Wednesday, November 6, 2013

COE prices fall across all categories in latest bidding exercise

Certificate of Entitlement (COE) premiums fell across the board at the close of November's first bidding exercise on Wednesday.

This is the second consecutive tender where COE prices have fallen in all categories.

The biggest drop in COE price - at 18.3 per cent - is for commercial vehicles. It ended at S$55,503.

Dealers have been rushing to clear old stock of Euro 4 vehicles before new regulations kick in next year.

In January, new diesel vehicles have to meet the more stringent Euro 5 emission standard.

Commercial vehicle traders have written in to the National Environment Agency about two weeks ago to appeal for a delay in the requirement for the Euro 5 emission standard. At this point in time, they are still waiting for the results of that appeal.

The COE price for small cars fell by 5.6 per cent to S$72,609.

For big cars, the premium went down by 3.8 per cent to S$84,578.

Weiye Wang, procurement manager at Supercars Concept, said: "Generally there is no new launch of exciting new models and coming to year end, people's expenditure patterns will be geared towards other consumer goods, especially when leveraging ability is severely curbed."

Car dealers also expect COE premiums to inch up again in the next few bidding exercises.

Mr Wang said: "There will be certain corrections. The probability of it going up definitely exists, because as the festive season goes over, the consumer will be looking at more pertinent needs of their mobility solution, and that is when the demand will go higher."

The open category COE price dipped about 3.6 per cent to close at S$89,001.

COE premium for motorcycles slid 5.2 per cent to S$1,710.


A slip across the board for the second consecutive time. What are the chances of a third slip in three biddings? Suddenly the 100k mark seems so far. The good thing is the commercial category slipping the most as they're the direct cause of inflation to business costs, which will be passed to consumers.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Camry sedan and Lexus SUV Ang Mo Kio road rage

Another case of two vehicles not giving way to each other and ended up with some sort of a road rage. That stunt by the black SUV looks like one from the movies; pushing the tail and making the car lose traction.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Cyclist breaks all traffic rules, stops traffic near Vivocity

Too bad the volume is mute, I believe the driver must have sounded the horn at the cyclist to sort of "infuriate" him. However, the cyclist is moving to closely with the vehicles around, leaving himself vulnerable to contacts which will result in an accident.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Certificate of Entitlement (COE) premiums for vehicles continued to surge across the board at the end of the latest bidding exercise which ended today, with the bigger car and open categories crossing the S$90,000-mark.

This is the second bidding exercise since the Land Transport Authority announced engine power caps for the small car category last month.

COE premiums for small cars (1,600cc and below) increase to close 1.49 per cent higher at S$85,000, compared with S$83,751 in the previous bidding exercise.

Premiums for big cars (1,601cc and above) increased by 8.42 per cent to cross the from S$86,239 to S$93,500.

In the Open category, where COEs can be used for any vehicle type but end up mainly for cars, the premium increased by 7.92 per cent to S$93,889 from S$87,001.

The COE premium for commercial vehicles continued to break past records, inching up 0.41 per cent to S$76,310 from S$76,001, while the premium for two-wheelers increased by 15.15 per cent to S$1,961.


Very sharp increase for both Cat B and Open Cat. The rocket towards the $100k seems relentless.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Three pilot sites to be implemented with mechanised parking systems by 2015

This morning, Er Dr Lee Bee Wah, Chairperson of the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for National Development, announced that HDB will be implementing the Mechanised Parking System (MPS) in three pilot sites :

a. Car Park BJ15, beside Block 259A Bangkit Road

b. Car Park Y39, beside Block 666A Yishun Avenue 4

c. Car Park CV1, behind Block 1 Changi Village Road


Currently, HDB takes a two-pronged approach to meet residents' needs for car park spaces. First, HDB is increasing supply, by adding more car park lots where feasible. Second, HDB is also better managing demand, by setting aside more reserved "red-lots" for residents, removing the Night Parking Scheme for non-residents, and implementing Electronic Pricing System (EPS) to increase the turnover of short-term parking demand.

Joint GPC-HDB Study on MPS

In January 2012, Er Dr Lee initiated a joint GPC-HDB study on the viability of mechanised parking in HDB estates in Singapore. The objective is to address local car park shortages in older HDB estates, where there is limited space to build more car park lots.

