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Open category COE prices hit record high as premiums rise across the board in latest bidding exercise

COE premiums for commercial vehicles in Category C also hit a new high.

Open category COE prices hit record high as premiums rise across the board in latest bidding exercise

File photo of cars, motorcycles and goods vehicles on Singapore roads. (Photo: CNA/Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: Certificate of Entitlement (COE) premiums closed higher across the board in the latest bidding exercise on Wednesday (Feb 22), with open category prices hitting a record high of S$118,001.

Open category COEs, which can be used for any vehicle type but end up being used mainly for large cars, rose to S$118,001 from S$105,002.

It surpassed the previous high of S$116,557 recorded last November.

COEs for commercial vehicles under Category C, which includes goods vehicles and buses, also hit a new high, rising to S$87,790 and erasing the previous mark of S$85,119 set in the last bidding exercise.

For Category A cars, or those 1,600cc and below with horsepower not exceeding 130bhp, premiums closed at S$86,556, up from S$86,000.

Premiums for larger and more powerful cars in Category B rose to S$115,001 from S$105,524.

Motorcycle premiums closed at S$12,189, up from S$11,602.

A total of 2,491 bids were received, with a quota of 1,602 COEs available.


Wednesday's bidding exercise marked the first time a new additional registration fee (ARF) structure and preferential ARF cap came into effect.

Under the changes, announced by Finance Minister Lawrence Wong in his Budget speech on Feb 14, owners of higher-end cars will pay more for their vehicles.

The highest tier for ARF banding, which involves vehicles with an open market value (OMV) of above S$80,000, will see revised ARF rates of 320 per cent - up from 220 per cent previously.

For vehicles with an OMV above S$40,000 to S$60,000, the revised ARF rates will be 190 per cent. And vehicles with an OMV above S$60,000 to S$80,000 will be charged an ARF rate of 250 per cent.

Preferential ARF rebates will also be capped at S$60,000.

Managing director at Yong Lee Seng Motor, Raymond Tang told CNA that motor shows held in January, and the subsequent sales from those shows, partially accounted for the higher COE prices on Wednesday. 

Mr Tang also said that agents who bid for the latest COE intended to use the certificates on fewer luxury vehicles, with a low OMV. Those bidding after the Budget 2023 announcement may have also driven up the prices, he explained.

The prices might not have increased by this much without the ARF announcement, said Mr Tang. 

Komoco's commercial director Mr Ng Choon Wee said that the prices are rising to record highs "due to dealers restocking as they have sold their open category stock".

"It was a rush after the budget announcements," said Mr Ng in response to queries from CNA.

He added that Komoco has not seen the impact of this bid regarding the new quota computed based on a revised method that is meant to reduce supply volatility.

Mr Ng said that the Budget announcement "definitely caused some commotion amongst buyers which sent a rush to buy", with Komoco registering higher footfall and sales after the announcement,.

He added that it is "tough" to comment on whether COE premiums will increase for the next exercise and in the near future as this is driven by many factors and market sentiments.

"Maybe for the first six months (you) could see the premiums gradually going up, gradually coming down".

It may go down in 2024 as there will be more COEs allocated, he said.

Source: CNA/rc(gr)/fh


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