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CERTIFICATE of Entitlement (COE) premiums were higher for small cars, big cars and the open category at the close of the latest round of bidding as car buyers decided to take the plunge.
This comes after COE prices for these categories eased in recent weeks on the back of a spike in COE quotas for the three months spanning August to October.
For vehicles 1,600cc and below with horsepower not exceeding 130bhp, the COE rose from S$56,209 two weeks ago to S$57,498, while the COE for Category B (cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp) increased from S$60,789 to S$62,140.
For the open category - which can be used for any vehicle but is typically used for Cat B - the COE was also higher, jumping from S$57,885 to S$61,001.
However, the COE premiums for motorcycles and goods vehicles and buses (Cat C) were both lower.
"For many who have waited long enough - since the beginning of the year - most have come to terms (with the fact) that the COE won't drop much from here," said Ron Lim, general manager of Tan Chong Motor, adding that customers have been coming in since the second bidding round in July where the COE for small and big cars came down. "We're seeing a more gradual increase in the premium, which is in tandem with the rise in prices."
At the same time, other buyers may choose to wait to see what the next round of quotas for the three months starting November looks like.
From here onwards, Mr Lim reckons that the COE for big and small cars will likely languish around similar levels.
"The coming round could be more dicey because it is three weeks long. That might add pressure," he acknowledged. "Having said that, the absolute number of COEs is there. Dealers are not bidding overly aggressively. Everyone is aware every three months there will be more COEs."
Meanwhile, the COE for motorcycles slid from S$6,201 to S$6,112, and that of goods vehicles and buses was also lower, decreasing from S$49,302 to S$46,501.
The Land Transport Authority received 5,566 bids at the end of August's second bidding exercise, of which 3,669 were successful.