To calculate how much a car dealer will earn when you buy a new car

I have always wondered how much do car dealers in Singapore earn when they sell a car. The amount a dealer earns per car = selling price of the car – costs of bringing the car into Singapore. Checking the selling price of a car is simple. However, the tax structure and registration fees for cars brought into Singapore is kind of complicated with OMV, ARF, COE, GST, number plate and IU registration, etc. Vehicles sold here are taxed heavily, thus inflating the prices and making it quite tough to calculate how much a dealer can earn per vehicle.

After looking at some forums, I previously came to a simple conclusion that the cost of bringing a vehicle into Singapore is calculated to be about twice the Open Market Value (OMV) of the vehicle. That calculation isn’t really accurate though. Torque has, in its recent issue, provided readers with a simplified summary of how to calculate the dealer margin on a new car.

And the calculation is as follows:
“To estimate the dealer margin on a new car, subtract it’s base cost from the sticker price.”
“The base cost is calculated by adding 20 per cent customs duty to the vehicle’s OMV before imposing 7 per cent GST on the OMV+customs duty figure.”
You will then need to add “another 100 per cent of the OMV for ARF.”
Finally, add the prevailing COE premium.

There you go. You can now know how much your dealer earns from you when you walk out of a showroom with a new car. Click here to look up the OMVs for new vehicles.

To find the detailed breakdown of car costs for every model being sold in Singapore in a given month, please feel free to visit this link


“OMV is assessed by the Singapore Customs (Tel: 6355 2000), based on the price actually paid or payable for the goods when sold for export to the country of importation. This price includes purchase price, freight, insurance and all other charges incidental to the sale and delivery of the car to Singapore.” Source

The Additional Registration Fee (ARF) is a tax imposed upon registration of a vehicle. It is calculated based on a percentage of the Open Market Value (OMV) of the vehicle.


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