Motorcycle COE prices hit new high – thanks to foreign expats?

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It was reported in the news last week (16 Mar) that Motorcycle COE prices have hit new record high of $7,483, up 10% from Feb. This is despite the recent introduction of the tiered ARF taxes for motorcycles. Under the tiered structure, the first $5,000 of a motorbike’s OMV will incur a 15% ARF, but the next $5,000 will incur 50%. The remaining OMV above $10,000 will incur an ARF of 100%.

Previously, all motorcycles only had a flat ARF of 15 per cent. The Government is obviously trying to tax more on higher end motorcycles to tame demand. But it would just simply push demand to the lower end motorcycles.

In any case, anecdotal evidence suggests that more foreign expats are buying motorcycles and scooters as a convenient transport to go to work as well as to zip around Singapore.

For example, it has been reported that a 33-year old Briton who was a Regional Director of a recruitment firm rode a motorcycle instead of a car. He was subsequently jailed for a road rage incident.

Take another example, a young-looking blonde American chick (by her own admission) revealed that both she and her husband ride a motorcycle to work. She even upgraded her 200cc scooter to a “meatier properly geared” 400cc motorbike so that they can take “motorbiking trips to Malaysia and the likes”.

When asked why they did not buy a car, she said, “Because they are prohibitively expensive in Singapore. Besides, motorbikes are fun.”

Unfortunately, these well-to-do expats are also competing with our less well-off locals on motorcycle and scooter purchases, driving up COE prices.

Eight to ten years ago, motorcycle COE prices were only about $1K. At the current $7,483, it would just probably be 1 month salary of a foreign expat but to our less well-off locals, it could mean spending half of their annual salary.

It looks like our locals may have to end up with walking. On the plus side, it’s a good thing that our locals have all gone through NS so they are at least used to 24km route march.


Republished from the FB ‘We want Minister Grace Fu to resign‘.