COE prices dive as backlog eases

Certificate of entitlement (COE) prices ended lower for all categories except for motorcycles at the latest tender yesterday.

The COE price for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp closed 9.5 per cent lower at $42,339. The premium for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp finished 6.4 per cent lower at $53,711. The price for Open COE, which can be used for any vehicle type except motorcycles, ended 5.5 per cent lower at $54,334.

Commercial vehicle COE premium posted the biggest drop of 27.2 per cent to finish at a six-month low of $42,000.

Motor traders said the correction had to do with the clearing of an order backlog built up in the last couple of months.

News of the Government reducing the annual allowable vehicle growth rate from 0.25 per cent to zero next year triggered panic buying among motorists last month.

In the commercial vehicle segment, the rush to clear models which do not comply with Euro 6 diesel standards - which will kick in from next month - had also pushed up the premium for buses, trucks and vans.

"The bubble has finally burst," said Mr Neo Nam Heng, chairman of diversified motor group Prime. "The backlog of all these vehicles has been cleared.

"COE (prices) should fall further in January and February."

Mr Nicholas Wong, general manager of Honda agent Kah Motor, said the price correction "is good news". "Fresh orders have been very weak in the last couple of rounds," he said.

Meanwhile, the motorbike COE premium rose by 9.3 per cent to hit an eight-month high of $6,552.

Singapore Motorcycle Trade Association honorary general secretary Norman Lee attributed this to a rush to clear models which will not meet the Euro 4 standard for two-wheelers which is phasing in from January. Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 07, 2017, with the headline 'COE prices dive as backlog eases'. Print Edition | Subscribe