COE premiums for cars rebound

Certificate of entitlement (COE) prices for cars ended higher at the latest tender yesterday, signalling strong sales after premiums plunged to an eight-year low two weeks ago.

The COE price for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp chalked up the biggest increase, closing 30.8 per cent higher at $32,699. The premium for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp rose by 3.4 per cent to $32,551.

The premium for Open COEs, which can be used for any vehicle type except motorcycles, finished 5.8 per cent higher at $32,809.

Despite the rebound, car premiums are still near their lowest levels in years.

Mr Nicholas Wong, general manager of Honda agent Kah Motor, said: "If you saw the crowd at the showrooms over the weekend, you'd be scared.

"So the rebound in premiums is quite expected. It has brought some excitement back to the car market. It hasn't been like this for quite a while."

Mr Wong said the premium for cars is still relatively low. "It went down by $9,000 and went up by $7,000," he said, referring to the results for cars up to 1,600cc.

He expects premiums to remain "quite stable, or even dip by a bit" with the bigger supply of COEs starting next month.

"In fact, when news of the bigger quota came out, you could sense buyers starting to hold back."

Meanwhile, the commercial vehicle COE premium eased by 0.7 per cent to close at $30,889. Motorcycle premiums dipped by 5 per cent to $6,189, an eight-month low.

For the August-October quota period, there will be 12.5 per cent more COEs available each month.

Car buyers will have 6,912 COEs a month, or 5.7 per cent more than now. Motorcyclists will get the biggest increase, with their quota ballooning to 1,639 COEs per month, or 55.7 per cent bigger than now.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 19, 2018, with the headline 'COE premiums for cars rebound'. Print Edition | Subscribe