Spike in COE premiums

Certificate of entitlement (COE) premiums ended higher across the board in the latest tender yesterday.

The premium for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp rose by 5.7 per cent to finish at a five-month high of $59,200. The rate for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp climbed 6.3 per cent to close at $61,103.

The price for Open COE, which can be used for any vehicle type but ends up mostly for bigger cars, ended at a four-month high of $62,019 - 2.2 per cent higher than the previous closing two weeks ago.

The commercial vehicle COE premium finished 4.8 per cent higher at $45,890. Motorcycle premiums posted the biggest gain of 10 per cent to end at $6,502.

Motor industry players said strong sales whipped up by The Cars@Expo two weekends ago had fuelled the rebound in premiums.

Dealers at the vehicle bazaar organised by Singapore Press Holdings had apparently collected more orders than usual. Mazda, for instance, is said to have had more than 300 bookings.

Mr Neo Nam Heng, chairman of diversified motor group Prime, said this is also the time when dealers fighting for sales position make a last-ditch attempt. According to Land Transport Authority figures, Toyota and Honda are first and second with sales of 9,320 and 5,881. Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Mazda are in the race for third place, with sales in the first 10 months totalling 4,665, 4,144 and 3,927 respectively.

"This rebound is temporary," Mr Neo said. "The next COE period (February to April next year) will see a big increase in supply." Last month, 7,025 cars were deregistered - 16 per cent more than in September.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 19, 2015, with the headline 'Spike in COE premiums'. Print Edition | Subscribe