Motorcycle Certificate of Entitlement (COE) prices rocketed to a new price record and premiums for the Open Category were pushed to a 12-month high, as the latest bidding exercise ended yesterday.

Premiums for motorcycles broke through the S$6,000 mark, closing at a record high of S$6,312.

COE prices for the Open Category (used for any vehicle type) rose 8% from S$72,100 to S$78,000.

Premiums for big cars in Category B (Cars above 1600cc or 97kW) climbed by 6.6% to S$76,612.

Small car premiums in Category A (up to 1600cc & 97kW) increased 4.7% to S$67,749.

COE prices closed at S$64,001 for goods vehicles and buses.

Except for big car COEs, premiums are at their priciest so far this year in all other categories.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) received 5,044 bids for 2,312 certificates in the latest exercise, with competition the stiffest in Category A. Nearly half of the total bids (2,340) were jostling for 988 certificates to own a small car. The 722 certificates to own a big car attracted 1,661 bids.

Traders attributed the spike in premiums for cars to the rush to make purchases before more stringent conditions kick in for Carbon Emissions-Based Vehicle Scheme (CEVS) rebates and surcharges on July 1.

The CEVS is aimed at encouraging the purchase of low-carbon emission vehicles. The carbon dioxide limits will be lowered with the revision, meaning rebate cuts or surcharge hikes.

Another reason for the strong demand could be the large number of vehicle deregistrations, said CarTimes’ managing director Eddie Loo.

“Customers cannot wait. The car is going to be scrapped and they cannot live without a car. They need it for work, they need it for family,” he said.

Traders expect COE premiums to remain close to current levels in the next bidding exercise.

Mr Loo said any further increases in small car premiums will likely see some “resistance” because there is a limit to how much customers are willing to pay. Prices for Category A should stay under the S$70,000 mark, he added.

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