BIKERS HAVE THEMSELVES TO BLAME FOR RISING COE PRICES

Dear editor,

I am a rider but I keep hearing complaints from riders that PAP is a bloodsucker and they are going to vote out PAP because they cannot afford $5,500 COE. I am sick and tired of hearing it.

Cannot afford COE? How about the illegal exhaust and mods made to their bikes? I know one dispatch rider who always complain about bike COE but owns 3 motorcycles and he spent more than $3,000 on modifications to his hayabusa alone. He always complain things are expensive in Singapore but did not take into account of their own income level and moderate his spending habits.

I know another dispatch rider who spent more than $500 for a helmet and more than $1,500 for a titanium exhaust without batting an eyelid. But he almost got into a serious accident when his bike stalled on the PIE because his engine oil dried up. He bitches to me often about bike COE.

I realised when riders complain about bike COE, they did not factor in the dealers who are very much responsible for jacking up COE prices.

When you purchase a vehicle, you sign the sales agreement and put down the deposit. The dealer then tells you that he will factor in a certain amount as the COE. That amount is probably based on the average value in the last couple of month. If it was 900, then 1300, he'll probably put in 1K.

Right now with the COEs in the 4000 to 5000 region, a dealer will price it at 5K average. Then he'll place his bid anyway. If you get the COE under 5K, he'll refund you the difference. If over, you top up the diff. Then you settle your down payment.

Most whiners fail to realised this: the dealers and their salesmen want to make the sale, and will be willing to place insanely high bids just to close the deal. YOU are the sucker. The dealers are the one inflating the COE premium because of their panic bidding response to supply being cut. That was what happened a few months back when LTA cut the supply by 25%. They bid higher, wanting to make sure they got the COE to cover their sales. It's not going down because the average value has gone up. Unless you get a fluke situation where there are less bids than the actual supply, and some lucky mofo puts a bid of $1.

So who are to be blamed for high COEs? Put simply. Bike dealers.

Why don't whiners who're buying bikes start telling the dealers "I'm only willing to pay COE $2,000 max. Any more, screw the deal." Don't sign on the sales agreement unless they add that in writing.

At this point, some of you might be thinking "But COE goes to PAP. The dealers don't get the 5.5K what….." Yes, and no. You ALWAYS have a down payment you're willing to pay. Let's say 5K on a 16K bike (not incl COE). If the COE is at 1K, then the total price will be 17K (insurance let's not include yet ok?) You made a downpayment of 5K, and your loan quantum will be 12K. Now if the COE was at 5K, the bike is gonna be 21K in all. Your loan quantum: 16K. The government gets the 5K, but the shop/finance is gonna get the interest out of that because you took a larger loan.

So who says that they don't earn more from higher COEs?? The government has got to disallow dealers from bidding for COEs. Make the buyers log into the system themselves and place the bid instead.

Only then will COE premiums start to fall. Because as buyers ourselves, we will not place stupid bids. The dealers don't give a crap about riders. They're just interested in the sale. And you, the buyers, have to tell them "Fcuk off" When you go out to buy a new bike today, or tomorrow.

Go ahead and tell your dealer "I only want to bid COE max 1K, or else I'm not signing" See what they say. If everyone does it, see how the COE goes.

Helmi

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