Living in the 'best country for expats'

Living in the 'best country for expats'

Singapore has again been named the best country in the world for expats. Thinking of a move? Here are some things you may not know about the city-state.

In 2002, Tim Barnes was asked by his boss to move to Singapore. An Australian living in Sydney at the time, he jumped at the chance - he was in his mid-20s, single and had visited a few times before.

He had only planned on staying for a handful of years, but wound up living in the city for eight. He met his expat-wife in Singapore, made a lot of friends and just generally liked the clean country.

"I've been to a lot places in Asia and it's very expat friendly," he says. "It's developed and very Western."

A new HSBC report has again named the Lion City as the best place in the world for expats to live, after surveying about 27,000 people who rated 45 countries on subjects like salaries, experience and family.

More than 60 per cent found Singapore helped their career progression and that their earnings rose after moving to the country.

The survey found the average annual income for Singapore expats was $139,000 (USD), compared to $97,000 in the rest of the world. And 66 per cent also said that Singapore offers a better quality of life than their home country.

Considering the move? As attractive as it might sound, BBC Capital found there are several parts of daily life - both quirky and serious - that expats need to think about before relocating.

Eye-wateringly expensive

Expats who want to buy a car better be prepared to shell out a lot of cash. A Toyota Camry, which retails for $25,000 in the US, goes for $145,888 Singapore dollars ($107,124). Why the exorbitant cost? Incredibly high car-related taxes.

First there's a registration fee based on the "open market value" (OMV) of the car.

According to Dollars and Sense, a Singaporean personal finance site, you could pay S$60,578 extra on a Mercedes E200 with an OMV of S$49,113.

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