COE premiums see marginal movements

The COE premium for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp ended 1.6 per cent higher at $28,457. The COE price for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp closed almost flat at $31,301.
The COE premium for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp ended 1.6 per cent higher at $28,457. The COE price for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp closed almost flat at $31,301.PHOTO: ST FILE

Certificate of entitlement (COE) prices ended mixed in the latest tender yesterday, as demand for new cars continued to be suppressed by a plentiful supply of used cars.

The COE premium for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp ended 1.6 per cent higher at $28,457. The COE price for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp closed almost flat at $31,301, barely 0.02 per cent lower than the previous premium two weeks ago.

The Open COE, which can be used for any vehicle type except motorcycles but ends up mostly for cars, finished 1.7 per cent higher at $32,552.

The commercial vehicle COE climbed 5.2 per cent to end at $28,501. The motorcycle premium slid 2.5 per cent to end at $4,109

Managing director of used-car dealer Yong Lee Seng Motor, Mr Raymond Tang, said premiums had not rebounded strongly despite having trended downwards from July because price drops had been gradual and not sharp. "Consumers will be thinking, maybe prices will drop further."

GOOD TIME TO START SHOPPING

I think prices have stabilised, and it is now a good time for buyers to return to the showroom.
There are signs that younger cars registered with high COEs in the last two, three years are being deregistered. If this continues, then the next quota will be bigger.

MR NEO NAM HENG, chairman of diversified motor group Prime, on how COE premiums have stabilised.

Mr Tang said a steady supply of used cars, in particular from Uber-owned Lion City Rentals, had also offered consumers an alternative to new cars. He said a dearth of new models was also a contributing factor to the relatively soft COE prices.

Mr Neo Nam Heng, chairman of diversified motor group Prime, said: "I think prices have stabilised, and it is now a good time for buyers to return to the showroom."

He said premiums are unlikely to fall much further unless the COE supply for the next three-month period starting November grows substantially. "There are signs that younger cars registered with high COEs in the last two, three years are being deregistered," Mr Neo said. "If this continues, then the next quota will be bigger."

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 04, 2018, with the headline 'COE premiums see marginal movements'. Print Edition | Subscribe