The Straits Times
Published on Dec 27, 2012

COE system is working fine


THE certificate of entitlement (COE) is essentially a system of control - it is meant to make prices unreachable to certain segments of society ("Car buyers want COE system reviewed"; Tuesday).

People who buy several cars are not the ones responsible for road congestion.

These car owners have essentially paid for the COE to keep the cars they are not driving in their garage. This lowers the utilisation rate of the vehicles and thus the congestion they may cause.

The most effective way to clamp down on both the COE and car prices is to restrict the loan quantum.

Let people save for their cars instead of driving away in a new car without any payment. Slap a 20 per cent or even 50 per cent down payment requirement on buyers.

However, it should be noted that only high COE prices will push people towards using public transport, or opt for car-sharing.

The system is not broken. If cars were "affordable" and freely available to everyone, it would defeat the purpose.

And some people will sing a different tune when they get a car and find that the road is too congested.

Let us keep the COE system.

Jack Lin