Incentive scheme affects 27,000 motorbikes, but some owners hold on to vintage models
About 1/3 of pollutive motorcycles deregistered Under the NEA scheme announced last year, motorbike owners get a $3,500 rebate for each affected bike deregistered by April 5, 2023. ST FILE PHOTO

About a third of 27,000 motorcycles affected by a scheme designed to persuade owners to scrap their old, pollutive two-wheelers have been deregistered, a year after the incentive was announced.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said more than 8,300 out of the 27,000 such motorcycles had been deregistered or scrapped at the end of last month.

Under the scheme announced in April last year, owners are granted a $3,500 rebate for each of the affected motorbikes that they deregister by April 5, 2023.

These motorcycles were registered before July 1, 2003, making them at least 15 years old now.

"Response to the incentive scheme has been encouraging as the weekly deregistration rate of such motorcycles is about four times the rate before the scheme," an NEA spokesman said.

Industry players were expecting more to take up the NEA's offer, as the vast majority of motorcycles here are smaller models.

Owners of such motorbikes would find the $3,500 rebate more meaningful if they were to get a replacement than, for example, those who own a 1,000cc sports bike.

Singapore Motorcycle Trade Association (SMTA) vice-president Norman Lee said: "Owners are probably resisting the move, or they're hoping for a situation which allows them to keep their older bikes beyond 2028."

Under the scheme, no motorbike registered before July 1, 2003, will be allowed on the road after June 30, 2028.

Businessman Seah Kwang Peng, 40, has three motorcycles which are affected by the scheme. He has since exported one, a 1996 BMW F650.

He said he intends to convert the other two - a 1984 Yamaha RX-K and a 1988 Honda Magna 750 - to the classic scheme when their current certificates of entitlement (COEs) expire.

Mr Seah explained that he exported the BMW because it would not qualify for the classic scheme by 2028, as it would not turn 35 - the minimum age for the scheme.

Retiree Lee Chiu San, 73, said he will also hold on to his 29-year-old Yamaha RD350 YPVS.

"I'll convert it to the classic scheme when it turns 35," he said. "I bought it as a souvenir of my grand prix days. It is hardly used. Over 29 years, it has barely 29,000km on it."

Mr Lee, a former motorcycle grand prix racer, added: "The bikes which have been scrapped so far probably aren't worth that much on the market."

Observers said more affected owners are likely to take up the NEA's offer if and when the COE premium for motorbikes falls. The COE price is currently around $3,500.

SMTA's Mr Lee added: "What this means is that many workshops which rely on repairs will close down in the next five years."