Most of us have heard of or seen pictures from events held by the Saab club in Singapore called SAABSTANCE but may wonder why it seems to be only newer SAAB models in their group. I have been fortunate to have contact with two people from this group, Dennis Leu and Abel Tan and they have sent me photos of a classic SAAB photo shoot they recently put together. Below is a number of photos from this event that had some of the nicest 900s I have ever seen.

Both Dennis and Abel had commented about there being a lack of classic Saabs in Singapore which lead me to the obvious question, why? The response I got was that it was very expensive to own an older car in Singapore which makes them very rare. Further to that explanation I received the following message from Dennis:

See the thing is, insurance is not a big deal here but mainly because in Singapore, every car needs to have a “certificate of entitlement” to be owned. This system is put in place to control the amount of cars in a small city state like ours. However, things are getting absurd these days and one of these certificate could cost up to $50,000 for a period 5 years which makes it really hard for classic owners to keep the car… 

As expensive as it may be to keep these cars on the road, I’m glad they have. Next year will be the 10th anniversary for SAABSTANCE and I look for to seeing more from this incredible group of SAAB enthusiasts. Thank you Abel and Dennis for continuing to share with us all.

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The picture shows so many classic 900’s! There’s an article about Saabs in Singapore here which reads:

After ten years, the car owner may bid for another 10 years or export/scrap the car. Singapore is one of the largest exporters of used cars in the world, trailing only Japan in the right hand drive market. The COE system has resulted in few classic Saab 900 cars in Singapore.

Looks like it costs about US$60,000 to get a certificate to own the car for 10 years but the cost varies as the certificates are bought by bidding.


I lived in Singapore for 5 years and yes the price of car ownership is eye-wateringly high. As a single guy with easy access to the world-class subway system, I did not own a car, but some of my friends did. You would really want your company to subsidize the cost of car ownership if at all possible. Still, this program limits the # of cars on the road, which made for less congestive traffic and pollution levels.


Interesting post. Gives new meaning to the term “Dedicated Saab Owner”.

Stephen Lim

Hi SU,

I’m from Singapore and as car ownership is so prohibitively high, all the more Saab owners are truly a special breed, owning a very expensive car with very little resale value. But as the saying goes, Saab drivers/owners are not “normal” people. Just a special breed.

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