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Open category COEs surge to 12-month high

SINGAPORE — Motorcycle Certificate of Entitlement (COE) prices surged to a new record and premiums for the Open Category were pushed to a 12-month high, as the latest bidding exercise ended today (April 8) with increases across the board.

SINGAPORE — Motorcycle Certificate of Entitlement (COE) prices surged to a new record and premiums for the Open Category were pushed to a 12-month high, as the latest bidding exercise ended today (April 8) with increases across the board.

COE prices for the Open Category, which can be used for any vehicle type but end up being used mainly for cars, rose 8 per cent, from S$72,100 to S$78,000. Premiums for motorcycles broke through the S$6,000 mark, closing at a record high of S$6,312.

Premiums for big cars in Category B (Cars above 1600cc or 97kW) climbed by 6.6 per cent to S$76,612. For small cars in Category A (up to 1600cc & 97kW), premiums increased 4.7 per cent to S$67,749, while COE prices closed at S$64,001 for goods vehicles and buses.

With the exception of big car COEs, premiums are at their priciest so far this year in all other categories.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) received 5,044 bids for 2,312 certificates in the latest exercise, with competition the stiffest in Category A. Nearly half of the total bids (2,340) were jostling for 988 certificates to own a small car. The 722 certificates to own a big car attracted 1,661 bids.

Traders attributed the spike in premiums for cars to the rush to make purchases before more stringent conditions kick in for Carbon Emissions-Based Vehicle Scheme (CEVS) rebates and surcharges on July 1.

The CEVS is aimed at encouraging the purchase of low-carbon emission vehicles. The carbon dioxide limits will be lowered with the revision, meaning rebate cuts or surcharge hikes.

Customers could also be influenced by speculation in the market following the CEVS announcement during the Budget speech in February, said Singapore Vehicle Traders Association (SVTA) honorary secretary Raymond Tang.

“A lot of people are rushing in to buy. Whether it is the right time or wrong time, most of the consumers do not know; they only know that a lot of friends are saying ‘it is the right time to buy, before July’.”

Another reason for the strong demand could be the large number of vehicle deregistrations, said CarTimes’ managing director Eddie Loo.

“Customers cannot wait. The car is going to be scrapped and they cannot live without a car. They need it for work, they need it for family,” he said.

Traders expect COE premiums to remain close to current levels in the next bidding exercise.

Mr Loo said any further increases in small car premiums will likely see some “resistance” because there is a limit to how much customers are willing to pay. Prices for Category A should stay under the S$70,000 mark, he added.

Commenting on the record COE prices for two-wheelers, motorcycle dealer Wilson Phoon said the higher demand could be stoked by expectation that the greenback would strengthen and push motorcycle prices up. About seven in 10 motorcycles sold by his company are bought from South-east Asian countries, China and India using US dollars, said Mr Phoon.

Customers are also drawn to a new motorcycle model that meets the Euro III emission standards, set in place by the Government last October, he added.

 

CORRECTION: The headine for an earlier version of this story reported that big-car COEs surged to a 12-month high. This is incorrect. Open category COEs surged to a 12-month high. We apologise for the error.

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