COE prices for cars rise as demand picks up

The COE premium for small cars - up to 1,600cc and 130bhp - rose by 3.6 per cent to $49,751, from $48,000 two weeks ago.
The COE premium for small cars - up to 1,600cc and 130bhp - rose by 3.6 per cent to $49,751, from $48,000 two weeks ago.PHOTO: ST FILE

Certificate of entitlement (COE) prices for cars edged up yesterday in the year's last tender exercise.

The COE premium for small cars - up to 1,600cc and 130bhp - rose by 3.6 per cent to $49,751, from $48,000 two weeks ago.

For big cars, above 1,600cc or 130bhp, the COE price rose 10.6 per cent to $51,109 from $46,229.

In the open category, which can be used for any vehicle type but is typically used for big cars, the COE premium inched up by $379 to $50,389, from $50,010.

Mr Nicholas Wong, general manager of Kah Motor, said that with car COE prices falling in the past month, it was not surprising that demand from buyers would pick up.

He said there were 2,052 COE bids in the big car segment in this round, a significant rise over the 1,494 bids in the previous tender.

There were 2,554 bids for small car COEs this time, more than the 2,335 bids two weeks ago.

Mr Eddie Loo, managing director of CarTimes Automobile, said: "There are many buyers whose cars are due to be scrapped, and they are in the market for a replacement."

In 2007, there were 46,331 big cars registered, the highest in the last 10 years. Their COEs will be reaching the 10-year lifespan.

Mr Loo expects COE premiums for cars to remain firm next year, fuelled by demand from car rental companies that supply Uber and Grab drivers.

Mr Wong said going by the recent deregistrations, he expects a larger COE supply in the next quota quarter, although these former car owners may also be buying new cars.

"Don't expect prices to drop through the roof," he said.

Meanwhile, the COE premium for motorcycles fell by $12 to $6,101, and that for goods vehicles and buses dropped by 3.3 per cent, from $51,209 to $49,500.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2016, with the headline 'COE prices for cars rise as demand picks up'. Print Edition | Subscribe