COE Analysis February 2023 1st Round: No Change is Good Change?

Ben Chia

COE premiums remained essentially unchanged for the first bidding exercise in February, but what does it mean for car buyers?


The first Certificate of Entitlement (COE) bidding exercise for February 2023 saw little changes in the premiums from the previous exercise, with only Cat E registering a slightly noticeable dip.

In Cat A, which is reserved for cars with internal combustion engine (ICE) that are less than 1.6-litres in capacity and output of less than 130hp, and electric cars with an output of less than 147hp, premiums ended at S$86,000, which is the same price as the previous exercise.

Category B, which is for ICE cars with engines that make more than 130hp, or are above 1.6-litres in capacity, and electric cars with outputs of more than 147hp, saw a very small rise of S$65, to end at S$105,524.

Category E meanwhile, which is open to all vehicles except motorcycles, but usually ends up being used for big cars, saw a drop of nearly 2 grand, ending the exercise at S$105,002.

It’s not very often that we see COE premiums remain unchanged from one exercise to another, and it doesn’t really reveal much about the situation on the ground. At best we can presume that premiums are starting to hit a plateau, before slowly making a decline as we see the quota gradually increase, but given how volatile the COE system is, that’s not something we can safely say for sure is happening.

Despite the return of the Singapore Motorshow this year, consumer demand for cars remain relative weak

However, one only needs to take a walk down Leng Kee Road to observe what’s been really happening. Showrooms have remained mostly empty for the past several months, and pretty much all observers say that premiums have been mostly propped up by fleet operators who have been snapping up new cars at a much faster rate than your regular walk-in buyer.

It’s hard to say when the music will stop for these operators, but it’s really just a matter of time, even if it might not be soon. In any case, we are already starting to see a growth in the allowable quota, with the current period seeing a 3.4 percent increase as compared to the preceding three months. That should at least help alleviate the high premiums somewhat, even if the effects may not be too significant or immediate.

Down the line, the combination of continually weak demand, in the wake of high inflation and economic uncertainty, and a potentially larger quota should help put downward pressure on premiums. But the forecast, based on available figures on predicted deregistrations, indicate that we probably won’t see any huge fluctuations at least until towards the end of the year.

Until then, we should reasonably expect COE prices to hover around current levels, with small rises and dips along the way. There’s no real advice here, other than if you can afford to wait, then it would probably be wise to do so. Otherwise, in the near term, the prices we see today are likely to be similar to what we will see in the next couple of months as well.


coe february 2023 news

About the Author

Ben Chia

CarBuyer's print editor 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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CarBuyer – Revolutionizing The Online Car Marketplace In Singapore

Buy Used And New Cars Online
Start your car buying journey with CarBuyer as we connect you seamlessly to the industry’s best CaseTrust-SVTA accredited car dealerships. As a one stop car online portal you can now buy your new ride, be it a pre-owned car or a brand new car from trusted dealers all over Singapore, all in one place. Our ever expanding listing of quality and covet-worthy cars, new and second hand, from both owners and trusted car dealers, will leave you spoilt for choice. Refine your search by vehicle type, registration year, price, mileage, engine type, transmission, annual depreciation value and more to find the car that best suits your needs, taste and lifestyle. You can even search for your car by dealer or directly by owner.

Sell Your Car In An Instant With Confidence
We all know how selling a car in Singapore can be a daunting task especially for a first time car seller; from trying to get a valuation for your car, finding a trusted dealer, to getting the best quote on your vehicle. CarBuyer understands the hassle and even the costs involved and have as such partnered with Huawei to develop a FIRST in Southeast Asia AI car valuation tool that is able to provide a car’s resale value at the snap of a finger. Backed with a consortium of trusted CaseTrust-SVTA accredited car dealers you can be assured that you are getting the best price for your vehicle and do not have to worry about any hidden costs.

The Ultimate Car Shopping Experience Online
CarBuyer platform is the first of its kind to be backed by Huawei’s Artificial Intelligence and cloud computing, enabling it to be able to offer users transparency and enhanced security, all with the one aim of enhancing customer experience. So come on over to buy and sell used cars online at the best prices at CarBuyer Singapore. Connect easily with dealers in real-time via our online video call feature, or schedule a test drive when you’re ready. Have some questions? Get them answered instantly with our chatbot moderated by our responsive team. Stay in the loop with our car-related tips, reviews and news. Learn the ins-and-outs of your car, as well as global and Singapore’s car updates at your own pace.