Tougher inspection standards for vehicles on horizon

Vehicle owners will soon face tougher inspection standards - a move that is likely to discourage them from keeping their vehicles beyond 10 years.

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said in Parliament yesterday that he would be reviewing "how to reduce vehicular pollution from older, more polluting vehicles".

"We will announce our recommendations in due course," he said.

But last year, Mr Masagos announced that a more stringent vehicle inspection regiment will kick in from April this year.

He had said: "The in-use emission standard for diesel vehicles was already tightened in January 2014. We will now introduce new in-use emission standards for petrol vehicles and motorcycles, similar to those already in place in Europe and Japan.

"These standards are designed to be easily met by properly maintained vehicles. The new standards will take effect on April 1, 2018, and will help minimise excessive emissions due to vehicle defects or poor maintenance."

As the cost of vehicles rises on the back of lofty certificate of entitlement (COE) premiums, vehicle owners are increasingly choosing COE revalidation - extending the 10-year lifespan of a COE by paying a prevailing quota premium - rather than buying a new vehicle.

As a result, the vehicle population - especially that of cars - has aged significantly.

According to Land Transport Authority statistics, the number of cars nine years or older stood at 163,323 as at end of last year, making up 26.7 per cent of the car population.