In Singapore, all vehicles have to be registered with a Certificate of Entitlement (COE). Introduced in 1990, the COE system helps regulate and prevent the overpopulation of vehicles in Singapore. Once you register your vehicle, the COE will be valid for 10 years from the registration date.
COE bidding is conducted twice a month. It begins at 12 pm on the first and third Monday of each month, and closes on Wednesday at 4 pm during the week when bidding is taking place.
Different Categories For Certificate of Entitlement (COE)
In total, there are five different categories for COE. You have to secure the right COE based on your vehicle type.
- Category A: Car of up to 1,600CC and 97kW (130bhp)
- Category B: Car above 1,600CC or 97kW (130bhp)
- Category C: Goods vehicle and bus
- Category D: Motorcycle
- Category E: Open – all except motorcycles
Supply & Demand Determines COE Prices
Like with most things in life, market supply and demand determines the price of COE.
Supply Of COE
COE quotas are announced every quarter by the LTA. LTA uses the following formula to determine the number of COE available in each category.
>> Provision for annual vehicle growth rate based on the vehicle population at the end of the year.
>> Replacement COEs from vehicles deregistered in the preceding three-month period.
>> Adjustment for changes in the taxi population, replacement of commercial vehicles under the Early Turnover Scheme, and expired COEs.
Earlier this year, LTA has announced that it will freeze vehicle growth in Singapore until January 2022 due to uncertainty over travel patterns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that the growth rate for private vehicles and motorcycles will be at 0%, while COE for commercial vehicles (Category C) will grow at 0.25% p.a.
In other words, if fewer people deregister their vehicles, there will be a lesser supply of COE available.
Demand For COE
Demand for COE is based on the number of people looking to purchase new vehicles. In Singapore, most people typically purchase new vehicles through dealers. Dealers will collect orders from customers and bid for the COEs required on behalf of their customers.
Supply and demand set the price for COE, and this in turn regulates demand. When COE prices are high, vehicle prices as quoted by dealers will have to go up, and this in turn reduces demand. When COE prices are lower, dealers can afford to reduce prices (if they want to), and this will increase demand.
Open Bidding Concept For COE
Bidding for COE is done in an open bidding concept. Everyone who participates in the bid is aware of what the price of COE is at any point in time during the bidding. Bidders key in the reserve price that they are willing to pay for COE.
- If the Current COE Price during bidding is below your reserve price, your bid is in the running.
- If the Current COE Price during bidding is above your reserve price, your bid is out of the running unless you revised your reserve price.
- At the end of the COE exercise, if you get a COE, you will pay the Current COE Price and NOT your reserve price. For example, if your reserve price for COE is $40,000 but the Current COE Price is $35,000, you will pay $35,000. This is also what every successful bidder will pay for their COE for the exercise.
COE Renewal After 10 Years
If you have an existing vehicle that has reached its 10-year mark, you will need to renew your COE for another 10 or 5 years to continue driving the vehicle.
Instead of bidding for a new COE, you will need to renew your COE by paying the Prevailing Quota Premiums (PQP). The PQP is the moving average of the COE prices in the last 3 months. For example, if the COE price over the past 3 months is $28,000, $31,000 and $31,000, the PQP will be $30,000 for a 10-year COE renewal.
If you choose to renew your COE for five years, then you will pay $15,000 (50% of the PQP).
Deregistration Of Cars Before 10 Years
If you wish to deregister your car before the COE expires, you will receive a COE rebate. This is simply the unused value left on your COE. For example, if you paid $30,000 for your COE, and deregister your car after 8 years, you will receive a COE rebate of $6,000.