COE prices fall, with m-cycle premium at 3-year low

The COE price for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp fell by 8.3 per cent to close at $42,900 on Aug 23, 2017.
The COE price for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp fell by 8.3 per cent to close at $42,900 on Aug 23, 2017. ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

Certificate of entitlement (COE) prices ended lower across the board at the latest tender yesterday.

The COE price for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp fell by 8.3 per cent to close at $42,900. The premium for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp dropped by 5 per cent to finish at $51,000.

The price for the Open COE, which can be used for any vehicle type except motorcycles, but which ends up mostly for bigger cars, was 5.2 per cent lower than two weeks ago at $50,000. The premium for commercial vehicles slipped by 1.9 per cent to end at $42,004.

The motorbike premium posted the biggest drop of 38.4 per cent to close at a three-year low of $3,512.

Mr Eric Chan, Cycle & Carriage's managing director of Singapore motor operations, said recent sales promotions across the industry had resulted in thinner profit margins. The thinner margins have translated to weaker COE bidding power.

Mr Chan pointed out that private-hire companies such as Uber and Grab have halted their fleet expansion exercises. Up till recently, strong demand from these players had fuelled COE price rises.

Mr Steve Poh, managing director of diversified motor dealer Motorway, added that the market is also generally weak. He attributed this to weaker economic sentiment, and the fact that "those who wanted to buy a car had already bought".

Commenting on the plunge in the motorcycle COE price, Singapore Motorcycle Trade Association honorary general secretary Norman Lee said more riders are now extending the COEs on their bikes.

According to Land Transport Authority figures, an average of 640 bike COEs have been revalidated per month this year - 30 per cent more than last year.

"This trend has led to weaker demand for new motorcycles," Mr Lee said. "But it's a good thing that the bike COE price is falling... especially for small-bike buyers."

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 24, 2017, with the headline 'COE prices fall, with m-cycle premium at 3-year low'. Print Edition | Subscribe