the car dealer’s markup. Since the sales of used cars is essentially a huge business in itself, the car dealer also needs to profit after factoring costs to service the car, advertise, and complete the necessary paperwork.

Besides all these as basis for deriving your car valuation, there are also other factors such as the mileage and condition of your car that will affect the valuation. To get the most out of your car valuation when selling, here are 6 tips that you should take note!

6 Tips to Improve Your Car Valuation

1. Service Your Car Regularly

Servicing your car regularly will ensure that any signs of problems will be detected early and fixed to help extend the lifespan of your car and improve driving performance. A comprehensive service record always adds a sense of assurance that your car has been well taken care of.


Each month, you should check the pressure of your tires. An under inflated tire wears off much faster at the edges on both sides while an over inflated one would cause the middle of the tire treads to wear out faster by up to 25%. When there is more wear on one side of the tire as compared to the other, it may cause the vehicle to be out of alignment and may even affect safety for the user. Also, a properly inflated tire will help to improve your gas mileage (yay to more cost-savings!).

Read our guide on: How to check for Tyre Wear?

Engine Oil

Every 10,000km, you should change the engine oil. Changing it regularly ensures that the oil has its full lubricating functions and helps to cool your vehicle efficiently. If this is not done, it may lead to increased risk of engine failures that would be more expensive in the long run.

Brake Pads

Even without the STA or VICOM evaluation checks, an experienced driver can easily tell by the sound or the feel when they test-drive whether or not a car’s brake pads are worn out. If a car’s worn brake pads are not changed it may cause further damage to the car’s braking system, posing additional risk to the driver, passengers, and other road users.

Other regular maintenance include changing your air filters, spark plugs, brake fluids, et cetera. that may affect the performance of your ride.

Some car owners that are looking to change to a new car may also skip their last servicing. But this isn’t necessarily a wise thing to do. Used car buyers that are savvy with used car shopping will want to know when the last servicing was done. If the last servicing is too long ago, they may not want to buy your car in fear of having to pay a hefty sum for repairs and maintenance.

2. Keep an organised log of all your servicing records and relevant documentation

Following up with the previous point, some used car buyers will also want proof of servicing. It is wise to keep all your servicing records and receipts to show your prospective buyer that they will be getting a well-maintained car that is worthy of the price that you are quoting!

An additional note for new car owners, a car can also be sold for a higher price if you have well-organised service records from the original car dealer. For example, a Mercedes that is serviced at Cycle and Carriage right from day 1 would fetch a better price than those that are done at external workshops.

Do not throw away the original manual of the car if you are intending to sell your car to make way for a new one! The manual is what used car buyers look for as some of them may be new drivers or trying out a new car make in the used car market.

3. First impressions matter

Having a well-maintained exterior could do wonders when selling your car! Ensure that minor dents, paint scratches, foggy headlights, rusts and stains are removed off your car. These can be done by bringing your car to the workshop but if these are really minor issues that you do not wish to spend extra money on, try out these 8 cheap and good car maintenance hacks that you can do-it-yourself!

Parking in the shade also does help to avoid excessive sunlight that may cause your vehicle’s paint to fade. If this happens to your used car, you can give your car a coat of paint that would help increase the value of your car.

Finally, especially when selling your car on consignment, give it a good wipe down or wash before a prospective buyer’s appointment!

4. Car modifications affect your car’s valuation

Modifications to a car could affect a car’s valuation. Expensive equipment and parts that are added to the car may not necessarily increase the valuation of the car. This is because not everyone can appreciate what you have done to the car and may not want to pay for the expensive equipment. For other exterior modifications, many may not want to take the car in that state. Rather, they would have to spend more to remove that modification. Be careful when adding modifications to your car that you may like if you intend to sell the car!

5. A clean interior is key!

If you are selling your car directly to a car buyer, or via consignment, you will need to ensure that your car interior is kept clean too! A well-maintained interior is important because it affects the overall look of the vehicle. Worn out leather and stained seats would cause prospective buyers to think twice and may be a potential reason for them to low-ball during negotiations. The same can be said with cigarette smoke residues and spillage stains. Car dealers may also need to factor in the need to rectify these problems when they wish to purchase your car for re-sale.

6. Ensure that you have two keys to your car

This is another important factor that many may brush aside. Some of us scatterbrains are prone to losing our keys but if you lose your car key, a car dealer may use the chance to slash the deal more.

Reason being, many people buy cars for use between husband and wife, or within the family. Having two keys is necessary for them. Especially when your car is a make that is common, they would rather look for another seller or another car to purchase.

Additional Tip: Mileage

We’re adding this as an additional tip as it is something that is difficult to control! Mileage depends on various factors such as whether you’ll need it for work, your nature of work, how many drivers using the car, et cetera. Do bear in mind that a higher than average mileage will lower your car valuation.

If you are intending to sell your car before buying a new car, take note of these 6 tips to get a better valuation. To find out the value of your car, Oneshift offers a non-obligatory Free Car Valuation for your car. From there, you can then get a better guide to price your car be it selling it to a car dealer, a direct buyer, or consigning your car.


Why sell your car with Oneshift?
Convenient and Hassle-Free

We know that visiting multiple car dealerships can be a real hassle! We’ll help you obtain the highest price for your car within 24 hours from our network of 500+ certified dealers from the comfort of your home.

Consumer Protection

We say no to unethical dealers. We employ strict quality control when validating the used car dealers in our panel and only work with trusted and reputable LTA-approved partners.

Transparent Process With No Obligation

We respect our customers and understand that at times, you may have doubts or need more time to decide. Don’t worry—we will never force a sale on you. Our dealer partners will only transact with you when you are satisfied with the final offer.

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William Teng
2 weeks ago
The quote for my car was fast, responsive and the highest. The transaction was fast and explanation was clear. The person who inspected my car was friendly and professional. It was a good experience with OneShift.
William Chan
3 weeks ago
The transaction was very smooth from the minute I get on to their website trying to sell my car till the car ownership transferred and have the money paid by Pay Now into my account. It only takes less than 3 days. The person attending to me are very professional, Jon at the phone in their office and Sean Tan who came down to view and test the car. I am very happy to have decided to sell my car through "One Shift By Carousell"