COE and vehicle-related questions answered at ST's inaugural car forum

A panel of motoring experts answered questions about Certificate of Entitlement (COE) premiums and other concerns over vehicles at a live blogging event organised by The Straits Times on Monday afternoon.

The Straits Times' inaugural car forum was held to help readers make sense of the recent changes to car loans and vehicle taxes after the announcements by the Government last week.

ST's senior transport correspondent Christopher Tan was joined by Motor Traders Association president Cheah Kim Teck and past president of the Society of Financial Service Professionals, Mr Leong Sze Hian.

The trio answered queries on a range of car-related topics, including what impact the changes would have on COE premiums, if buying a weekend car was still a good option and if the changes would affect the second hand market.

Over the last three days, readers had sent in these questions through The Straits Times's website, Facebook page and Twitter account.

On COE premiums, Mr Cheah said premiums might fall, but not drastically. He added that COE prices cannot move down rapidly unless the supply of certificates increases.

Mr Leong noted that fewer people would be able to afford cars, while Mr Tan said most would hold back to see how prices move and called the Government's measures a "game changer".

The Monetary Authority of Singapore had announced last week that loans for new and used cars with OMV (Open Market Value) of up to $20,000 are now capped at 60 per cent of their purchase prices. Those with higher OMVs will qualify for loans that are no more than 50 per cent of the purchase price, while the maximum tenure for a car loan will also be limited to five years.

Previously, buyers could take loans up to 100 per cent of purchase price and stretch the loans as long as 10 years.

On vehicle taxes, the Government announced a tiered Additional Registration Fee (ARF). A car with OMV of up to $20,000 will be taxed at the current rate of 100 per cent. The next $30,000 will be taxed at 140 per cent, and any OMV above $50,000 at 180 per cent.

Click here or here to read the live blog.

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