Car-Sharing: The Solution to Fluctuating COE Prices in Singapore

In Singapore, the soaring prices of Certificate of Entitlement (COE) have made car ownership increasingly difficult for many individuals and families. While public transportation is accessible and affordable, there are instances when having a car is more convenient, especially for families with young children or individuals with specific needs. However, the high cost of owning a car has led many to explore alternative modes of transportation. One such alternative gaining popularity in recent years is car-sharing.


11/24/20234 min read

cars on road near buildings during daytime
cars on road near buildings during daytime

The Challenge of Fluctuating COE Prices

COE premiums in Singapore have been on a steady rise in the past few years, making it challenging for regular families to purchase and maintain a car. The prices for larger and more powerful cars in Category B have reached record highs, with premiums exceeding S$150,000. The high cost of COE not only affects individuals' financial stability but also impacts their family planning decisions. Some Singaporeans have even expressed that the exorbitant prices of COE deter them from having more children.

The Unlikelihood of Decreasing COE Prices

While some may hope for a decrease in COE prices, industry experts suggest that it is highly unlikely. The continuous upward trend of COE premiums indicates that prices are unlikely to return to the levels seen a few years ago. Mr. Julian Kho, the general manager of online car marketplace Sgcarmart, highlights the financial burden of purchasing a car and questions whether it is a wise investment compared to other expenses, such as buying a property. Therefore, it is important to consider alternative transportation options that are more cost-effective.

Car Sharing: An Alternative Solution

Car-sharing presents a viable solution for individuals and families who require occasional access to a car without the financial commitment of owning one. The concept behind car-sharing is to provide flexible access to a vehicle, allowing individuals to use it as needed without shouldering the full cost of ownership. Instead of purchasing a car, individuals can opt for car-sharing services, car rental, or car leasing.

The Rise of Car-Sharing Platforms

In recent years, car-sharing platforms and rental companies in Singapore have reported a significant increase in demand for their services. Car-sharing allows individuals to have the convenience of a car without the burden of ownership. Mr. Toh Ting Feng, CEO and founder of local car sharing service GetGo, explains that car sharing is ideal for those who do not require a car on a daily basis but may need one for specific purposes, such as going to the zoo or carrying multiple bags.

Benefits of Car Sharing

Car sharing offers several benefits that make it an attractive option for commuters in Singapore. Some of these benefits include:

  1. Cost Savings: By opting for car-sharing services, individuals can save money on car ownership expenses such as COE, insurance, maintenance, and parking fees.

  2. Convenience: Car-sharing provides individuals with the convenience of having a car when they need it, without the hassle of booking and returning a car. This is especially beneficial during peak periods when taxi and ride-hailing prices can be expensive.

  3. Flexibility: Car-sharing allows individuals to choose the type of vehicle that suits their needs for a particular trip. Whether it's a larger car for family outings or a smaller car for quick errands, car-sharing platforms offer a variety of options.

  4. Environmental Sustainability: Car-sharing promotes sustainable transportation by reducing the number of cars on the road. This helps to alleviate traffic congestion and lower carbon emissions.

Challenges of Car Sharing

While car-sharing presents a promising alternative to car ownership, some challenges need to be addressed for the industry to reach its full potential. Users have expressed concerns about cleanliness, pricing, and the availability of cars, especially during peak periods. These issues can hinder the seamless experience that car-sharing aims to provide. However, industry experts believe that technology and advancements in the car-sharing sector can address these challenges and make car sharing more accessible and reliable.

The Future of Car Sharing in Singapore

Mr. Toh Ting Feng envisions a future where car sharing becomes as dependable and affordable as owning a car. Through the use of technology, car-sharing services aim to make sharing a car as good as, if not better than, owning one. Mr. Toh believes that within the next decade, car-sharing can come close to meeting the expectations of car owners in terms of comfort, time-saving, and accessibility.

Advancements in Technology

To achieve this vision, technology will play a crucial role. Car-sharing platforms are leveraging technology to enhance the user experience. By implementing features such as real-time vehicle availability, seamless booking processes, and convenient pick-up and drop-off locations, car-sharing services strive to provide a hassle-free experience for users. Furthermore, advancements in electric vehicles (EVs) and autonomous driving technology can further revolutionize the car-sharing sector, making it even more sustainable and efficient.

Meeting the Growing Demand

While car-sharing services have gained popularity in recent years, there is still room for growth in the sector. Currently, the number of car-sharing vehicles serving residential areas falls short of demand. Mr. Toh emphasizes the need for more car-sharing vehicles, stating that Singapore requires at least 10,000 to 20,000 car-sharing vehicles to adequately meet the mobility needs of the country. As the demand for car sharing continues to rise, it is essential for car-sharing platforms to expand their fleets and improve accessibility.


As Singapore's COE prices continue to fluctuate, car-sharing emerges as a viable alternative to traditional car ownership. With its cost-saving benefits, convenience, and flexibility, car-sharing provides individuals and families with a practical solution for their transportation needs. While challenges exist, advancements in technology, coupled with the growing demand for car sharing, position this industry for significant growth in the future. By embracing car-sharing services, individuals can navigate the uncertainties of COE prices and enjoy the convenience of having a car when they need it, without the burdens of ownership.

Additional Information: To further assist commuters in navigating the fluctuating COE prices, the WokayGo app offers a cost-saving feature. By comparing different ride-hailing prices, commuters can save money on transportation expenses. This innovative solution helps individuals make informed decisions and choose the most affordable transportation option based on their specific needs. Whether it's car-sharing, ride-hailing, or public transportation, the WokayGo app empowers commuters to save money while efficiently getting from point A to point B.