CERTIFICATE of entitlement (COE) premiums took their biggest tumble in over a year yesterday, with prices falling across the board to reach levels last seen in March or February.
The COE premium for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp posted the sharpest fall to end 7.6 per cent lower at $61,000 - its lowest in four months. The COE premium for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp followed next, with a 4.7 per cent contraction pulling it to a three-month low of $71,509.
The premium for Open COEs, which can be used for any vehicle type but ends up mainly for bigger cars, fell by 1.7 per cent to a three-month low of $74,501.
Mr Neo Nam Heng, chairman of the Prime group of motor companies, said: "This is what we've been predicting. Consumers who took our advice and exercised patience will now reap the rewards.
"We still maintain that premiums will continue to slide when the revised carbon taxes kick in next month." In July, a revised Carbon Emission-based Vehicle Scheme will kick in and fewer cars will qualify for rebates while more cars will attract surcharges.
Mr Ron Lim, general manager of Nissan agent Tan Chong Motor, said one reason for the drop is that dealers have largely cleared their backlog of orders.
According to the Land Transport Authority, 3,283 bids were received for car COEs (including the Open category) yesterday - 12 per cent fewer than the previous tender two weeks ago.
Another reason, Mr Lim, noted, could be that most COEs secured were for cars to be registered from next month. That is when the revised carbon tax scheme will push up the cost of some cars. "Most cars will see a $5,000 increase. And coincidentally, that is just about how much COE prices have fallen by."
Meanwhile, commercial vehicle premiums dipped by 0.8 per cent to end at $50,502. Motorcycle premiums fell by 1.7 per cent to hit $6,401.