If you’re feeling that your car is a money pit, I’m going to surprise you with a story that will have few worldwide equals. Lofty claim? Just keep reading; I think you’ll agree.

My wife and I own a 2002 four door Mazda. It runs beautifully and it always has. But we live in Singapore, where nine year old cars are considered ancient. If we want to keep driving it, we have to pay the government for that privilege.

This fee, of course, is beyond regular road insurance and taxes. This is a special fee aimed at keeping older cars off the roads—while ensuring that most of the cars driving about are new (or close to it). Ready for this?

To keep driving our car, we have to pay the Singaporean government the equivalent of $46,000 Canadian dollars. It’s referred to as a COE (certificate of entitlement) and the government levies it to control the number of automobiles on the road.

You can’t afford it? Tough. Get on the bus, or risk life and limb on a bicycle…on Singapore roads!

Why not just buy a new car, you might ask? How about a new Honda Accord? Unfortunately, that would set us back roughly $130,000 Canadian, if we want the bells and whistles. …see listing

If we were crazy enough to buy a 7 Series BMW, it would cost more than a house in Nova Scotia: $386,000 Canadian for a 750Li.

Which brings me back to our 9 year old Mazda. If we pay the government $46,000, we can drive it for another ten years. If we want to keep driving it beyond that point, we’ll likely have to shell out another equally outrageous sum.

Why not go without a car?

That’s my instinct. But my wife won’t hear of it.

So I’m throwing my limited brain power towards seeking a cheaper option. I’m not sure what I’ll find, but I’ll be doing my best.

And you wondered why I said your car was cheap?