COE tender yields mixed bag of results

Certificate of entitlement (COE) premiums ended mixed yesterday as fresh demand whipped up by a car show was partly offset by weaker economic sentiment.

The COE price for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp finished 3.3 per cent higher at $52,668 - its highest in three months. The premium for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp slipped 0.4 per cent to end at $56,206. The price for the Open COE, which can be used for any vehicle type but ends up mostly for bigger cars, closed 0.6 per cent lower at $56,000.

The commercial vehicle COE price climbed 5.3 per cent to finish at $48,001, while the motorcycle premium was 0.7 per cent weaker at $6,311.

Motor traders attributed the results to Singapore Press Holdings' Cars@Expo bazaar held two weekends ago.

"Bookings were quite good," said Mr Ron Lim, general manager of Nissan agent Tan Chong Motor. "What's surprising was Category B (cars above 1,600cc). The number of bids submitted remained high, but it looks like bidders were not bidding as aggressively, perhaps partly because of the economy."

There were 2,800 bids for Category A (cars up to 1,600cc) COEs and 2,012 bids for Category B. At the previous tender, there were 2,584 and 1,768 bids respectively.

Mr Lim said the surge in the commercial vehicle COE price was fuelled by "more people coming in to replace vehicles (whose COEs) will be expiring in the next few months".

According to the Land Transport Authority, the COEs for 17,060 commercial vehicles will expire in the first quarter of next year. The number is more than the record 15,000 vehicles scrapped in the whole of last year.

Owners of such vehicles have started to stream into showrooms in anticipation of a supply crunch that might happen in the new year.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2016, with the headline 'COE tender yields mixed bag of results'. Print Edition | Subscribe