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Old 19th April 2013, 07:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Number of new off-peak cars dives as COEs rise

Number of new off-peak cars dives as COEs rise


Only eight new red-plated cars were registered last month, compared to 96 registered in the same period two years ago

BY
WOO SIAN BOON


SINGAPORE — The interest in new off-peak cars has practically disappeared as a result of sky-high Certificate of Entitlement (COE) premiums in recent months, with industry analysts predicting that recently-implemented car loan curbs may further dampen demand.

Only eight new red-plated cars were registered last month, as compared to 96 registered in the same period two years ago.

Figures from the Land Transport Authority (LTA) also showed that the number of normal cars converted to off-peak cars under the revised scheme fell to 761 in the past financial year, compared to the 1,361 cars that were converted between April 2010 and March 2011.

Between April 2011 and March 2012, 857 normal car owners switched their rides to red plates.

The proportion of red-plated cars has also shrunk in recent years. They now constitute about 7.3 per cent of cars here, as compared to a peak of 8.4 per cent in 2010. Then, there were 50,040 off-peak cars, as their numbers rose steadily between 2003 and 2010.

The off-peak car scheme was introduced in 1994 to allow more people to own cars but not contribute to peak-hour congestion. Buyers paid lower taxes for such cars, but they could be driven only during evenings, weekends and public holidays.

The scheme was revised in 2010 to make it more attractive for people to switch to these red-plated cars, with cash rebates given earlier and the vehicles allowed to be driven during all hours on Saturday and the eve of five public holidays.

The LTA had previously envisioned that the enhanced off-peak car scheme could eventually lead to about 10 to 15 per cent of red-plated cars here, which it believed could reduce peak-hour traffic volume.

Motor traders TODAY spoke to said that demand for off-peak cars usually wanes when car prices are high, as the S$17,000 tax savings would constitute a smaller percentage of the total car price.

Said Singapore Vehicle Traders Association President Neo Tiam Ting: “The rebate is the same no matter what the car prices are. So, for example, a few years back in 2009, when car prices were about S$50,000, the rebates will take up a higher percentage as compared to now, when car prices are about S$100,000.”

Mr Ron Lim, General Manager of Nissan agent Tan Chong Motor, felt that the recently-enforced curbs on car loans will be a “further deterrent” for budget buyers who previously turned to off-peak cars.

During the Ministry of Transport’s Committee of Supply debate last month, Member of Parliament Lim Biow Chuan had suggested doing more to promote red-plated cars as an option for consumers who wished to fulfil their aspirations but may not need to drive every day.

Contacted yesterday, Mr Lim suggested the authorities could consider giving a bigger tax rebate so that potential car owners can see the benefits of owning an off-peak car.

Responding to TODAY’s queries, the LTA said that “there are no plans to change the benefit structure (of the scheme) at this point of time”.

“The OPC (Off-Peak Car) scheme is an ownership scheme which allows motorists to own cars at lower cost, if they are prepared to use it sparingly,” the LTA spokesperson added.

“The tax benefits and usage conditions of the OPC are set upfront so that car buyers and owners can assess, based on their own travel patterns, whether or not an OPC would be able to meet their needs.”

Source: http://www.todayonline.com/singapore...ives-coes-rise

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Old 29th August 2013, 04:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Number of new off-peak cars dives as COEs rise

Totally decreasing...

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