Slight dip in COE supply for Nov to Jan period

In total, car buyers will have about 4,813 COEs a month. This is 1.9 per cent fewer than the current 4,904 COEs. PHOTO: ST FILE

Car buyers will see a slight dip in the certificate of entitlement (COE) supply for the November to January quota period, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced yesterday.

Car buyers will have an average of 4,813 COEs a month (including the Open category, which can be used for any vehicle type except motorcycles, but mostly ends up being used for bigger cars).

This is 1.9 per cent less than the current 4,904 COEs.

The monthly quota for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp will average 2,036, 3.6 per cent less than the 2,112 now.

Cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp will have 2,023 COEs a month, 2.9 per cent less than the 2,083 now.

In the Open category, 754 COEs will be available, 6.3 per cent more than the 709 now. This increase is largely because of the recycled COEs of scrapped taxis.

Mr Neo Nam Heng, chairman of diversified motor group Prime, estimated that some 9,000 taxis were scrapped over the last two years.

Asked why COEs from scrapped taxis are not recycled back to the system in a more timely fashion, the LTA said: "Taxi companies are given six months to replace their deregistered taxis. As taxi registration patterns can vary within this six-month period, adjustment for net registration/deregistration of taxis is calculated every six months.

"This helps to minimise fluctuations while enabling taxi companies to plan ahead for adjustments to their fleet size. This is intended to be a business-friendly approach."

Mr Neo said the return of some taxi COEs "will ease some fears" about escalating premiums.

"The market was actually expecting another big cut to the supply," he said. "Luckily, the deregistered cab COEs are clawed back. Otherwise, the situation would have been very bad."

With this buffer from taxi COEs, Mr Neo said premiums will stabilise further. "In the mid-term, fluctuations will be within 5 per cent," he predicted.

As for the longer term, he said the first sizeable batch of cars with renewed COEs in 2015 will have to be scrapped by next year. The COEs from these will mitigate next year's shrinkage.

COE supplies are determined largely by the number of vehicles scrapped in the preceding months.

The pattern of scrappage hinges on the number of new cars registered 10 years ago.

Meanwhile, commercial vehicle buyers will have 635 COEs a month, 12.2 per cent more than the 566 now.

Motorcycle bidders will have 1,382 COEs a month, 6.4 per cent less than the 1,477 currently.

In total, there will be 6,830 COEs available each month, 1.7 per cent less than the 6,947 available now.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 15, 2019, with the headline Slight dip in COE supply for Nov to Jan period. Subscribe