Commercial vehicle COE price hits new high at $81,802
Certificate of entitlement (COE) prices for commercial vehicles ended at a historic high at the close of the tender on Wednesday, while the premium for smaller cars finished close to an all-time high.
COE premiums for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp and electric cars up to 147bhp closed 3.8 per cent higher at $90,589. This is a whisker away from the all-time high of $92,100 recorded in January 2013, which had been followed by cooling measures from the authorities.
COE prices for commercial vehicles chalked the biggest increase of the day of 7.2 per cent to hit a new record of $81,802.
The other categories ended lower. COE premiums for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp or electric cars above 147bhp closed 1.3 per cent lower at $113,881. The Open category, which can be used for any vehicle type but ends up almost exclusively for bigger and more powerful cars, closed 2.2 per cent lower at $114,009.
The motorcycle COE premium ended 4.5 per cent lower at $12,589.
The spike in commercial vehicle COE prices raised eyebrows among motor traders. Trade sources said the rush to register electric and petrol light commercial vehicles ahead of a reduction in tax incentives for such models was largely responsible for pushing up prices.
Speculators are also said to be taking advantage of the smaller COE quota to push up the resale value of Early Turnover Scheme (ETS) papers. ETS is an incentive scheme where fleet owners who switch to newer, cleaner models get a COE concession.
“By driving up the COE, these speculators will be able to charge more for the ETS papers they have on hand,” a senior manager of a listed motor firm said. “The number of ETS papers are a lot more than COEs available. So they will stand to gain more even if they have to hold on to the high COE.”