Forum: High use of temporary COEs for motorcycles before expiry

We refer to the Straits Times article, "Record-high COE premiums forcing motorcyclists to hold off purchases" (Aug 31), which cited that "there is a disproportionately large number of expired motorcycle COEs, or COEs bought by dealers that were not used to register a bike for six months".

We wish to clarify that this is not an accurate reflection of what has been observed since COE bidding resumed in July last year.

Successful bidders of Category D COEs are issued temporary Certificates of Entitlement (TCOEs), which need to be used to register the motorcycles within six months.

These TCOEs will expire if they are not used by the bidders to purchase and register motorcycles within the six-month validity period. A high TCOE utilisation rate is therefore an indicator of strong demand.

We have observed very high TCOE utilisation rates for the past year.

Since COE bidding resumed in July 2020, on average more than 99 per cent of TCOEs have been used to register motorcycles before they expired.

For instance, from June to August this year , only seven out of 3,188 Category D TCOEs expired. These TCOEs were obtained in the bidding exercises of December 2020 to February 2021. This represents a 99.8 per cent utilisation rate within their six-month validity period.

For the August to October 2021 period, the COE quota supply is 28 per cent lower than the preceding May to July 2021 period, as the return of COEs accumulated from the circuit breaker has concluded. The consequential reduction in supply could have contributed to the increase in Category D COE prices.

Details such as the number of expired TCOEs are published in our quarterly COE quota announcements.

We understand the concerns regarding the increase in COE prices for motorcycles. We are monitoring the situation closely and will respond as necessary.

Ong Hui Guan

Deputy Group Director, Policy and Planning

Land Transport Authority

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