The tiny island nation of Singapore is one of the most expensive places in the world to be an eco-friendly driver, at least as far as the Toyota Prius is concerned. The hybrid EV carries a mind-boggling $154,000 price tag there. Stateside, the Prius has a base MSRP of $23,215.
The inflated price is the result of heavy taxes that are imposed by the government on all car sales to discourage driving in the small island country. Due to road space limitations, Singapore constantly grapples with severe traffic congestion and the only solution to the problem is to limit the number of cars on roads.
Singapore is among the wealthiest nations in the world and while owning a car there is a privilege mostly reserved for the rich, the country's Mass Rapid Transit system is an extremely efficient alternative. It is also more eco-friendly even than the Toyota Prius.
In a recent interview on a Singaporean TV show, Fast & Furious stars Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez were told about the car's pricing and the actors were more than a little taken aback at the extraordinary figure. US News rates the Prius number eight in affordable midsize cars in the US.
Most of the additional cost to owning a car in Singapore comes in the form of Certificates of Entitlement (COE), which are arranged through car dealerships that tack the cost directly on top of the MSRP. A COE is required to buy a new car in Singapore and the certificates are good for 10 years.
The price of a COE has been rising in recent years. In January 2012, a COE for a vehicle with a 1600 cc engine or lower was $48,112 and a COE for a vehicle with a 1601 cc engine or higher was $67,889. Currently, the price for the smaller engine is at $62,497, while the cost for a larger engine has fallen to $62,000.