You VEP me, I VEP you. It was announced last week that the federal government has agreed to impose a vehicle entry permit (VEP) fee on Singaporean vehicles entering Johor, following a request from the state. The retaliatory move comes after Singapore increased its VEP fee from S$20 (RM51.50) to S$35 (RM90) on foreign vehicles entering the island republic, effective August.

Now, Singapore’s Ministry of Transport has issued a statement citing concern over Malaysia’s move, Channel News Asia reports. A ministry spokesperson said it has contacted counterparts in Malaysia for details.

The statement also explained that the basis of Singapore’s VEP and Goods Vehicle Permit (GVP) fees is not discriminatory, but serves to equalise the cost of owning/using foreign-registered vehicles on Singapore roads with that for Singapore-registered vehicles. Closing loopholes, in other words.

“Singapore-registered vehicles are subject to significantly different costs such as the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) and vehicle taxes, amongst others. In fact, the last time the VEP fee for cars was changed in 2004, it was lowered, largely because of the lower cost of COEs during that period,” the statement explained.

Thailand Sadao Checkpoint
Kedah is set to follow Johor’s footsteps in imposing a VEP fee for Thai-registered vehicles

Basically, the cost difference in owning and using foreign-registered and Singapore-registered vehicles has widened in recent years (Singapore up), and this necessitated the VEP and GVP (S$10 to S$40 per month) fee increase. VEP for foreign-registered motorcycles remains unchanged.

Malaysian cars and motorcycles continue to enjoy the following VEP-free days and VEP-free hours:

– Saturdays, Sundays and Singapore Public Holidays;
– 10 normal weekdays per calendar year; and
– Between 5pm and 2am on all other days (these VEP-free hours are extended to start at 12 noon instead of 5pm during the June and December Singapore school holidays).

It was pointed out that the above works out to a total of around 125 days per year that are VEP-free on top of the daily VEP-free hours. So it appears that there’s a logic behind Singapore’s VEP fee increase. Does Malaysia have a rationale for the retaliatory move other than “you VEP me, I VEP you”?

Earlier this week, Kedah announced plans to impose a VEP fee on Thai-registered vehicles coming in from the north. “Currently, drivers of foreign-registered vehicles avoid getting penalised for traffic offences once they return to their country. With the VEP in force, all data on the vehicles involved in traffic offences can be retrieved and the motorists can be fined before leaving the country,” State Education, Transportation and Works Committee chairman Datuk Tajul Urus Mat Zain explained.

What are your views on this VEP issue with our neighbours?