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COE supply for May to July continues to dip for fourth consecutive quarter

SINGAPORE — The number of Certificates of Entitlement (COE) available for the next three months will continue to dip, with 24,614 COEs, or about 8,202 a month, released for the May to July quarter.

SINGAPORE — The number of Certificates of Entitlement (COEs) available for the next three months will tumble by 4 per cent to 24,614 COEs, or about 8,202 a month, with cars being hit the hardest for the May to July quarter.

This is a drop of 1,022 COEs compared to the preceding quarter from February to April, according to figures released by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Thursday (April 19). This is the fourth consecutive quarter where the COE supply has dipped.

The number of COEs for Category A (cars up to 1,600 C and maximum power output not exceeding 97kW) will dip to 2,867 during May to July, 8 per cent lower lower than 3,115 for the previous quarter. Those for Category B (cars above 1,600cc or maximum power output above 97kW) will fall by 7.9 per cent to 2,559 during this period.

The numbers for Category E (open) fell by just 1.7 per cent, from 1,132 to 1,113.

COE quotas for Category C (goods vehicles and buses) and D (motorcycles) bucked the trend, however. The former will see its numbers go up by 23.7 per cent from 493 to 610 due to a fall in replacement vehicles in the early turnover scheme, while quotas for motorcycles will increase by 2.7 per cent from 1,025 to 1,053 due to more vehicle de-registrations.

The LTA announced last October that there will be zero growth in car and motorcycle numbers until at least 2020. The total vehicle population was 907,156, as of December 31, 2017,

Despite the fall in quotas, car dealers told TODAY that they do not expect a drastic impact on COE premiums, which they predict will rise by S$2,000 to S$3,000 to exceed S$40,000 for both categories.

Explaining the gradual increase, Mr Raymond Tang, managing director of car dealer Yong Lee Seng Motor, said dealers had already been preparing for the quota reductions. They also had “systems in place” to ensure they were not rushing in to place their COE bids at the same time.

Others such as Mr Jeremy Soh, director of Inchcape Preowned, said that buyers can avoid paying the hefty COE premiums by opting for used cars instead.

Cartimes’ managing director Eddie Loo added that with the July 1 deadline for the implementation of the Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) coming up, customers of older vehicles will also be heading down to the showrooms in the coming weeks to trade in their vehicles.

However, Mr Tang does not think this will impact COE premiums much as the deadline is still some months away, and that buyers are still taking their time to “look around”.

The VES, which replaces the Carbon Emissions-Based Vehicle Scheme, assesses vehicles on four additional pollutants — hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter — in addition to carbon dioxide emissions.

According to LTA, the VES rebate or surcharge of up to S$20,000 for the vehicle will “be determined by the worst-performing pollutant of the five being assessed”.

From Jan 1 to June 30, all vehicles registered will be exempted from assessing the particulate matter criteria of the VES, so as to give “motor dealers more time to submit the particulate matter emissions information for assessment”.

However, starting from July 1, all vehicles registered will be assessed on all five pollutants.

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