Certificate of entitlement (COE) bidding exercises will resume, with the first exercise starting on July 6.
COE bidding exercises to resume on July 6 COE bidding exercises will resume according to the schedule prior to the circuit breaker, opening on the first and third Mondays of each month. PHOTO: ST FILE

Certificate of entitlement (COE) bidding exercises will resume, with the first exercise starting on 6 July 2020.

The COE quota for the bidding exercises next month will be 8,737.

The COE quota from the suspension of bidding will also be gradually returned to the market, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a statement on 18 June 2020.

Motor vehicle dealerships and showrooms will be reopening today, the first day of phase two of Singapore's reopening in the post-circuit breaker period. Motor dealers will resume operations, including test drives by vehicle buyers.

Dealers and vehicle buyers will have two weeks to plan and confirm vehicle purchases.

Thereafter, COE bidding exercises will resume according to the schedule before the circuit breaker, opening on the first and third Mondays of each month.

The accumulated COE quota of 19,490 from the suspended bidding exercises from April to this month due to the circuit breaker will be returned to the market over the next 12 months, from next month to June next year.

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in a Facebook post yesterday: "We will re-inject the COEs gently so there is a soft landing."

One-third of the accumulated quota - 6,494 COEs - will be returned from next month to September. The remaining two-thirds of the accumulated quota - 12,996 COEs - will be returned from this October to June next year.

This will allow LTA to ensure sufficient supply of COEs to meet orders that built up when COE bidding was suspended, as well as to smooth COE supply to ensure long-term market stability.

Industry players are divided over how COE prices might look like once bidding resumes.

Mr. Raymond Tang, honorary secretary of the Singapore Vehicle Traders Association, told The Straits Times that prices are likely to go up due to the backlog of COEs since bidding was suspended in April. The last bidding exercise was on 18 March 2020. 

"Car dealers would also rather let go of their stock now instead of watching the COE prices given the uncertainty amid this pandemic. They have been holding on to stock for a few months and there is no guarantee that COE bidding won't be suspended again if COVID-19 worsens."

However, Mr. Neo Nam Heng, chairman of diversified motor group Prime, said downward pressure of COE prices by at least 10 per cent is expected, with COE prices of commercial vehicles likely to drop more than that of private cars.

"This gradual easing provides a soft approach given the weak consumer and business sentiments. There will be enough COEs in the next three months," he said.

The next COE quota announcement for the bidding period from August to October will be next month.