The study team evaluated different mechanised parking technologies and looked into potential implementation issues such as residents' acceptance, retrieval time and management of breakdowns.

The team visited local commercial and private residential developments which have already implemented mechanised car parking systems to learn from their experience. It also studied experiences in Japan and South Korea, two countries which use such systems extensively to cater to the parking needs of their urban population.


A good initiative to ease the parking woes of car owners. Other than the waiting time and risk of the machines breaking down, I think this is one of the best form of carpark available. It is sheltered, you won't get knocks on your doors caused by stupid people forcefully opening their doors beside your car and you know your car is safe from any form of theft. I await eagerly to see how useful it is when implemented by HDB.

Worry over soaring COE cost

Sky-high certificate of entitlement (COE) prices for commercial vehicles have become a worry for businesses, motor traders and the authorities.

Premiums for vans, trucks and buses have been setting record after record in recent months.

Now at $76,001, it has more than doubled its price since 2011 - chalking the biggest rise among all COE categories in the two years.

The motor industry attributes the climb to three factors.

First, there has been a construction boom that is driving demand for heavy vehicles such as concrete carriers and dump trucks.

According to Mr Ron Lim, general manager of Nissan agent Tan Chong Motor, heavy vehicles now make up more than 50 per cent of commercial vehicle sales - up from the usual 20 per cent.

Second, motor dealers are clearing existing stock ahead of a new emission standard that kicks in on Jan 1. Third, speculators may be hoarding COEs in the hope of turning a profit by reselling them to motor dealers stuck with stock as the new year draws nearer.

Said Mr Lim: "If there is speculation, the Government should step in quickly to address the situation. Or consider a three- to six-month extension to the emission deadline. This should quell all speculative activities."

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said it is hard to detect speculative activities. But it added that there are deterrents in place, such as a shorter three-month validity period for commercial COEs, half that of car certificates.

Still, an LTA spokesman said it is looking at ways to improve the system, including putting light and heavy commercial vehicles in separate categories. Buyers of the latter are better able to tolerate high COE prices since heavy vehicles are far costlier.

Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew told Parliament in March that the Government "will study carefully" if buyers of "light goods vehicles should pay the same COE premium as heavy and very heavy goods vehicles".

Small and medium-sized businesses hope something will be done soon. Association of Small and Medium Enterprises president Chan Chong Beng said that the issue of high vehicle costs has overtaken labour shortage as the top concern raised by members. "For many small businesses, a vehicle is a must... And because of the new emission standard, prices will continue to rise next year, and that's very, very scary."

Vehicle cost will account for a bigger cost component for businesses, Mr Chan added. "Many, like hawkers, will find it hard to pass it on to consumers."

He said having separate COE categories for light and heavy vehicles would be "a good solution".

Ms Ivy Tao, 54, who runs a fleet of buses ferrying workers, said she has no choice but to delay replacing her older vehicles. "COEs are high, fuel prices are high. We don't feel secure any more."

LTA said businesses can consider extending their expiring COEs - by paying a prevailing quota premium - by five years, which they can do twice now since a restriction was lifted in February.

Previously, these COEs could either be extended by five or 10 years. Owners who chose the former had to scrap their vehicles at the end of their extension. Since the policy change, LTA said about 96 per cent of commercial COE renewals have been for five years, up from 57.


Segregating the different types of commercial vehicles is a good idea, putting less stress on small businesses like hawker stall owners. The boom in construction comes with a price, quite literally.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Grouses about car dealers speeding up

Complaints against motor vehicle dealers have accelerated this year, and Singapore's consumer watchdog wants the industry to take action.

The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) received 2,438 complaints against the motor vehicle industry from January to September. This already exceeds the 2,255 made in the whole of last year - when it topped Case's list of most-complained about industries for the first time.

Most of the complaints were aimed at used car dealers. Common gripes included defective parts, late delivery, refusing to repair defects and keeping customers' deposits when loans were not approved.

To mitigate the problem, Case wants all members of the Singapore Vehicle Traders Association (SVTA) to provide after-sales service, including repairs. It also wants them to pay for third-party inspections of all cars and repair any defects before selling them.


