SINGAPORE: Questions have arisen on whether there were speculative elements behind the recent sharp rises in COE premiums.
Government Parliamentary Committee Chairman for Transport Lim Wee Kiak told Channel NewsAsia that he's filed a question on the issue to be addressed by the Transport Minister at the next Parliamentary sitting.
COE premiums have been on the rise, going over the S$70,000 mark in the latest bidding exercise.
Many said they wanted to know what caused the recent surge.
“With the sudden run in prices over the last two bidding sessions, I hope that the LTA (Land Transport Authority) will be looking very closely into the bidding patterns as well as who are the ones that are bidding these COE prices up.
“Are they individuals or are they the car dealers themselves?” Dr Lim said.
Dr Lim added if there are speculative elements like what was seen 10 years ago, then the government may need to step in.
He also had suggestions to improve the current system.
“Treat every single COE as a separate bidding, which means that when you bid for it you pay the actual price for what you bid,” he said.
“Rather than the current system where you pay the lowest, not the highest.
“You may bid S$100,000 but when the actual lowest is 72,000, you pay 72,000. So let the buyer bid for what they want to pay.”
Another suggestion is curbing vehicle financing – that is, lowering it back to 70 per cent of the value of the vehicle.
Dr Lim noted there are calls to make COE “non-financeable” – meaning you pay for the COE in cash, upfront.
Dr Lim also expressed sympathy for the Motor Traders Association which had asked the Government to mitigate the steep climb in COE premiums.
But he said the system should be allowed to work.
Dr Lim said there could be implications if COE premiums remain high.
That's because those aspiring to own cars could blame the government's policy for the situation.
Channel News Asia