What to do first: Road tax renewal or car insurance?

Owning a car in Singapore gives you unparalleled freedom and convenience but it also comes with a host of administrative responsibilities like settling your car insurance and road tax renewal. Among these two mandatory items, which comes first?

For first time car owners, the list of things to do can be overwhelming. Find out how to renew your road tax as we share how it’s interlinked with your car insurance as well as tips on how to make this dreaded process an easier one.

What is road tax?

Just as how it is compulsory to have car insurance, you must have a valid road tax before you can drive on the roads. Road tax is mandatory for all Singapore-registered vehicles, and must be renewed every six or 12 months.

Failing to renew your road tax on time means having to deal with late renewal fees, or fines of up to S$2,000 if you are using or keeping a vehicle with expired road tax. That’s right, procrastination hurts. So make sure you renew your road tax on time to avoid the penalties.

Just bought a car? To avoid any doubts, check with your dealer if the road tax has already been included in the selling price. If you are buying a second hand car, check that it still has a valid road tax. Most times, this will be included as the road tax is tagged to the vehicle and any unused portion will be transferred over to the new owner as well.

When do I need to renew my road tax?

You can only renew your road tax when it’s due for expiry, so that’s roughly every six or 12 months depending on what you applied for. Can you renew your road tax well in advance? Sorry eager beavers, you can only do so when the expiry date is approaching.

Here’s a rough timeline of when to start your road tax renewal.

Three months before road tax expiry: You will receive an inspection notice. This is also the earliest date that you can renew your road tax.

One month before your road tax expires: You will receive a reminder to renew your road tax. At this point it’s best to start looking into it as you have to fulfil three prerequisites – car insurance, vehicle inspection and clearing outstanding fines (more on these below) – before you can renew your road tax! If you’re paying by GIRO, you’ll have get everything in order by this time as the processing time will take about a month.

One week before expiry: Make sure all your prerequisites are fulfilled as this needs to be done at least three working days before payment.

Three working days before expiry: Planning to make payment online or at an AXS or SAM station? Make sure you do it by this time to account for the three working days processing time.

On road tax expiry date: You HAVE to pay your road tax by this date. If you are looking to make payment on the same day, your only option is visiting one of the Road Tax Collection Centres.

One day after expiry: If you haven’t renewed your road tax by now, you’re liable for late renewal fees and won’t be allowed to use your vehicle.

More than six months after expiry: Don’t wait till this long unless you want to be prosecuted in court.

What are the prerequisites for road tax renewal?

As mentioned above, there are three things you need to get in order before you can renew your road tax, and these have to be done at least three working days before payment.

1. Car insurance

You must have car insurance that includes at least third party liability for death and injury, and the coverage period has to cover the entirety of your road tax validity. For example, if you are renewing your road tax for six months from 1 May 2022, your car insurance has to valid till 31 October 2022.

2. Car inspection

You will receive a notice three months before expiry to inform you if your car is due for a periodic inspection. Otherwise, you can do without one.

3. Clearing outstanding fines

Make sure you clear any outstanding fines or warrants from LTA, HDB, URA, or the Traffic Police (TP) so you can renew your road tax smoothly.

For most law abiding drivers, the main thing you’ll have to follow up on is essentially your car insurance.

Should I renew my road tax or car insurance first?

In an ideal world, your road tax and car insurance expires at the same time so that you only have to deal with this administrative duty once a year without having to remember different dates and risk missing deadlines.

Most times however, this isn’t the case, especially if you have purchased a used car from someone else. What can you do then to sync up your car insurance coverage with your road tax validity?

With car insurance being a prerequisite for road tax renewal, you’ll definitely have to purchase this first. However, you can purchase your car insurance in advance and choose to start your coverage at the same time as your road tax renewal. This way, they will expire at the same time.

But what if your car insurance coverage ends this month while your road tax will only be due three months after?

It’s simple. Rather than renewing your car insurance for a standard 12 months, extend it to 15 months so that it ends at the same time as your road tax. With Tiq’s Private Car insurance, you can choose any coverage period between 12 months and 18 months, and also purchase your policy up to six months in advance.

How to renew your road tax

There are primarily five ways to renew your road tax.

  1. Online at OneMotoring
  2. AXS Services – either at an AXS Station or online i.e. AXS m-Station and AXS e-Station
  3. SAM Services
  4. GIRO (One month processing time)
  5. At Road Tax Collection Centres

Methods one to four will take at least three working days to process. If you are renewing your road tax last minute, your best bet is the Road Tax Collection Centres. This is by far the quickest way to renew your road tax as it is immediate. All you have to do is bring down your prerequisite documents such as your car insurance certificate, and make payment on the spot!

#TiqOurWord Need to renew your car insurance urgently? Get covered immediately with our Private Car Insurance by getting a quotation online.

Plan ahead for less stress, more fun

Take the fuss out of renewing your road tax by preparing in advance.

It’s worth simplifying things by timing your car insurance coverage to your road tax renewal. With the flexibility that Tiq’s Private Car Insurance offers, you can sync the two up easily, either in advance or on the fly if that’s more your style. Either way, you’ll spend less time on administrative matters and have more time for the things you enjoy!


Information is accurate as at XX April 2022. This content is for reference only. You should seek advice from a financial adviser before deciding to purchase the policy. If you choose not to seek advice, you should consider if the policy is suitable for you. This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Tiq by Etiqa Insurance Pte. Ltd.

A digital insurance channel that embraces changes to provide simple and convenient protection, Tiq’s mission is to make insurance transparent and accessible, inspiring you today to be prepared for life’s surprises and inevitabilities, while empowering you to “Live Unlimited” and take control of your tomorrow.

With a shared vision to change the paradigm of insurance and reshape customer experience, Etiqa created the strong foundation for Tiq. Because life never stops changing, Etiqa never stops progressing. A licensed life and general insurance company registered in the Republic of Singapore and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Etiqa is governed by the Insurance Act and has been providing insurance solutions since 1961. It is 69% owned by Maybank, Southeast Asia’s fourth largest banking group, with more than 22 million customers in 20 countries; and 31% owned by Ageas, an international insurance group with 33 million customers across 16 countries.

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