In addition to the normal vehicle registration regime, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) offers a couple of special schemes so as to give owners more choice and flexibility. These are the Off-peak Car Scheme and the Classic Car Scheme
LTA Policies & Schemes PHOTO: ST

In addition to the normal vehicle registration regime, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) offers a couple of special schemes so as to give owners more choice and flexibility. These are the Off-peak Car Scheme and the Classic Car Scheme.

Off-peak Car Scheme

Owners who register their cars under the Off-peak Car (OPC) Scheme sacrifice a certain amount of usage time that they would otherwise be entitled to, but the trade-off is that they save on fees payable during registration and subsequent road tax. 

Benefits

OPC owners can look forward to the following benefits:

  • A rebate of $17,000 that can be used to offset COE Quota Premium and Additional Registration Fee (ARF). The rebate is first used to offset the COE premium, and the excess, if any, is then used to offset the ARF.
  • A discount of $800 on annual road tax, but subject to a minimum tax levy of $50.

Don’t be overly concerned if you’ve not familiar with terms like “Quota Premium” or “ARF”. In a another section, when we cover registration fees, it’ll become clearer.

As with any other car, road tax for OPCs is payable on a yearly basis.

Unlike other cars, however, OPCs spot red registration plates as opposed to the more common black plates. The red plate is one of the defining characteristics of an OPC, and naturally, LTA has an interest in preventing abuse. OPCs owners, before they renew their annual road tax, therefore have to get their cars inspected at an authorised inspection centre first – this is to satisfy the inspection centre and LTA that the registration plate is indeed a bona fide OPC plate, and not some impostor that has been painted over in red.

Usage Restrictions

Like we’ve mentioned above, in exchange for reduced COE premiums and registration fees, OPCs owners have to forego some amount of time their cars can spend on the road. The following table summarises the timings during which an OPC can ply the roads:

If you wish to drive your OPC during restricted hours, you’ll have to purchase and display a $20 day licence. This licence entitles you to drive your OPC as you would a normal car for the day. Licences can be purchased at Post Offices, the Automobile Association of Singapore and the LTA.

The LTA has guidelines for existing car owners to convert their normal cars to OPCs and vice versa. You might want to take a look at their Web pages.

For many of us, considering that our cars spend most of their time in parking lots, OPCs could be an attractive option. By planning our errands and trips carefully, we may still commute from home to work, visit other regular destinations without feeling impaired by the OPC Scheme’s restricted usage hours, and yet save on the cost of car ownership.

Classic Car Scheme

Finding a boxy sedan rather run-of-the-mill? While you could go for Volkswagen’s signature car, the Beetle, or one of the various Mini Coopers to make a fashion statement, perhaps you might also want to think about the classic car.

The Classic Car Scheme was introduced by the LTA in July 1, 2000. It is an avenue through which drivers who march to a different drumbeat can realise their aspiration to own a contraption that is out of the ordinary.

Here are some basic facts about owning and driving a classic car:

Station Wagon

What is a classic car?


Hatchback

It is a car that is at least 35 years old from the original registration date. Classic cars that once plied our roads include the Morris Minors, Austin-Healey Sprite series, the first-generation Honda Accord that made its debut in the late 70s, and of course the classic Beetles and Minis.


Luxury Car

Are there any regulations and restrictions on driving a classic car on Singapore roads?


Sports Car

We shan’t bog you down with the nitty-gritty details here. At your own time and leisure, you can check out the LTA website for more details.

Rather, our job here is to manage your expectations at the onset. A classic car may ply the roads for a maximum of 28 days in a calendar year. These 28 days are also meant to cover for the time needed to bring your car in for inspections and servicing. In other words, don’t expect to drive your classic car to work everyday.


SUV

How do I purchase a classic car?


Sedan

You can either purchase a classic car from an existing owner locally, or import it from overseas. In case of the former, the normal ownership transfer procedure applies. In the latter case, the ONE.MOTORING Portal has a set of guidelines on Self importation and registration of cars.


MPV

Can I convert my car to a classic car?


Sedan
Yes, you can. But you’ve got make sure that your car is at least 35 years old – that’s the bare minimum. Then of course there is the application form the fill up, the changing of your registration number plate and a few other things you need to do …


More information on the Classic Car Scheme is available on the LTA website.

All in all, owning and driving a classic car might seem quite a hassle. But perhaps for some who remember bell-bottom trousers and playing in the back alleys with fondness, it could be worth the while.