Import a Bike/Car to Singapore and register it in your name? Which requirements?

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by vel2000, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. vel2000

    vel2000 Active Member

    I have read here on GT-Riders, that some people, who live in TH, do something like a "visa-run" with their Singapore registered Bike.
    I live in Thailand, but have a Car in Germany, which I would like to bring into Th.
    I know, it's nearly impossible to import it "in one piece" to Thailand, because of the incredibly high import tax.
    So somebody suggested, to import it to SG (like some people do with their Bikes), register it there. And simply drive it into TH.
    Unfortunately I lost the contact to this person. So it's maybe a good Idea to ask here.
    Please don't tell me: Sell in Germany and buy one here in TH!
    1. I love this car (MB 320 SL Brabus 1995 R129) and own it now nearly 14 years.
    2. I bought a car in Th already..;-)
    What do you think about this?
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  3. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    I think You would have little to No Chance of Registering it in Singapore! They have a COE ( Certificate of Entitlement ) there which would likely Cost More than Your Car!!! If You register it in any neighboring Country it will still be on a Temporary Import in Thailand so No Different than leaving it Registered in Germany and Bringing it in? Note that You can only bring a Vehicle in on a Temporary import if You have a Tourist Visa! I don't know how old You are but If You plan to retire here You are entitled to bring in Your own stuff but there is a narrow window for this and You can only do it once at the beginning! Maybe ask an Expert for Advice? Good Luck.
  4. scooter

    scooter Member


    The car is too old to register in Singapore as a 'standard' registration - 3 years old is the limit. But, too young to register as a classic. You need to be resident in Singapore to get insurance for a Singapore-registered vehicle and, you need insurance to register a vehicle.

    An option would be to get A Vehicle Entry Permit(VEP) for Singapore. See:


    You could then drive your car on German plates from Singapore to Thailand. But, you will only get a 'Temporary Import Permit' that is valid for up to 6 months at the Malaysia-Thai border. After 6 months you need to go to an international border and renew the permit. The tourist visa-only option is not universally enforced. I have friends in Phuket with O-visas and Retiremnet visas who ride foreign-registered vehicles in Thailand, and do 6-monthly border 'bounces'. But, it all depends on the customs officer at the border you use.

    The Automobile Association of Singapore can offer good advice and insurance quotes for Singapore and Malaysia.

    Also, you will need to use a Singapore shipping agent who is a member of TradeNet. The agent will require a returnable deposit that covers the tax (~27% of vehicle's value) on the vehicle in case you try to leave it in Singapore. One example is:

    J&B Logistics Pte Ltd
    Blk 809 French Road
    #06-154 Kitchener Complex
    Singapore 200809
    Tel : 6295 1191

    But, shop around, prices can vary a great deal.

    Cheers, Scooter
  5. vel2000

    vel2000 Active Member

    first to say: thanks for the very helpful informations!
    What is the minimum age?
    I could live with the 'Temporary Import Permit' thing. Because I have to leave the country all three months anyway.
    At any case better, than parking the car useless in Germany.
    The only thing, I was worry about, is the "Deposit" at the Thai Customs, if I "temporary import" the car directly to Thailand, without the detour via Singapore.
    27% sounds much better, than ~300%.
    This 27% Tax, do I have to pay it in any case, or only if the car comes via Container?
    And where/when is the money returned, when I leave SG with this "VEP"?
    Is a separate Insurance needed for Thailand?
    I know, many questions, but it seems I found an expert..:thumbup:
  6. scooter

    scooter Member

    I think 30 years old for a classic. But, check on the LTA website or send them a mail. They will respond quickly. Also, if you register the vehicle in Singapore road tax and insurance must be paid in Singapore, even if the vehicle is out of the country, unless you apply to the LTA to 'lay-up' the vehicle.

    The ~27% must be paid if the vehicle arrives by sea or air. Usually the shipping agent in Singapore will take a local cheque or International Money Order. Then they will arrange to have someone meet you at the Singapore-Malay road border when you are leaving Singapore. When you have 'stamped out' of Singapore they will return the tax bond immediately. On the three times I have done this they gave me back the original cheque.

    Thai Insurance cover can be purchased at the Thai-Malay border crossing, or you can purchase the insurance at any reputable agent in Thailand. There is a basic insurance that covers third party damage (only offers very low compensation) and Thai road tax, and a more expensive option that doesn't include road tax but offers higher third party compensation. Better to buy both as the cheaper on costs only 600 baht and covers road tax - equivalent to two fines if you get stopped without it - and the more expensive one will cover the costs of most accidents: it will always be your fault!

    You could bring the car directly to Bangkok, but apparently the procedures at the docks in Klong Toey are very difficult to handle. Maybe Laem Chabang is a better option. Somewhere on the GT Rider forum there is a shipping agent mentioned who is able to handle this for you. Try these threads:!!!?highlight=klong+toey

    NOTE: I first brought a foriegn-registered bike her in 2002 (from Singapore), then another in 2006 and the final one in 2008 (both from US, via Singapore). Over the years the red tape has gradually increased - not at the road border, once the vehicle is in-county. I would not bring another foriegn-registered vehicle here for long-term use, as I think the rules will get tighter and eventually there will be a lower limit on how long the vehicle can stay here and a limit to how many times the vehicle can be brought back in. In Phuket the Police are impoundinging bikes with expired Temporary Permits (over stays) and demanding huge payments to get them back - equivalent to 3 times the value declared on the Temporary Permit. And, if you ride with an expired Temporary Permit, road tax and insurance are void - if you have an accident, write a blank cheque and lose your vehicle. Just some points to consider before you start the process.

    Cheers, Scooter
  7. Muzz

    Muzz Ol'Timer

    Sorry to say but as Scooter said, it's almost impossible. I lived in Singapre for 9 years and brought my Brand new Land Rover in to Singapore which I hd on an AT carnet and used in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand for two years. The duty I would have had to pay in Singapore was crazy, So I ended up shipping her back to the UK and selling her.
  8. vel2000

    vel2000 Active Member

    Yes, these exorbitant duties really su*k.
    I read something about the temporary import here on this site
    But I think this is more related to vehicles, which arrived via Air/sea freight?
    So, what happens, if I just drive into Thailand by myself?
    Do I have to pay a Deposit in Thailand? If yes, how is it calculated?

  9. Tom Forde

    Tom Forde Ol'Timer

    Bring it into Port Klang Malaysia, easier than Singapore. Even look into a Carnie de Passage.
    The rest of the responses give you an idea of crazy Thai laws, they can change with the weather.
    I brought a bike into Thailand with a Carnie in 2004, returned in 2008 with the same bike and a new Carnie, sorry rules change! Give me 1 month, then have to do a border run, even though I had a retirement visa.
    Thailand.. crazy one day..unpradictable the next.

  10. ahmorris

    ahmorris New Member

    There's a great write up of how to self-import a bike (F800GS) from the UK to Singapore at

    Anyone seen anything similar anywhere for importing a bike into Malaysia (KL) or Thailand (Phuket)?

    I currently living in Hong Kong but will relocate for a relatively long time (5 to 10 years) to Kuala Lumpur. I have a place in Phuket, Thailand so could store it there for a few years if this improves things viz bringing it into KL a sometime.

    I have a Dec-10 GSA 30th Anniversary model which I don't want to sell / store and may find difficult / impossible to find in Malaysia. Any ideas?

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