Environment

Penchant for pricey bikes prompts tiered ARF

The Finance Minister said that "a small but rising number of buyers are buying expensive motorcycles - their motorcycles have OMVs similar to those of small cars".
The Finance Minister said that "a small but rising number of buyers are buying expensive motorcycles - their motorcycles have OMVs similar to those of small cars".ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Buyers will soon pay more for motorcycles with an open market value exceeding $5,000

The growing number of motorcycle buyers going for expensive bikes has prompted the Government to introduce a tiered additional registration fee (ARF), similar to that for cars.

And certificates of entitlement (COEs) from deregistered bikes will no longer contribute to the supply of COEs in the Open category - a move that will stabilise the declining numbers of motorcycles.

Buyers with COEs obtained from the upcoming bidding exercise - which closes on Friday - and from exercises in the future will pay a higher ARF once the open market value (OMV) of their motorbikes exceeds $5,000.

All motorcycles now incur a flat ARF of 15 per cent.

Under the tiered structure, the first $5,000 of a bike's OMV will still attract 15 per cent, but the next $5,000 will incur an ARF of 50 per cent. The remaining OMV above $10,000 will incur an ARF of 100 per cent.

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Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said: "A small but rising number of buyers are buying expensive motorcycles - their motorcycles have OMVs similar to those of small cars."

Just as additional ARF tiers were introduced for cars in 2013, to "improve progressivity", the same is being done for pricier motorcycles.

A spokesman for the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said that the tiered ARF is "calibrated to ensure that the majority (about 60 per cent) of newly registered motorcycles will be unaffected".

The Government will also address the falling motorcycle population, which dropped from a decade high of 147,282 in 2010 to 142,439 last year.

With effect from the first COE bidding exercise in May, deregistered motorcycle COEs will not go towards the COE supply in the Open category.

The Open category COE can be used for any vehicle type, but is typically used for big cars.

Right now, 10 per cent of all deregistrations from each COE category feeds into the Open category - but this will cease for motorcycles.

SIM University economist Walter Theseira said that this change will stop the "bleeding" of motorcycle COEs, which flow to the Open category but are not returned to the motorcycle population.

The Singapore Motor Cycle Trade Association's honorary general secretary, Mr Norman Lee, said that the move should lower the high motorcycle COE prices, which hit a record $6,889 in January last year.

 

He said that, combined with the tiered ARF, COE prices could fall to $3,500 by the middle of the year.

However, Mr Eugene Mah, managing director of Mah - which sells high-end bike brands such as Aprilia and Triumph - said: "We are looking at an increase of $30,000 on ARF alone for some of the premium models."

Yesterday, the LTA also said that it was studying other means of bidding for Open category COEs.

One method being considered is "differential bidding", in which bidders bid on the basis of the additional premium that they are willing to pay on top of a reference point - such as the prevailing quota premium, which is the average of a COE premium over three months.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 21, 2017, with the headline 'Penchant for pricey bikes prompts tiered ARF'. Print Edition | Subscribe