COE Analysis Feb 2022 1st Round: Expect the Expected

Ben Chia
singapore coe analysis

COE prices saw big increases in the first tender exercise for February, as the effects of a reduced COE quota start to kick in


The first Certificate of Entitlement (COE) bidding exercise for February 2022, and the first one after Chinese New Year, saw premiums rise across every category, continuing the upward trend that has been observed, with a few exceptions, over the past few months.

In Category A, for ‘mainstream’ cars with engines less than 1.6-litres in capacity and output of less than 130hp, prices went up by S$2,863, to end at S$60,761, marking the first time that Cat A has breached the 60 grand barrier in almost seven years.

Meanwhile, Category B, for cars with engines that make more than 130hp, or are above 1.6-litres in capacity, saw an even bigger rise, with prices going up by S$4,101 to end at S$86,102.

Category E, which is open to all vehicles except motorcycles, but usually ends up being used for big cars, also saw premiums increase, with prices going up by S$3,089 to end the bidding at S$87,000, putting within touching distance of the S$88,000 peak that Cat E achieved back in November 2021.

COE Results for February 2022, Round 1 – Credit: UCars

The rise is not entirely unexpected, given the combination of a number of factors. For one, the three week lull between the last bidding exercise and the latest one allowed dealers to collect more orders in the intervening period. In addition, there were a flurry of new car launches in the lead up to Chinese New Year, which probably served to drive consumer demand even further this round.

Probably the biggest factor though is the further reduction in COE quota that was announced in January. Compared to the previous three month period, February to April will see a 1.3 percent drop in the number of COEs released for bidding.

The difference is negligible for Cat A, but Cat B will see a decrease of about 100 COEs less per month for this period, which would probably explain the sharper increase in premiums in this category. Interestingly, Cat E will actually see an increase in quota for this period, albeit still a limited number, going up from 290 COEs a month to 360 COEs a month.

The new Citroen C4 was one of several new cars that was launched in the lead up to Chinese New Year

It’s unlikely that premiums will deviate too far from this level any time soon, and instead, they will probably continue to rise, with prices likely to hit a peak next year. Don’t be surprised to see Cat B and E breach the 90 grand barrier (we’re already pretty close), while Cat A will probably edge towards 70 grand too, although probably at a slower rate than the bigger car categories.

Our advice is, as always, if you need a car now, then this is the price you have to pay. But if you can afford to wait a couple of years, COE premiums will probably only start to cool down from 2024 onwards if we’re basing it on the COE system’s historic cycles and precedents. 

Then again, things are rarely such cut and dry, and any number of factors can come into play to push premiums into any direction. The only thing we can confidently predict is, for the foreseeable future at least, don’t expect COE prices to be anywhere near the levels we’ve seen just a couple of years ago.


2022 Analysis coe feb prices Singapore

About the Author

Ben Chia

CarBuyer's senior staff writer went out to explore the Great Big World, including a stint working in China (despite his limited Mandarin). Now he's back, ready to foist upon you his takes on everything good and wonderful about the automotive world. Follow Ben on Instagram @carbuyer.ben

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