SINGAPORE: Amidst soaring prices for Certificates of Entitlement (COEs), the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has announced a boost in the availability of COEs over the upcoming three months, showcasing a substantial rise, especially in vehicle quotas for medium and small-sized vehicles and commercial vehicles, which will observe upticks of 22% and 35%, respectively.
On Friday (13 Oct), the LTA publicized the COE quota for November this year to January of the following year, revealing a notable 13% surge — a total of 12,774 available COEs, which is 1,455 more compared to the 11,319 from the August to October period.
Earlier in May, the LTA disclosed plans to cycle approximately 6,000 COEs back into the market, drawn from vehicles slated for deregistration over the next three to four years due to non-renewable COEs. This initiative is aimed at stabilizing the fluctuations observed in the COE supply.
Anticipating an influx of demand for new cars, due to alterations to the Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) and the imminent car show this weekend, the LTA has decided to augment the COE quota available for bidding over the next quarter.
Category A (medium and small-sized vehicles) is set to see a substantial rise in COE supply — an increase of over 880, totaling 4,967, marking a 22% increase from the present and an impressive 80% surge compared to the same period last year. An increase in the quota for Category A by 300 (about 24%) was already announced by the LTA at the end of September.
This boost, the LTA explains, is due to the proactive reintroduction of 1,570 COEs from vehicles that were slated for deregistration.
Further, the quota for Category B (large and luxury cars) will also be amplified by 121 (4%), totaling 2,937, whereas Category E, often utilized for registering Category B vehicles, will see a modest augmentation by 64 (8%), totaling 841.
Category C (goods vehicles and buses) will see a robust quota rise of 240 (35%), totaling 924 — more than a two-fold increase compared to the same period last year. The Category D (motorcycles) quota will also be increased by 148 (5%), totaling 3,105.
The LTA also foresees the COE quotas for Categories A, B, and C to perpetually rise next year, while the quotas for Category D are projected to maintain a steady state.
Following a recent government announcement, the VES rebate amount is set to be adjusted next year. Tax rebates for A2 category vehicles, those with lower emissions, will be reduced from SGD 15,000 to SGD 5,000. Dealers anticipate this change to trigger an influx of potential buyers before the revised measures take effect, further intensifying the upward pressure on COE prices.
During the initial COE open bidding this month (4 Oct), COE premiums for Category B and Open Category reached unprecedented heights once again.
Premiums for Category B, which encompasses larger and more powerful automobiles, soared to an eye-watering S$146,002 (approximately US$106,355), climbing significantly from the S$140,889 in the last tender.
Simultaneously, COEs within the Open Category, known for their versatility across vehicle types but predominantly utilized for large cars, escalated to an astounding S$152,000, surging from S$144,640 in the preceding round.
The surge in COE prices is a continuation of a worrisome trend, as just two weeks prior, on September 20, COE prices for larger vehicles in Category B and the Open Category had already broken the S$140,000 barrier for the first time in history.
In contrast, Category A cars, which are defined as vehicles with engine capacities not exceeding 1,600cc and horsepower ratings below 130bhp, experienced a slight dip in premiums.
The COE prices for these vehicles closed at S$104,000, marginally lower than the record-setting S$105,000 observed in the prior exercise.
Furthermore, COEs designated for commercial vehicles, encompassing goods vehicles and buses, also underwent an uptick, with prices reaching S$85,900 from the previous S$83,801 in the preceding bidding exercise.
Meanwhile, motorcycle premiums displayed a moderate increase, closing at S$10,856, up from S$10,700 in the last exercise.
In total, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) received 2,795 bids for the available quota of 2,010 COEs, highlighting the persistent demand for vehicle ownership in Singapore.
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