Basic car terminologies that you should know
Car Glossary

Certificate of Entitlement (COE)

COE must be obtained before registering a new vehicle in Singapore. It takes the form of an electronic entry in the Land Transport Authority’s database, which represents a right to vehicle ownership and use of the limited road space for 10 years. Vehicle owners may choose to deregister their vehicle or to revalidate their COEs for another 5 or 10-year period by paying the Prevailing Quota Premium at the end of the 10-year COE period.

Quota Premium (QP)

The QP is the amount payable for a COE. QPs vary from one COE exercise to the next, depending on bids offered. You may click here to find out how QPs have varied over the months.

Prevailing Quota Premium (PQP)

The PQP is a rolling average of the last three months’ QPs. For example, the PQP for June 2006 is the average of QPs for the months of April, May and June 2006. PQPs are applicable to existing vehicle owners who are renewing their COEs. If the COE renewal is made prior to the current COE expiry month, the PQP payable shall be the rate applicable at the point of renewal of the COE. Upon renewal, the new COE will commence from the 1st of the following month from the PQP month and the balance of the current COE will be forfeited.

Open Market Value (OMV)

The OMV is assessed and determined by Singapore Customs, and includes the purchase price of goods (in this context, a vehicle), freight, insurance and all other charges related to the sale and delivery of the product to Singapore.

Registration Fee (RF)

The RF is a cost payable during vehicle registration. Currently, the RF is fixed at $140.

Additional Registration Fee (ARF)

The ARF is imposed upon vehicle registration. It is calculated based on a percentage of the OMV of the vehicle. Cars registered with COEs obtained from March 2013 onwards will be subjected to a tiered ARF system. Click here for a full computation of the tiered ARF scheme.

Carbon Emissions-Based Vehicle Scheme (CEVS)

New and imported cars registered from 1st January 2013 will be subjected to the CEVS in which cars with low carbon emissions will receive tax rebates, while those with higher carbon emissions will be liable for surcharge. The CEVS rebate ranges from $5,000 to $20,000 and vice versa for the surcharge.

Preferential Additional Registration Fee (PARF)

The PARF rebate is computed based on the age of the car at de-registration. The age of the car is computed from the date of its registration in Singapore or its original registration in a foreign country, whichever is earlier. An imported used car registered in Singapore before 1st September 2007 is not eligible for the PARF rebate. Click here for more information on the PARF rebate.


The sedan is one of the most common car body styles. It features a three-box configuration with A, B & C-pillars and a typical configuration consists of two rows of seats that can collectively accommodate up to five adults, four doors and a boot.


Stationwagons, also known as estate cars or estates, are variants of a sedan with the roof extended rearward. The body style transforms a standard three-box design into a two-box design - to include an A, B, C and a D-pillar. Stationwagons come without a trunk but with space behind the rear passenger seats where luggage can be loaded via a tailgate, instead of a trunk lid.


A hatchback is functionally equivalent to a stationwagon i.e. rear compartment accessible via a tailgate. However, it tends to be relatively smaller.

Luxury Car

A luxury car is a marketing term for a vehicle that provides luxury at increased expense. It epitomises quality, comfort and cutting-edge technology to deliver the ultimate driving experience. Some popular local makes include Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and others.

Sports Car

Members of this family sport aerodynamic shapes and low profiles as they are dynamically inclined. A sports car is designed with performance in mind – primary considerations can include high horsepower as well as superior handling and braking.


Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are vehicles similar to stationwagons or estate cars, but they usually feature raised ground clearance and four-wheel drive for on or off-road capabilities.


Multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs), also known as minivans, are designed with maximum interior volume in mind - typical MPVs can carry anywhere between six to eight passengers. Larger and taller than sedans, hatchbacks, or stationwagons, MPVs are most useful for large families.


A hybrid vehicle is a vehicle that uses two or more distinct power sources to move the vehicle. The most common type is the hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), which combines an internal combustion engine and one or more electric motors. However, other mechanisms to capture and use energy are also included.