Owners get incentives to deregister older, more pollutive motorcycles

NEA offering up to $3,500 over next 5 years in effort to cut emissions, improve air quality

Owners of older and more pollutive motorcycles are being offered up to $3,500 to deregister their vehicles over the next five years, an incentive from the National Environment Agency (NEA) to improve air quality.

NEA said yesterday that those who own motorcycles registered before July 1, 2003, are eligible for the incentive if their vehicles have a valid 10-year certificate of entitlement (COE) as of April 6 this year, and are deregistered on or before April 5, 2023.

Around 27,000 motorcycles are eligible, said the agency.

The incentive scheme does not apply to owners of motorcycles on the five-year non-renewable COE, or those on the Classic Vehicle, Vintage (Restricted) Vehicle and Revised Vintage Vehicle schemes as of April 6 this year.

Older motorcycles will also have to meet tighter in-use emission standards from April 6, 2023, and will no longer be allowed on the road from July 1, 2028, unless they are on the above schemes.

NEA said the latest incentive has two components, provided owners deregister their motorcycles on or before April 5, 2023.

An owner will receive $3,500 if the motorcycle's COE is not renewed on or after April 7 this year, while an owner will receive $2,000 if the motorcycle's COE is renewed on or after April 7 this year.

The owner will also get a rebate for the unused COE period, upon its deregistration, as part of the existing Preferential Additional Registration Fee and COE rebates when motorists deregister their vehicles before 10 years.

NEA said that the new incentives have been introduced to reduce the amount of carbon monoxide and ozone released into the air, which are known to impair respiratory functions. Carbon monoxide is also known to be toxic at high concentrations.

Announcing the incentives at the Vicom inspection centre in Sin Ming, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said that the authorities made the decision to introduce incentives first, instead of rules or regulations.

"I think this is one way for these owners to evaluate the cost benefits of driving their motorcycle on the road, compared to selling it and using public transport instead," said Mr Masagos.

"Even if they have to use their motorcycle, we hope they will change to a newer one. While this may incur costs for themselves, the incentives will lighten the burden of these costs."

While motorcycles make up just 15 per cent of vehicles in Singapore, they contribute to more than 53 per cent of carbon monoxide emissions from vehicles.

Older motorcycles registered before 2003 - when stricter emission standards kicked in - make up around 20 per cent of the motorcycle population here, but contribute to about 40 per cent of carbon monoxide emissions, NEA said.

Assistant professor of engineering systems and design Lynette Cheah of the Singapore University of Technology and Design said that even though the move targets only a small proportion of vehicles, offering incentives is a good approach that will both please owners and help the environment.

"These cash incentives are attractive, and also tackle the key emitters of harmful gases," she added.

Owners of eligible motorcycles will receive a letter from NEA by the end of this month informing them of the new incentives. To check the first registration dates of their motorcycles, owners can also log in to www.onemotoring.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 07, 2018, with the headline 'Owners get incentives to deregister older, more pollutive motorcycles'. Print Edition | Subscribe