COE price down for small cars, up for big ones

Certificate of entitlement (COE) prices ended mixed in the latest tender yesterday on the back of, among other things, a more muted response to the recently concluded Singapore Motorshow.

Compared with the previous closing two weeks ago, the COE price for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp finished 0.9 per cent lower at $35,010. The premium for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp closed 1.6 per cent higher at $37,705.

The price of the Open COE, which can be used for any vehicle type except motorcycles but ends up mostly for bigger cars, finished 1.3 per cent lower at $37,500.

Motor traders said the annual Singapore Motorshow drew fewer visitors - 52,000 - compared with last year's 56,000.

Aggressive sales promotions in the last two months of the year, including by brands such as BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, had also resulted in a satiated market.

Lastly, with Chinese New Year this weekend, it is now too late to secure COEs to deliver new cars. Hence, bidders were less desperate in the latest exercise.

A total of 3,075 bids were received for cars (including the Open category), compared with 3,220 in the previous tender.

Meanwhile, the commercial vehicle COE price rose by 2.5 per cent to end at a three-month high of $25,001, while the motorcycle premium shot up by 15.6 per cent to reach a 17-month high of $4,610.

Industry players said the increase in motorbike premiums was mainly on the back of a substantially smaller COE supply from next month.

 

For the February-April quota period, the motorcycle category will see the sharpest supply shrinkage of 16.4 per cent.

Looking ahead, car dealers expect car premiums to converge this year as competition for Category A COEs (for cars up to 1,600cc) intensifies on the back of more premium models and private-hire purchases.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 23, 2020, with the headline 'COE price down for small cars, up for big ones'. Print Edition | Subscribe