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CERTIFICATE of entitlement (COE) premiums rose across the board on Wednesday, reflecting the recent surge in demand for new cars.
Category A - for cars below 1,600cc and 130 hp - jumped S$3,290 to S$64,700, while Cat B - for cars above 1,600cc or 130 hp - spiked up S$3,221 to S$71,889.
Cat E - the open category which currently tracks Cat B - rose S$1,600 to S$72,100.
Cat C - for goods vehicles - also appreciated significantly, climbing S$3,498 to S$59,999. As for Cat D - for motorcycles - it was up S$109 at S$5,610.
The increases were not unexpected as most dealers are understood to have fat order books after the Cat A premium slumped to a three-year low of S$57,199 a month ago and brought in the crowds.
"I can safely say everyone on Leng Kee Road and Alexandra Road has seen a surge in interest after the Chinese New Year holidays," said the sales manager of a mid-sized European brand.
In fact, the demand - mainly from replacement buyers - further piled upward pressure on COE prices when premiums bounced back up two weeks later.
"Even more people rushed in to book a new car after that because they were afraid COE prices were on the uptrend and didn't want to be left behind," said the managing director of a Japanese dealership.
He added that he is seeing more customers with older cars - about eight to nine years of age - that they want replaced as soon as possible.
"Some people say they just have to change their cars, no matter what," he said.
But Wednesday's open tender of COEs was unsuccessful for some motor traders who were unable to submit their bids because of what they called a system glitch.
"The system hanged about 20 minutes before the end of the bidding exercise and three-quarters of our bids couldn't go through," lamented the general manager of a mass market brand. "Some others, like our colleagues across the road, had half of theirs affected."