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Certificate of Entitlement

LTA will raise the bid deposit costs for the motorcycle certificates of entitlement (COE) from $200 to $800, and the timeframe to be able to receive a valid COE is reduced to three months.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced on March 14 the updates to the bidding process for the COEs of motorbikes. The changes were finally decided after several years of opetitions from record high premiums and numerous quarters.

The increase in the bidding process costs will be implemented on the second tender exercise which will start next week. This Singapore news will further explain the recent changes in the bidding process.

Designed to change buyer behavior

According to the LTA, they said that the changes in the bidding costs were to urge the motorcycle owners to “develop a shrewd bidding behavior.”

In the past few years, the prices for the motorcycle COEs have increased many times with the recent one landed at $11,400, according to the latest studies. Previously, it was steadily at below $1000 before 2006, and below $3,000 before 2014.

According to the experts in the industry, the hoarding and risky trading of huge dealerships were accountable to the intense and constant price hike. 

Considering that the bid deposits are being given away once the trader fails to register the motorcycle with a valid COE, they have proposed that an increase in the bid deposit will discourage this behavior. As for the car COEs, the bidding deposit cost remains at $10,000.

Also, the reduction on the validity period of three months is also viewed as a discouraging risk, as bidders will now have a shorter time frame to secure a real buyer. LTA also stated that this would mean the COEs that were not used will be taken back to the bidding pool. 

Petitions of MPs

The Singapore Motor Cycle Trade Association had recommended to increase the bid deposit to $2,000, and cut the validity duration to one month. 

According to the head of SMCTA Rex Tan, he said that it will acknowledge and embrace the updates, however, they added that they may need to be reviewed and monitored first before being implemented.

“A need to raise the deposit prices and a briefer validity period is much more pragmatic as we believed due to the current set of circumstances and the unbelievable prices.”

“If these changes were enforced years before, I think that it would have made more necessary developments, and the prices would not have reached this ludicrous level,” he added.

Over the years, several members of the Parliament have petitioned for the necessary changes in the bid deposit prices.

According to Aljunied GRC Parliament Member Faisal Manap, he recommended that the COEs for the motorbikes should be divided into three various subcategories based on their engine capabilities, and that similar to Build-To-Order flat allocation framework, a balloting system should also be used for smaller motorcycles.

Impact to buyers

As a response to the suggestion of the Workers Party MP, the Ministry of Transport stated that revising the COE framework could have a domino effect and possible unintended consequences on the owners. 

During the discussions in the Parliament last week about the budget for the MOT, which includes Bukit Panjang MP Liang Eng Hwa, he said that the effects of the bid deposit price hike on those individuals who are depending on motorcycles to make a profit could have detrimental consequences and he also encouraged the ministry to take action.

According to motorcycle owner Robin Low, he said that the COE of his motorcycle is set to expire by the end of this year and he has been contemplating to replace his vehicle since last year.

“I traded my car five years ago due to the towery prices of COEs, and now, I am forced to deal with an immense price again,” he said.

Conclusion

The intentions of the Ministry to increase the bidding deposit costs is good, however, it could also have a dire impact on the buyers.