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Enhancements to Off Peak Car Scheme

[source: LTA]

This is really good news for OPC car owners. More benefits and practical reasons for car owners to stick or switch to the off peak scheme.  Well, the next big "improvement" that all car owners would love - is to have car insurance premiums reduced :)

Enhancements To The Off-Peak Car (OPC) Scheme

1. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is pleased to announce that it has completed its review of the Off-Peak Car (OPC) scheme and will be implementing the following three initiatives to enhance the OPC scheme:

(a) e-Day Licence to replace the current paper licence, which offers greater flexibility with more channels for purchase and post usage payment;
(b) Revisions to the OPC scheme to allow unrestricted usage on Saturdays and on the eves of 5 public holidays; and
(c) Cash Rebates for conversion of normal cars to the new OPC scheme of up to $1,100 for every six months' registration as an OPC.

2. These new initiatives follow Minister for Transport Mr Raymond Lim's announcement on 12 February 2009 that the LTA would study how to make the OPC scheme more convenient and attractive so as to encourage more car owners to opt into the scheme. These enhancements are the result of extensive consultations with various groups, including existing OPC owners.

e-Day Licence

3. From 23 November 2009, the electronic day licence (e-Day Licence) will replace the existing paper supplementary licence when the OPC is used during the restricted hours.

4. The new e-Day Licences can be bought online at the ONE.MOTORING portal, AXS stations and using mobile-SMS service, in addition to Singapore Post outlets and Automobile Association of Singapore (AAS) offices. The new channels of purchase give OPC users the added flexibility of making purchases anytime between 6am and midnight daily.

5. Besides the benefits of extended hours and more alternative channels of purchase, motorists now have the option of buying the e-Day Licence after using the OPC during restricted hours, as long as they do so before 2359 hours the next day. Currently, the paper licence must be purchased before the use of the vehicle. Please refer to Annex A for the implementation details.

6. With the e-Day Licence, OPC drivers no longer need to be inconvenienced by LTA's enforcement officers stopping their vehicles to check for a valid paper licence. LTA's enforcement officers will instead note down the vehicle registration number of the OPC and subsequently verify against the system records if a valid e-Day Licence had been purchased for the car for that day.

7. LTA will be sending to all existing OPC owners a notification letter and an accompanying guide book on the e-Day Licence system sometime in September 2009. Information on the e-Day Licence system will also be made available on the portal from 1 September 2009.

Revised OPC Scheme

8. The existing OPC scheme is such that owners of OPCs will have to display a supplementary licence (or purchase an e-Day Licence come 23 Nov 2009) if they wish to drive their OPC between 7am and 3pm on Saturdays,

9. By end January 2010, the OPC scheme will be revised to allow unrestricted usage on Saturdays and the eves of 5 public holidays, namely, New Year, Lunar New Year, Hari Raya Puasa, Deepavali and Christmas. Existing OPC owners can choose to opt into this revised scheme to enjoy the extended hours in exchange for reduced tax discounts and an administrative fee of $100.

10. With the extended usage, the annual road tax discount will be correspondingly reduced from $800 to $500. The minimum annual road tax will be $70, instead of $50 under the existing OPC scheme. This means that existing OPC owners who opt for the revised OPC scheme will have their annual road tax discounts reduced by between $20 and $300. This is because the tax concessions given to OPC owners were computed taking into consideration the restricted usage periods. The removal of Saturday restrictions and 5 public holiday eves will have to be accompanied by corresponding adjustments to the tax concessions.

Cash Rebates for Conversion to Revised OPC Scheme

11. At present, a person who registers a new car as an OPC enjoys an up-front tax rebate of up to $17,000. However, if a person converts his normal car into an OPC, he does not get any refund of the taxes paid. Instead, he receives an additional Preferential Additional Registration Fee (PARF) rebate of $2,200 per year, which is paid as a lump sum only upon de-registration of the car provided it is PARF-eligible.

12. By end January 2010, instead of waiting until their cars are deregistered, owners of normal cars who convert to the revised OPC Scheme will enjoy a cash rebate of up to $1,100 for every 6 months' of registration as an OPC, until the car reaches 10 years old. The car must be kept as an OPC for at least 6 months after its conversion, except in cases of de-registration or when the OPC reaches the age of 10 years.

13. More details on the revised OPC and Cash Rebates Schemes will be made available nearer the implementation date. LTA is currently finalising the implementation details and upgrading the backend system.

About the Off-Peak Car (OPC) Scheme

The OPC scheme replaced the Weekend Car scheme from 1 October 1994. It helps to alleviate peak hour traffic and offers an alternative and a lower-cost means for people to own cars, if they use their vehicles during off-peak periods.

The OPC scheme fits into LTA's overall objectives to better manage congestion on our roads, particularly during the peak periods. At the end of 2005, there were only about 5,000 OPCs. Today, there are about 45,500 OPCs, a nine-fold increase over a 3-year period. OPCs currently make up about 8 percent of the car population in Singapore.

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  1. yes I am looking forward to it too. crossing my fingers

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