COEs end mixed as quota shrinks

Certificates of entitlement (COEs) ended mixed yesterday as a smaller quota kicked in.

The COE premium for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp was $52,503, down 0.9 per cent from the previous tender two weeks ago.

The COE for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp rose 0.7 per cent to hit an eight-month high of $57,903. Open COE, which can be used for any vehicle type but ends up mostly for bigger cars, also hit an eight-month high of $58,201, up 1.2 per cent.

Mr Nicholas Wong, general manager of Honda agent Kah Motor, said: "Fresh bookings have come down, but not by much.

"Prices have stabilised, and people seem to have accepted COE premiums at this level."

However, he also said the onset of the inauspicious Hungry Ghost Month this week could dampen buying sentiment.

"If car prices go up, people will take this as an excuse to hold off purchases. But if prices come down, it will not make a difference."

Meanwhile, the COE for commercial vehicles closed 3.2 per cent lower at $48,302, and the COE premium for motorcycles ended 1.5 per cent lower at $6,206.

The supply of COEs for the August-October quota period has contracted because more motorists have decided to extend the lifespan of their cars instead of scrapping them. Fresh COE supplies are determined mainly by the number of vehicles scrapped.

In the first five months of the year, motorists extended the lifespan of more than 14,000 cars - more than double the figure in the first quarter, and some 40 per cent more than the whole of last year.

This has contributed to a 9.4 and 8.6 per cent shrinkage in COE supply for small and big cars, respectively, from August to October.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 04, 2016, with the headline 'COEs end mixed as quota shrinks'. Print Edition | Subscribe