Cars You Can Buy That Aren’t Affected By Budget 2023 Announcements

Cars You Can Buy That Aren’t Affected By Budget 2023 Announcements

Gerald Yuen
Gerald Yuen
15 Feb 2023

During Budget 2022 we discussed how S$80,000 was the magic number, as new cars with OMVs worth this amount were slapped with an additional tier of Additional Registration Fees (ARF). Tables have turned post-Budget 2023: the figure to focus on now will be S$40,000 - cars with OMVs of at least S$40,000 will be affected by newer tiers of ARF taxation, ranging from 10% up till 100%.

Thankfully for now, or over the next 12 months at least if we’re lucky, calculation of ARF for the first S$20,000 of OMV remains at 100% of OMV, and 140% of OMV for vehicles with OMV that fall between S$20,001 and S$40,000.

Rather than biting our lips to discover how much more expensive premium cars have become, we figured that it’ll also be useful to shortlist cars not affected by this announcement. That means cars with OMVs that land dangerously close to S$40,000. There’s a caveat though: OMVs can differ even between cars of the same model range. A car with more options tends to have a higher OMV. They are dependent on even the smallest specification detail (Eg; ventilated seats, adaptive cruise control etc..) over and above the more tangible components like engine, transmission or type of electric motor for EVs.

With this in mind, we’ve estimated each vehicle’s OMV and came up with a shortlist we feel are still worth contemplating, before the taxman knocks on the door again…

BYD Atto 3

Estimated OMV: S$34,000

Estimated price: S$179,888 with COE

A sigh of relief could be heard across the office when we realised that BYD’s Atto 3 will remain unaffected by Budget 2023 announcements. OneShift’s Car Of The Year 2022 boasts plenty of features, a decent range of 480km (claimed) and a credible 7.3-seconds century sprint. We reckon that the Atto 3 specced for the Singapore market need not reach for alarm bells yet, given how well specced it already is. Even with S$6k to “spare” before it swims with larger shoals of fishes, it need not have to reinvent the wheel. It should be comfortably proud competing in its own skin - the entry-level market.

Opel Mokka-e

Estimated OMV: S$35,000

Estimated price: S$182,500 with COE

Staying safe by going quirky has never been in conversations, until post-Budget 2023. Other than gunning for affordable and safe bets like Toyota (for ICE options) and BYD (backed by the world’s fourth largest BEV company), Opel serves up a tempting menu of relevant, yet future-proof motoring. As pointed out by James, the Mokka-e’s drivetrain feels right-sized for Singapore roads. If we can deal with its small interior, it’s effectively one of the most bang for buck electrified haulers we can buy today. It looks great, and we can be fairly certain that you’ll see more Atto 3s on local tarmac. For once, standing out from the masses need not come at an additional cost!

Mercedes-Benz GLA200 “Progressive” trim

Estimated OMV: S$36,000

Estimated price: S$288,888 with COE

While GLA200 variants are often offered with AMG Line packages (and then sliced down to either “Executive” or “Premium” trim”), our latest check on the price list suggests that our local dealer prefers to keep it simple, supplying only one trim level “Progressive”. This has proved to be a rather good strategy post-Budget 2023. Previous batches of GLA200s with AMG Line trims had OMV of just above $40k. A single trim level should streamline proceedings, while allowing some leeway for customers to “bargain” for bits and bobs without affecting OMV. Mercedes-Benz has aced the crystal ball exercise at least for entry level Mercs. A win-win outcome for both buyer and seller, then.

Hyundai Staria

Estimated OMV: S$36,000

Estimated price: S$265,999 with COE

We’d expect one that looks so futuristic to be victims of additional ARF taxes, but no - seems like the Staria could predict the future too. It plies its trade on safe territory with an estimated OMV of S$36,000, unlike Alphards with most of their OMVs rated at around S$60 grand. Perhaps all the Staria needed was this announcement to give Alphard admirers a reality check. Even most Vellfire examples have OMVs tagged at just above S$40,000.

Skoda Kodiaq (2.0 TSI)

Estimated OMV: S$35,000 - $38,000

Estimated price: S$225,900 - S$269,900

While 1.5 TSI-equipped Kodiaqs need not worry about this tax exercise, it is the arguably more appealing 2.0 TSI-powered Kodiaq that deserves more air time. We drove the top-spec RS variant in Malaysia last year and it proved more than capable keeping up with its lighter Octavia Combi RS counterpart. It might share the same platform as the Audi Q3 and Volkswagen Tiguan, but this is designed to fit 7 adults. There are 3 trim levels for 2.0 TSI-equipped Kodiaqs now, and we are placing our bets for their OMVs to be valued “safely” under S$40,000.

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