COE price for big cars rises while other premiums fall

COE premiums for bigger cars continued to rise in the latest tender.
COE premiums for bigger cars continued to rise in the latest tender. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Certificate of entitlement (COE) premiums eased in the latest tender on Wednesday (Oct 6), with the exception of those for bigger cars which continued to rise.

The COE price for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp ended at $70,200 – an increase of 2.8 per cent over last fortnight’s price of $68,310. Its proxy, the Open category, closed at $72,756, or 3.9 per cent higher than the previous premium of $70,002.

The premium for smaller cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp finished at $47,001, or 2.1 per cent lower.

The commercial vehicle COE price dipped by 0.3 per cent to $38,890, while the motorcycle premium slid by 0.4 per cent to close at $9,052.

Industry watchers attribute the results to strong demand from wealthy buyers unaffected by the generally weak market.

A foreseeable shrinkage in the supply of big-car COEs in the next quota period starting November is also fuelling aggressive bidding among dealers.

Inchcape Greater China and Singapore chief executive Jasmmine Wong said the supply of COEs for bigger cars is small in relation to the variety of cars available.

The number of COEs in Category B (cars above 1,600cc) and its Open proxy in the current August to October period is 9 per cent smaller than the previous May to July period, which Ms Wong said “was already a small base”. 

Mr Neo Nam Heng, chairman of diversified motor group Prime, said the demand for big, luxury cars is fuelled by foreign buyers. 

“We sell about five Toyota Alphards a week. I can tell you almost 90 per cent of them are bought by mainland Chinese, who pay in cash,” he said.

The large multi-seater sells for around $260,000, with the costliest high-end variant priced above $350,000. 

Talk is that Mercedes-Benz had garnered more than 400 orders in the last two weeks, while Tesla’s supply of cars is arriving in larger numbers after a slow start three months ago when deliveries started.

Mr Neo added that the trend towards hybrids and electric cars is also fuelling big-car COE prices, as most of these cars belong to Category B. 

Observers reckon the more generous rebates for these cleaner models are fuelling demand, as well as giving sellers more margin to bid for COEs.

Latest COE results:

Category Current COE premium ($) Previous COE premium ($)
A - Car (1,600cc & below) 47,001 48,000
B - Car (above 1,600cc)  70,200 68,310
C - Goods vehicle & bus 38,890 39,000
D - Motorcycle 9,052 9,089
E - Open 72,756 70,002