Finding a good second hand car dealer is like looking for a dinosaur in today's age; extinct. If you're not one inclined with automotive knowledge, you will often be coerced into buying a defective car, a trait that many of such dealers possess. So it is not a surprise that the number increased, but it is a surprise that it increased even when the Lemon Law has been passed down.

It seems that if the authorities do not do more to regulate the industry, such bad rep will continue.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

SJM303P in Katong area

This is terrible driving. Thank god he only manage to go this far before his incapability stopped him.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sales of smaller Cat A cars slow after changes to COE announced

Some mass market car dealers said sales for smaller Category A cars has slowed since changes to the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) system were announced earlier this month.

Starting next February, the changes will include a new criteria for Category A cars to limit engine power to not more than 130 brake horsepower.

The changes will kick in next February.

Potential buyers MediaCorp spoke with are unsure where COE prices would head.

Some dealers have already introduced new deals to try and woo buyers of smaller cars.

Tan Chong Motors said under its new package, it's offering a S$20,000 discount.

It expects COE prices to fall by that amount in the next six months.

It is also offering buyers 12 rounds of COE bidding over a six-month period with a budget of S$60,000.

If COE prices are above S$60,000, buyers can choose to not purchase the car.

The COE price for Category A cars in the last bidding exercise was S$83,751.

Ron Lim, general manager of Tan Chong Motors, said: "If the continental mix or the luxury mix are clearing models at such a fast rate as what they have mentioned, they could've cleared the stock much earlier than next February. Given that, there could be a window period where COE might correct more aggressively and earlier than expected February or March."


With so much time left till we're at February, don't expect the continental mix to simply stop importing their Cat A cars once current stocks have been cleared, thus the drop in COE won't probably happen so soon. Car buyers should sit back and watch how the prices will unfold until February arrives.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

COE prices rise across the board

Certificate of Entitlement premiums increased across the board in the second bidding exercise for September.

This was the first bidding exercise since the government recently tweaked the COE system, introducing a new criterion for Category A cars. From February next year, cars in that category must not have an engine power of more than 130bhp.

At the end of the tender on Wednesday, the COE price for small cars closed at S$83,751 - an increase of S$6,447.

The premium for big cars ended at S$86,239 - up by S$9,139, the biggest rise in the tender.

Open Category COEs, which can be used for any vehicle type but end up mainly for cars, rose S$7,001 to close at S$87,001.

For commercial vehicles, the COE prices inched up by S$2,002 to close at S$76,001.

COEs for motorcycles ended at S$1,703, an increase of S$43.

Industry watchers had expected COE prices to go up after the government tweaked the system last week.

However, what surprised them was the extent of the increase.

COE premiums for bigger cars surged by nearly 12 per cent.

Raymond Tang, honorary secretary of the Singapore Vehicle Traders Association, said: "After February, Cat B will have a big group of cars going in there... from Cat A. So, most of the people are worried that will cause the COE of Cat B to be overcrowded."

COE prices for smaller cars went up by more than 8 per cent.

Car dealers noted that these prices are inching closer to record highs seen earlier this year.

Ron Lim, general manager of Tan Chong Motor, said: "A lot of people are buying into the story that the COE will go up with this tweak. In a way, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

“People are rushing in, but with today's rise, hopefully consumers will take a step back and try to digest the situation and ask themselves whether it is a rational thing to do, to rush in like that.

“We are all trending near record high numbers, does it actually make sense or not is a good question."

Industry experts said that whether or not COE prices will continue to soar depends on the amount of car stock left from car dealers affected by the changes. It also depends on how much consumers can digest such price increases.

Car traders still expect car showrooms to continue to be packed in the months ahead.

However, they cautioned that if COE prices are being driven up so high now, a more drastic correction will be needed later.


Like clockwork, COE rocketed after the latest bidding since revealing the new ruling. The rush for the cars definitely inflicted this balloon, and the higher it will go if the rush doesn't subside. It will come to a point where consumers are finally finding it hard to swallow the inflation and start to back out, but that is unlikely.

With the CNY coming in less than 4-months' time, the hot period for car purchase is just round the corner. This will further add fuel to the fire and dealers are already expecting COE to hit above S$100k before February.