Shrinkage in car COE supply continues

The number of certificates of entitlement (COEs) available to car buyers will shrink yet again for the February to July quota period, as widely expected.

The Land Transport Authority released the new figures Tuesday, stating that there will be 3,211 COEs available per month in the next six months. Although this is just slightly fewer than the 3,226 a month available from August 2012 to January 2013, the reductions are more significant for cars.

For Category A (cars up to 1,600cc), the monthly quota is 667, down from 786 previously. For Category B (cars above 1,600cc), the supply drops from 701 to 605. In the Open category, used almost exclusively by car COE bidders, the monthly supply drops from 485 to 476. In all, car bidders will have 11 per cent fewer certificates per month.

On the other hand, commercial vehicle and motorcycle buyers will see an increase in their COE quotas. There will be 451 COEs a month for commercial vehicles in the next six months, up from 360. And motorcycle certificates will number 1,012 a month, up from 894.

The new quota takes into account a new cap on annual vehicle population growth. The rate now is 0.5 per cent, down from one per cent between August 2012 and January 2013, and 1.5 per cent between February 2012 and July 2012. Observers said the supply shrinkage in car COE supply will almost guarantee premiums breaching $100,000 in the coming months.