By Andy
Published: 5:37 pm, February 22, 2017
Updated: 3:06 pm, February 23, 2017

Singapore Budget 2017 - Changes to Motorcycle ARF & COE

With the announcement of the Singapore Budget 2017, the motorcycle industry is set to experience some changes in the pricing for Additional Registration Fees (ARF).

As the Budget Speech 2017 has announced:

“Tiered ARF for motorcycles will be introduced to improve the progressivity of the vehicle tax system. The following tiered ARF rates will apply to all motorcycles registering with Certificates of Entitlement (“COEs”) obtained from the second COE bidding exercise in February:


ARF rates

First $5,000 of the OMV


Next $5,000 of the OMV (i.e. $5,001 to $10,000)


Remaining OMV above $10,000


For motorcycles that do not need to bid for a COE (e.g. classic motorcycles), the new tiered ARF rates will apply on or after 21 February 2017.

To give potential buyers more time, the second COE bidding exercise in February, which was initially scheduled on 20 February 2017, will be held on 22 February 2017.”

This change effectively will see consumer paying thousands more as compared to current scheme for large capacity (cc) motorcycles.

A simple calculation based on a motorcycle with S$20,000 Open Market Value (OMV) will be as follows:

Current ARF (15%)

New Tiered ARF (15%, 50%, 100%)

S$20,000 x 15% = S$3,000

S$5,000 x 15% = S$750
Next S$5,000 x 50% = S$2,500

Next S$10,000 x 100% = S$10,000

Total ARF Payable is S$3,000

Total ARF Payable is S$13,250

A quick check on some motorcycle models’ OMV are as follows:

Aprilia RSV4 (999cc) registered on December 2016 is S$16,456
Triumph Street Triple (675cc) registered on Jan 2015 is S$11,055
Honda NM4-01 (745cc) registered on July 2014 is S$10,393
BMW R1200GS LC (1170cc) registered on April 2015 is S$19,087
Yamaha T-MAX (530cc) registered on Jan 2013 is S$10,988
MV Agusta F3 (800cc) registered on Jan 2016 is S$16,010

As the calculation shows, any mid-range motorcycle with around S$10,000 OMV value will have to fork out an additional $1,750 for the Tiered ARF and god bless the exotic high-end brands such as Aprilia, Triumph, Ducati, MV Agusta, Harley Davidson etc, which will see a huge leap in machine pricing upwards above S$5,000 at least.

The good news however is, Category D (Motorcycle) COE quota available from deregistration will no longer be transferred to Category E (Open Category) with effect from May 2017. The past schemes saw 25% of the quota from Cat D got transferred to the Cat E prior to February 2015 and a further reduction to 10% from February 2015.

This unfair practise was highlighted by the Singapore Motor Cycle Trade Association (SMCTA) for many years due the constant rising of COE prices due to under-supply of COE quotas available for bidding each month.

The average COE quota available monthly during the 2000-2010 was about 1,000 per month which slowly declined due to lesser number of deregistration. Current average available COE quota is about 700 per month and the COE bidding saw a record high of S$6,889 on January 2016. If the current scheme of 10% of COE quota from Cat D to be transferred over to Cat E stays, we will see a gradual decline of available quota each month.

The double impact of having more COE quota each month and increased costing for larger capacity motorcycles should effectively push the COE bidding price downwards, despite the ambiguity of which is the effective factor.

This brings to memory, when the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) introduced the restrictions on Motor Vehicle Loans on 25 February 2013 restricting it to 50/60% (OMV above S$20,000/OMV S$20,000 & below) of purchase price & maximum tenure of 5 years for motorcars.

I remembered clearly that this new ruling caused a big turn-up at most car showrooms where consumers who wish to enjoy the 10 year maximum tenure have to sign the purchase agreement dated before 26 February 2013.

Today, we see the same hard-handed tactics from the authority with just mere couple of days to react to the sudden implementation of new ruling.

Will we expect to see bikers flocking to showrooms to sign on the dotted line to purchase their dream motorcycles with readily available COEs on dealers’ hands?

Remember, any motorcycles registered with the second COE bidding exercise in February 2017 will be subjected to the Tiered ARF computation. In short, if you decide to go ahead with the purchase of your motorcycle, it may (or may not if COE starts heading southwards) save you the extra couple of thousands.

In the next decade, will Singapore motorcycling scene deteriorate to the likes of Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan where majority are low cc bikes? You either ride to earn a living or you are wealthy to pay premium prices for your hobby.

It is a sad moment for the motorcycling scene in Singapore.

In the midst of unhappiness, please find entertainment in the following parody video.


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