Forum letter of the week: No real rebate for owners of lower-emission cars

Vehicles on the PIE near 8 Kallang Sector, on May 28, 2019.
Vehicles on the PIE near 8 Kallang Sector, on May 28, 2019.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

The Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) purportedly gives a discount to motorists who opt for a cleaner car (VES extended by a year in push for cleaner cars, Oct 31).

However, motorists should be aware of the actual terms and, more importantly, understand that the savings are much less than what the scheme seems to offer.

Let's take a $10,000 VES rebate as an example. The first thing you will notice is that the price tag already factors in this discount, so there is no additional discount and in many cases, the car is no cheaper than other cars. And second-hand car dealers will offer a lower price to buy cars with a higher VES rebate. When it comes time for the car to be scrapped when the certificate of entitlement expires, half of the VES rebate is deducted from the Preferential Additional Registration Fee rebate, so the net value of your car is reduced by $5,000.

So, instead of being rewarded for being environmentally friendly, the car owner is penalised.

A less environmentally friendly car with no VES rebate does not lose so much in scrap value, so there is no real incentive to go for cleaner cars.

If the authorities are truly sincere about promoting environmentally friendly cars, they should consider a real rebate that has no negative consequences. Make this a real discount on top of the sticker price.

Peter Loon Seng Chee