Number Replacement, Retention Fees, payable for New and Existing Cars and Why?

Are you thinking of selling your car plate number or replacing your existing car plate number? Depending on whether the number is bided directly from LTA or purchased from the open market, the payable amount differs for various cases. In this article, we will break down all the different charges that you might need to incur in each of them.

Fees Payable to LTA

1.If you are the seller, you will only have to pay the number retention fee of $1,300.

2. If you purchase a car plate number from the open or resale market for your existing car, you will incur a total replacement fee of $1,300.

2.1 If your purchase of a car plate number is for a new car, then you will have to pay for a $100 replacement fee. This is net of the $1,300 that you will pay LTA to retain the number, as $1,200 will be refunded to you within one year of you using the car plate.

3. If you are intending to bid for a number from LTA rather than purchasing one from the market, then you will incur a replacement fee of $321.

This price structure is set by LTA and payment is to be made directly to LTA.

While bidding a car plate from LTA seems to be the most economical option, there are still many car owners out there purchasing vehicle numbers from the open and resale market. Here are some reasons why:

  • Vintage Numbers: As these are numbers no longer supplied by LTA, buyers have to source them from the open or resale market. Cost is not the primary concern here, as car owners usually look for something that is rare and unique to differentiate themselves from their peers. See Vintage numbers>
  • Popular Numbers: For buyers who have been bidding for their desirable number for some time without success, they may decide to purchase a ready number from the market. See popular numbers>.

Car plate numbers are transacted through an offer price in the open market. On the other hand, LTA only supports bidding without an offer price. Hence, this means that the bidder will not have an actual closing price.

If he is lucky, the buyer could secure any number at just an entry bid price of $1,000. However, for popular series like SGD (Singapore Dollar), SMM, SMS, car plate numbers can get fiercely competitive during bidding. This results in the bidder not being able to secure the number even if his bid was higher than the average price Read how to valuate my Carplate number>.

  • Earlier Prefixes: Open markets are perfect for buyers looking for an earlier prefix which has passed its running series. For example, at the time of writing, LTA random series is at SMT. If the buyer wants to buy an SDS series, he will only be able to get it from the open market. See all Numbers here>
  • Immediate Number Replacement: LTA usually releases new number series every 5 to 8 weeks, depending on a number of variables. Hence, buyers who are interested in bidding will have to wait for the bidding release from LTA. This can take any time between 4 to 5 weeks.On the contrary, if a buyer purchases from the open market, the process of buying a desirable car plate number and installing it on his vehicle can be done within 1 to 2 hours.

In general, it is still worthwhile to get a car plate number from the market to avoid a guessing game. Buyers who bid numbers from LTA often have to worry about whether they are bidding too high or too low. Bidding too high might mean that the buyer has overpaid for the number, and bidding too low might mean that the buyer is not able to secure his favourite number.

However, in the open market, buyers will know the exact amount that they are going to pay for the number without having to make a wild guess. The price and number they paid for is assured for and guaranteed.

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