COE price for big cars rebounds from six-year low

Car buyers at the Honda showroom at Leng Kee Road on Jan 10, 2016.
Car buyers at the Honda showroom at Leng Kee Road on Jan 10, 2016.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Certificate of entitlement (COE) premiums for larger cars rebounded yesterday to close 22 per cent higher at $46,970.

The COE for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp had fallen to a six-year low of $38,610 at the previous tender, a result which took many motor traders by surprise.

But dealers had expected prices to rebound, due to buyers being lured in by the reductions.

There were 2,898 bids for Category B COEs this time, compared with 1,624 bids during the last exercise.

Mr Nicholas Wong, general manager of Honda authorised agent Kah Motor, said: "A lot of customers expected the price to go up, that's why they came in to buy this time."

Meanwhile, the COE for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp fell by 8 per cent to $43,000 - more than $3,000 lower than in the last exercise.

The open-category COE, which can be used for any vehicle type but ends up mostly for bigger cars, rose slightly to $45,009.

Motorcycle premiums ended 2 per cent lower at $6,353, while the commercial-vehicle COE also dipped slightly to end at $45,001.

Dealers said the fall in COE price for smaller cars was likely due to consumers ordering larger cars since the last tender.

But Mr Wong said the lower price for smaller-car COEs this time around is likely to attract some of these buyers back, which will drive prices up again in the next exercise.

"Those waiting to buy will definitely come back," he said, noting that it costs less than $90,000 to own certain car models now.

Mr Raymond Tang, first vice-president of the Singapore Vehicle Traders Association, said COE premiums for smaller cars are likely to hover between $40,000 and $50,000 in the near future.

COE prices are still likely to trend south as supply is expected to continue growing until late next year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 18, 2016, with the headline 'COE price for big cars rebounds from six-year low'. Print Edition | Subscribe