COE premiums for cars finished higher in the latest tender exercise in August - a change that industry observers attributed to a longer-than-usual break
Longer interval pushes car COEs up Car COE prices went up while those for motorcycles and goods vehicles went down slightly in the round of bidding that ended on Aug 10, 2017. PHOTO: ST FILE

Certificate of entitlement (COE) premiums for cars finished higher at the close of the latest tender exercise yesterday - a change that industry observers attributed to the longer-than-usual break between bidding exercises.

For cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp - known as Category A - COE premiums rose by 6.3 per cent from last month's $44,002, to $46,778. COE prices in Category B - cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp - moved up 7.4 peer cent from $50,001 to $53,711.

In the Open category, which is often used for the purchase of bigger cars, COE premiums climbed by 5.3 per cent, from $50,101 to $52,751.

Mr Michael Lim, president of the Singapore Vehicle Traders Association, said he was not surprised by the results. The interval between COE tenders is typically two weeks, but there was a three-week gap between yesterday's bidding and the previous exercise that ended on July 19, said Mr Lim.

"The dealers will sell more cars over this period. They could have also taken some orders during the National Day public holiday as well," said Mr Lim.

There are two COE bidding exercises every month, typically starting on the first and third Monday, and closing on Wednesday of the same week. As Aug 1 fell on a Tuesday, the month's first bidding exercise started on Aug 7.

Apart from the longer gap, some observers like Mr Raymond Tang, managing director for Yong Lee Seng Motor, said the increase in car COE prices could be due to the smaller quota.

For the August to October period, there is a monthly average of 3,630 COEs available in Category A, about 4.4 per cent fewer than the quota of 3,797 in the previous quarter. For Category B, the quota fell by 2.7 per cent, from 2,641 to 2,570.

COE quotas are adjusted every quarter, based on factors including the de-registrations in the preceding quarter and the overall vehicle population growth rate.

Meanwhile, COE prices for commercial vehicles saw minimal movement, dropping by $8 from $42,809 to $42,801. COE prices for motorcycles dipped by 2.6 per cent, from $5,851 to $5,701.

Mr Tang also speculated that superstitious buyers may have wanted to register their cars before the upcoming Seventh Month or Hungry Ghost Festival, hence driving up the demand for COEs as well.