Car show pushes COE prices up by more than $4,000

COE premiums for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp posted the sharpest increase, rising from $37,000 to hit a five-month high of $41,361.
COE premiums for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp posted the sharpest increase, rising from $37,000 to hit a five-month high of $41,361.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Certificate of entitlement (COE) premiums ended higher across the board in the latest tender on Wednesday (Oct 9) as the just-concluded Cars @ Expo car show whipped up buying interest.

The COE price for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp finished at a five-month high of $34,001, up from $31,759 in the previous tender three weeks ago.

The COE premium for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp posted the sharpest increase, rising from $37,000 to also hit a five-month high of $41,361.

The price for the open COE category, which can be used for any vehicle type except motorcycles but end up mostly for bigger cars, ended at $41,001, up from $40,000.

The commercial vehicle COE price rose from $25,556 to end at $26,509. The motorcycle COE premium closed at $3,800, up from $3,601.

Some 35 exhibitors took up 78 booths at the Cars@Expo sales event over the weekend. According to early estimates, 100,000 people visited the event, and more than 900 cars – both new and used – worth around $120 million were sold.

Mr Neo Nam Heng, chairman of diversified motor group Prime, said a combination of factors drove premiums higher on Wednesday.

"It's Cars@Expo, it's the three-week bidding cycle (longer than the usual two weeks), and fear that there will be another cut to the quota for the next three-month period," Mr Neo said.

Mr Neo added that the sharp rise in COE price for bigger cars was also a correction to close the gap between the category and the open category. The two are usually similarly priced, but were $3,000 apart in the previous exercise.

Mr Nicholas Wong, general manager of Honda agent Kah Motor, observed that the number of bids had not changed significantly from the previous exercise despite Cars@Expo.

According to the Land Transport Authority, the number of car COE bids received climbed 9 per cent to 3,819.

Mr Wong said fundamentally, both the car and motorcycle market were still "weak". But there was some "panic" bidding because of expectations of higher premiums arising from Cars@Expo and the longer three-week gap between tenders.

As for the motorcycle COE price, Mr Wong said Wednesday's rise was a correction from the sharp drop three weeks ago, which saw the premium fall from $4,089 to $3,601.

LATEST COE RESULTS:

Category Current COE premium ($) Previous COE premium ($)
A - Car (1,600cc & below) 34,001 31,759
B - Car (above 1,600cc)  41,361 37,000
C - Goods vehicle & bus 26,509 25,556
D - Motorcycle 3,800 3,601
E - Open 41,001 40,000