Certificate of entitlement (COE) premiums continued their upward trend, with prices closing higher across the board as the first round of bidding for April closed yesterday.
The highest increase was seen in the open category, where the COE price jumped 17.5 per cent to $48,209, compared with $41,000 previously.
The open category can be used for any vehicle type except motorcycles, but is mostly used for bigger cars.
Yong Lee Seng Motor managing director Raymond Tang said the spike could be due to motor dealers rushing to bid for vehicles ahead of an expected smaller supply of COEs during the May to July period, compared with the previous three months.
Meanwhile, both categories of cars saw increases of about 9.4 per cent.
For larger cars, which are above 1,600cc or 130bhp, the COE price increased from $39,401 to $43,102. For smaller cars, up to 1,600cc and 130bhp, the COE closed at $29,159, up from $26,659 two weeks ago.
The significantly higher COE prices for larger cars in recent bidding rounds could be driving consumers to choose smaller cars instead, noting the difference of almost $14,000 between the two categories, said Mr Neo Nam Heng, chairman of diversified motor group Prime.
In turn, the greater demand is driving the COE price for smaller cars up, a trend he believes will continue for the foreseeable future.
"There is still room for the price to go up," said Mr Neo.
The COE premium for commercial vehicles closed at $27,589, up slightly from $27,021 in the last round of bidding.
Motorcycle COEs inched up slightly, closing at $3,501, an increase of just $32 from $3,469 previously.