Certificates of Entitlement (COEs) give Singaporeans the right to own a vehicle. COEs are integral to the Vehicle Quota System (VQS), a landmark scheme implemented to regulate the growth of vehicle population in Singapore which, due to land space, is unsurprisingly among the densest in the world.
The VQS determines the exact number of vehicles allowed on the road. Other measures to curb vehicle growth like raising taxes and fees do not have the advantage of knowing the exact increase needed to get a desired level. Under the VQS, vehicle growth could be pegged at 3% every year with the expansion of roads and highways taken into consideration. The VQS was implemented in 1 May 1990 and the first bidding under the system started on 2 April 1990
. Public buses, school buses and emergency vehicles are exempted from this scheme.
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