Car COE prices continue to surge in latest bidding exercise

The surge followed an unexpected rise in COEs for bigger cars in the previous tender, which was attributed to new demand from private-hire players.
The surge followed an unexpected rise in COEs for bigger cars in the previous tender, which was attributed to new demand from private-hire players.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Certificate of entitlement (COE) prices continued to surge at the latest tender on Wednesday (April 17), with all categories ending noticeably higher except for motorcycles.

COE premiums for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp finished at $33,199, up from $29,159 two weeks ago. COE prices for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp closed at $48,000, up from $43,102.

Premiums for Open COE, which can be used for any vehicle type except motorcycles but ends up mostly for bigger cars, finished at $52,410, up from $48,209.

Commercial vehicle COE prices closed at $32,001, up from $27,589. Motorcycle COE premiums bucked the uptrend by ending at $3,452, down from $3,501.

The surge followed an unexpected rise in COEs for bigger cars in the previous tender, which was attributed to new demand from private-hire players.

"The market is actually quite weak," said one major motor trader. "The showrooms have been very quiet in recent months."

Mr Ron Lim, head of sales and marketing at Nissan agent Tan Chong Motor, said “the market has slowed down significantly after the price increase from last round of COE price hike, so we can conclude safely the latest rise has nothing to do with retail demand”.

 

Still, Mr Lim said Wednesday’s results is also driven by “a classic case of panic bidding” on the back of “speculation over the extent of the next COE quota cut”.

Going by available data to date, the supply of COEs for the May-July period may shrink by as much as 20 per cent.

Mr Lim added that he hopes “some sanity will return after the actual quota is released”, but cautioned that there are “headwinds”, including a three-week break before the next tender exercise (allowing sellers to collect more orders), and the upcoming Car@Expo retail event, which would also typically lead to more orders.

LATEST COE RESULTS:

Category Current COE premium ($) Previous COE premium ($)
A - Car (1,600cc & below) 33,199 29,159
B - Car (above 1,600cc)  48,000 43,102
C - Goods vehicle & bus 32,001 27,589
D - Motorcycle 3,452 3,501
E - Open 52,410 48,209