COE Analysis November 2022 1st Round: Record Highs

Ben Chia

COE premiums set new record highs for both Categories B and E in the latest bidding exercise for November, and things could possibly get worse before it gets better


The first Certificate of Entitlement (COE) bidding exercise for November 2022 saw premiums rise significantly across the board for all categories, with both Categories B and E setting new record highs, along with the category for motorcycles.

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, prices went up by S$6,146 to end at S$87,235.

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 rise of S$5,388 to end at S$115,388, marking a new record high for the category.

Category E meanwhile, which is open to all vehicles except motorcycles, but usually ends up being used for big cars, saw a rise of S$8,574 to end at S$116,577, which is an all-time high for COE premiums in the history of the system.

COE Prices for November 2022, 1st Round

The reason for the spike should be immediately obvious, given that the COE quota for the current period, spanning November to next January, have been reduced by some 14 percent from the preceding three months. Together with the three-week break from the last COE bidding exercise in October, which typically means that dealers have more time to collect orders, it’s no surprise that premiums have seen such a huge jump.

On the ground though, things don’t appear to be that straightforward. Despite the sky high premiums, there seems to be residual demand from buyers resigned to the fact that prices won’t be coming down any time soon. Given that scenario, some buyers may have probably decided that they might as well commit now, further adding to the upward pressure on premiums.

Strong sales of Tesla’s Model Y have probably contributed to sustained demand for Cat B COEs

This phenomenon is perhaps more visible in the upper end of the market, where the luxury premium brands sit. After all, there has to be good reason for BMW to appoint a second dealership here, and apparently the new dealer, Eurokars Auto, has been collecting more than a few sales following its opening in early October. There’s also Tesla, which has been seeing extremely strong demand for their Model Y SUV since its official launch earlier this year.

In the lower mainstream segment though, things appear to be a bit more bleak. A spokesperson for a Japanese brand noted that sentiment has been weak for several weekends now, and showroom walk-in traffic have virtually dried up. It probably explains the nearly S$30,000 gap between Cat A and the higher end Cat B, and by extension Cat E, which tends to see spillover from Cat B bidders.

BlueSG Corsa-e

Still, Cat A premiums continue to stay relatively high, but it’s more likely that they have been artificially propped up by the fleet operators that have been expanding and adding to their fleets, as previously speculated. Car sharing firm BlueSG have already rolled out the first of their new Opel Corsa-e EVs (above), which are Cat A eligible models, and with their plans to add 500 of these cars on the road over the coming months, expect to see Cat A prices remain at current levels for the next few months at least.

For the average buyer on the street, there really is not much room to manoeuvre. The choices are really either swallow the high prices now, or hold off until at least the latter part of next year, when the COE quota is expected to begin increasing gradually. Until then, things will probably get worse before it gets better.


2022 Analysis coe November

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

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