COE prices for cars fall further

Premiums for Category A - cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp - increased from $56,209 to $57,498.
Premiums for Category A - cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp - increased from $56,209 to $57,498.PHOTO: ST FILE

Certificate of entitlement (COE) prices for cars tumbled yet again at the latest tender yesterday.

The COE premium for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp fell by 4.8 per cent to close at $55,889 - the lowest level in more than three years.

The premium for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp fell by 11.3 per cent to finish at $58,109 - the lowest in over two years.

The price for Open COE, which can be used for any vehicle type but ends up mainly for bigger cars, took the biggest fall of 12.9 per cent, ending at $60,101, the lowest in more than four years.

Mr Neo Nam Heng, chairman of the Prime group of motor companies, said: "Consumers who have been waiting for this correction will find that it's been worth their wait."

WAITING FOR PRICE DROP

Seventy per cent of people who were in showrooms over the weekend said they would wait.

MR NEO NAM HENG, chairman of the Prime group of motor companies

Even as the latest drop brings COE prices to historical lows, Mr Neo cautioned against storming the showroom.

"With more COEs coming in the following quarters and with the weaker economic outlook, premiums are likely to soften further."

Consumers seem to have finally cottoned on to the downward trend. According to Mr Neo, "70 per cent of people who were in showrooms over the weekend said they would wait".

Even though there were bigger crowds, most shoppers were not in a hurry to sign on the dotted line - a contrast to behaviour in the last few months.

From February to last month, a wave of panic buying sent car premiums to as high as $79,500. Buyers feared that prices would rise once a more stringent carbon tax scheme kicked in from July 1.

Meanwhile, the premium for commercial vehicle COEs hardly changed yesterday, ending a mere $1 higher at $50,002.

Motorcycle premiums fell by 3 per cent to close at a three-month low of $6,312.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 23, 2015, with the headline 'COE prices for cars fall further'. Print Edition | Subscribe