Motorcycle COE prices hit new high of $7,483

Higher demand from individuals and businesses cited as factor

Motorcycle COE prices closed at $7,483 yesterday - up 10 per cent from $6,801 last month, surpassing the previous high of $6,889 in January last year
Motorcycle COE prices closed at $7,483 yesterday - up 10 per cent from $6,801 last month, surpassing the previous high of $6,889 in January last year . ST PHOTO: TED CHEN

Certificate of entitlement (COE) premiums for motorcycles hit a new record high at the latest bidding exercise yesterday.

At 4pm yesterday, motorcycle COE prices closed at $7,483 - up 10 per cent from $6,801 at the bidding last month - surpassing the previous high of $6,889 in January last year.

Mr Norman Lee, honorary general secretary of the Singapore Motorcycle Trade Association, said the increase was due to both personal demand and demand from businesses like delivery services.

Despite the recent introduction of the tiered Additional Registration Fee (ARF) for motorcycles, demand for higher-capacity motorcycles was not dampened, he added.

Under the tiered structure, the first $5,000 of a motorbike's open market value (OMV) will incur a 15 per cent ARF, but the next $5,000 will incur 50 per cent.

The remaining OMV above $10,000 will incur an ARF of 100 per cent.

Previously, all motorcycles had a flat ARF of 15 per cent.

Mr Lee said that while quantums are likely to stay high for the next few months, they should dip after May.

Motorcycle COEs will no longer make up 10 per cent of the Open category, so there will be more motorcycle COEs available then.

Kah Motor general manager Nicholas Wong said: "Prices should stabilise or even come down." He added, however, that this is still dependent on demand at the time.

Experts noted that premiums could go up even more, as the additional cost of the ARF could result in owners of 10-year-old motorbikes choosing to renew their current rides rather than buy new motorbikes, reducing the COE supply further.

Besides the motorcycle category, all other COE categories ended higher except for commercial vehicles.

COE premiums for big cars, or those above 1,600cc or 130bhp, went up 5.3 per cent, from $50,621 to $53,300.

Small car premiums - or those up to 1,600cc and 130bhp - rose 2.7 per cent, from $49,430 to $50,789.

For the Open category, available for any vehicle type but used mostly for bigger cars, COE prices also rose from $51,000 to $53,001.

Chairman of diversified motor group Prime, Mr Neo Nam Heng, said that "consumers are rational and are not rushing to showrooms" ahead of the new Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES).

The scheme will impose higher surcharges on carbon dioxide as well as four other pollutants emitted by motor vehicles.

Cars that currently qualify for rebates under the Carbon Emissions-based Vehicle Scheme may incur surcharges under the new scheme.

These include popular models such as the Nissan Qashqai, which has a $5,000 rebate currently but will have a $20,000 surcharge under the VES.

Mr Neo, however, expects COE prices to drop following next January's implementation of the VES. This is because car prices are likely to go up as fewer models will qualify for rebates under the stricter regulations.

Yesterday, only the premiums for goods vehicles and buses saw a slight decrease from $49,810 to $49,002.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2017, with the headline Motorcycle COE prices hit new high of $7,483. Subscribe