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  • Proposal To Update Current COE System For Motorcycles Rejected In Parliament - Current System To Stay


    This article was originally written by Mr Clement Yong and published on the Straits Times.

    Categorise motorcycles according to their engine capacities for certificate of entitlement (COE) bidding, and use a balloting system similar to that for Build-To-Order flats for smaller motorcycles, MP Faisal Manap (Aljunied GRC) proposed in Parliament on Tuesday (Oct 5).

    In the last parliamentary motion of the day, Mr Faisal said the Government needed to find ways to make motorcycles more affordable.

    Motorcycle COE prices in recent months have reached historical highs - amounting to four to 10 months of riders' salaries, he said. In 2001, it was $509. In September, it had reached $9,689.

    COE prices has risen from Jan'2019 until Oct'2021 and have hit an all-time high of S$9,689 - Source sgcharts.com

    Creating separate COE categories for the three different classes of motorcycles - instead of the now catch-all Category D - will allow more appropriate prices for each, he said.

    Using a balloting system for Class 2B motorcycles, with engines not exceeding 200cc and usually used by first-time buyers or those relying on them for a living, will make this category less prone to speculative buying, Mr Faisal said.

    If the current bidding system is to be kept, riders should be able to bid under their own name rather than through dealers, which could push up prices to increase their profit, he added.

    "I am mindful that the ultimate goal is not to lead to an increase in the number of motorcycles on the road. Rather, my intention is to improve the well-being of our fellow Singaporeans who rely on motorcycles to make a living," Mr Faisal said.


    In response, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Baey Yam Keng said tweaking the COE system could have knock-on effects and potentially unintended consequences on buyers.

    The system is functioning now, he said, pointing to the high utilisation rates of motorcycle COEs, which have averaged 99 per cent since bidding resumed in July last year, indicating the demand for COEs is genuine rather than speculative.

    "While it is not a perfect solution, the system has generally worked, and COE prices fluctuate based on supply and demand," he said. "That should be the case."

    Mr Baey said only about 440 Category D COEs are available for each bidding exercise, and splitting them into sub-categories could result in greater price volatility as each bidder would have a greater influence.

    The percentage of bikes registered in each sub-category has historically also fluctuated from month to month, making it difficult for the authorities to fix quotas for each sub-category.

    As for Mr Faisal's balloting suggestion, Mr Baey said it will require the Government to set a price arbitrarily, which could affect demand and "those who truly need the motorcycle for a living and are prepared to pay a bit more".


    He also said riders are already allowed to bid in their own name under the current system, but many still choose to go through dealers as they are able to buy a bike immediately using the COEs secured by dealers, he said.

    Mr Faisal's proposal to allow COEs for motorcycles to be renewed for two five-year terms instead of the current single five-year term was rejected by Mr Baey as it would affect the balance between existing and prospective owners, since expired COEs are recycled into the system for bidding again.

    His call to extend the Preferential Additional Registration Fee rebate, given to car owners who choose to scrap their vehicles early, to motorcycle owners was also rejected by Mr Baey, who said costs for motorcycles are already kept lower than other vehicles through measures like lower road tax.

    On Mr Faisal's suggestion for allocated parking areas for delivery and dispatch riders, Mr Baey encouraged commercial building owners to set aside parking spaces for these riders with a reasonable grace period.

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    I understand the gov's stance on not splitting the coe between diff kinds of bikes. It would limit the number of 2, 2a and 2b class bikes that we can buy. It may be better for 2b bikes, but those wanting to get 2a or class 2 will be hit hard. However, the coe renewal thing is abit odd, because cars are allowed to do it and somehow it does not affect the balance between new and existing owners, though this might be just a lack of understanding on my part.


    It is their statement that motorcycles costs are already kept low by things like lower road tax that is strange. The argument was never that motorcycle costs are low, it was that the prices have increased dramatically in such a short span of time. I get that motorcycles are a low priority for the gov, but I hope that the gov would at least give us some face

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    Another 'ivory tower' response.

    1. I would like to see exactly how they determine the 99% utilisation. From another article a few months back, I recall the return rate is about 12%. When he says 'utilisation', it means bid this month, use this month. Not 'chope' it for use a few months down the road.

    2. His response on the ability to bid for COE in one's own name DOES NOT address the fact that the price gets pushed up and they end up paying the price that they did not bid for. It then negates the purpose of having put in a bid in the first place. Again, it boils back down to the current mechanism that can obviously be manipulated with low/no penalties but all the benefits of revenue upside.

    3. Another 'divide and conquer' technique. Yes, the motorcycle itself is not expensive (e.g. 2B), it's the cost of the COE that is atrocious. Can we buy the bike w/o the COE? If we can't then it's a moot point as the consumer ends up paying for the TOTAL bill. THAT (COE) is the point that is up for debate.

    At the end of the day, it's once again brushed off as they have majority... we get what we vote for.

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    It's always easy to stay status quo , having the "don't fix till it's broken" mindset and in this case is rather choose not to see the broken part therefore if this the type of mentality of the Public service leader then I think we should change them. 

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    32 minutes ago, Dex001 said:

    It's always easy to stay status quo , having the "don't fix till it's broken" mindset and in this case is rather choose not to see the broken part therefore if this the type of mentality of the Public service leader then I think we should change them. 

    Agree... they chose not to 'see' the matter wholistically and that it has become a problem but instead pick on the parts of the system that is not 'broken' to justify the status quo. They don't change for the better, but expect the people to keep on changing to be better (upskill, upgrade). Quite some lip service.

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    Suggest to start a petition to remove such insensitive Minister who is unable to protect the public interest. System of 20 plus years still not due for review and change? Lets change them instead !

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    I'm just curious.. then why COE got cat into Cars (Class3) above certain cc?(CAR UP TO 1600CC & 97KW) & (CAR ABOVE 1600CC OR 97KW) COE also cat into Good Vehicle and Bus(Class 4 aka Cat C) and this feels like motorcyclist are "treated" differently.

    1) They should come up with system that cat COE according to license.

    2) More reasonable priced? Based on the number of vehicle a person owned. a family of 3 owned 2 Motorcycles & 2 cars will be taxed differently vs to a family of 5 who owned 1 car and 1 motorcycle. Especially those who owned 3 motorcycles or 3 cars under same person.. Doesn't make sense to own more then 1 car.. Motorcycle really subjective.. if collectables. then really different.

    Edited by adesmond2
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