At least that's what you would be if you wanted to buy a car here. Before you can even buy the car, you have to bid for an win a "Certificate of Entitlement." These can go for around $28,000 US. There are a limited amount of Certificates available, because they are based on how many people scrap a car and turn in their Certificate. You can only own a car for 10 years here, and once you have, you turn it in for scrap and return your Certificate to the government, who in turn place it up for auction. If it was yours you have to bid for it again, in a sense.
Then you have to buy the car, and the government taxes them by 250%. So if a fair market value of a Toyota Camry is $30000, the dealer has to pay the government $75000 to sell it to you for maybe $80000. You pay $98000 for the car and the Certificate. The dealer makes $5000, the government makes $73000, and you only get to keep your car for ten years. On top of this there is road tax of approximately $2000 per year.
This is an effort to keep cars off the road. I think it's pretty brilliant. If you have an excellent public transportation system, and a ballooning population (currently at 5 million), you kinda have to take car-reduction measures. What would we do if it became this difficult to own a car in the US? Oh, also I just read a website with stats from 2006 and it was reporting that 70% of all cars on the road were less than 5 years old.
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