COE supply for May to July to increase by 14.3 per cent

In all, there will be 11,951 COEs across five categories. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The supply of certificates of entitlement (COE) will rise by 14.3 per cent for the three months from May to July.

In all, there will be 11,951 COEs across five categories, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in its regular quota announcement on Thursday (April 14).

This is 1,499 COEs more than in the current February to April period.

For cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp, there will be an average of 1,224 COEs each month, 15.3 per cent more than the current period's 1,062 pieces.

The category for larger and more powerful cars will have 1,053 COEs, 4.2 per cent less than the current 1,099 COEs.

There will be 205 COEs per month for goods vehicles and buses, which is a 34.9 per cent increase from 152 COEs.

The motorcycle COE category will receive a bump up of 38.6 per cent rise from the current 809 to 1,121 COEs in the upcoming quota period.

There will also be more Open category COEs, which can be used for any vehicle type other than motorcycles. The average monthly number of COEs in this category will be 379, up from 360 in the current period, representing a rise of 5.3 per cent.

Under the current policy, the biggest determinant of the quota in the coming period is the number of vehicles being de-registered in the preceding three months. These are returned into the next quota for bidding. 

One possible reason for the increased number of COEs for smaller cars is the return of COEs that came from cars which had their COEs renewed by five years. 

Unlike with 10-year COE renewals, cars with the shorter renewal period cannot have them further extended. As at the end of 2021, there were 19,621 cars on the road that are 14 to 15 years old. 

Open COEs tend to be used on the larger and more powerful cars, and the slight increase in this category is expected to help mitigate the effect of the 4.2 per cent reduction in the number of COEs for larger cars.

While the increase in COEs for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp is welcomed by motor traders, the category will be facing additional demand pressures with the revision of the power criterion for electric vehicles (EVs) that will come into effect from May. 

The revision was designed to funnel more mass-market EVs into the smaller car category and out of the large car COE where premiums  tend to be higher. Since the announcement was made in Parliament in March, dealers who offered EVs that would be re-categorised into the smaller car COE were said to have picked up a healthy order bank. 

Other car dealers are also looking to offer more EVs that will meet the criterion in the coming months. 

Given that the large car COE category is still heavily contested with a wide variety of cars - including not only premium and luxury models but also the majority of mass-market petrol hybrid cars - motor traders told The Straits Times they were not hoping for big corrections in COE premiums for this category.

COE bidding for motorcycles was revised in March to cool down the persistently high premiums seen in this category. Looking at the premiums in April, it would seem that the measures are having some impact. The increase in quota for motorcycles in the coming three months should further help to ease premiums.

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