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How To Choose Between PARF vs COE Cars | DirectAsia Insurance


If you text, you’ll know that acronyms are good when they save you time. And bad when you have no idea what they mean. If you are new to buying a car, or wondering if you should buy a car over or under 5 years old in Singapore. Read on. And just for fun let’s count acronyms along the way.

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First Things First

It’s never a great idea to order off a menu you don’t understand. So before we get into reasons for and against buying a PARF vs COE car, let’s define terms:


Generally, new cars come with an Open Market Value (OMV). This is the original cost of production of the vehicle, including purchase price, freight, insurance and other charges incidental to the sale and delivery of the car to Singapore. You can find the OMV for your car at onemotoring.com.sg

If the vehicle is de-registered within 10 years of its first registration date, the registered owner can claim a Preferential Additional Registration Fee (PARF) Rebate. Normally a percentage of the OMV. Hence, the term PARF car.


If the owner wants to continue using a car after 10 years, the car’s COE must be renewed. The cost will depend on the Prevailing Quota Premium (PQP). After the COE is renewed, no PARF Rebate can be claimed when the vehicle is de-registered. The COE rebate will be available at this time, giving rise to the name COE Car.

Acronym count: 4 (correct us if we’re off)

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Advantages and Disadvantages

COE cars are cheaper than PARF cars. But the cost of a COE car can increase with money spent on wear and tear. Newer PARF cars should stay in good shape for longer, may be under warranty and keep more of their resale value. Make sure you get a car insurance quote, check out loan repayments and tax rates before you buy.

Car technology has improved in leaps and bounds. From performance and safety to sound engineering, you get what you pay for. An old car won’t keep up, but it will get you from A to B.

Acronym count: A to B is not an acronym.

Depreciation. This is where the math really kicks in. And, given the experience of one Singaporean, you could end up with a really cool car once you’ve done the figures.

“Lawyer S. C. Phua, 43, was looking for an old Japanese car for his wife to tide her over when her Subaru Forester's COE expired in April. However, he found the cars he was eyeing all had depreciation ranging from $12,000 to $14,000. He then spotted an advertisement for a nine-year-old Mercedes-Benz S280. At $57,500, it was close to double the price of a Honda Odyssey of the same age, but had a scrap value of $48,000.” July 2015, Straits Times

How To Choose

Budget, safety, reliability, comfort and personal preference all play a part when choosing a new or new-ish car. And yes, a COE car can match some of the benefits of a PARF car, so do the math and shop around.

Easy Money Saving Math

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