When I look at the latest COE (certificates of entitlement) for Category A cars, I feel like beating my breast.
At $46,989, that was about what I would have had to pay for a new Hyundai Avante in February 2010, had I succeeded in my bidding for the COE which I had paid a deposit for.
Alas for me. The car sales girl I dealt with told me that as it was the Chinese New Year period, the bidding for my COE wasn’t aggressive enough. I was out by a few hundred $.
Although I was quite mad about the outcome, I realised that I couldn’t complain too bitterly since I didn’t go for the guaranteed COE package as that would have meant putting out more money.
So we to-and-fro a bit till April 2010 when, with COE prices continuing to go beyond what i was willing to pay, I found myself locked out of the new car market altogether. And have to live with my ageing Hyundai Accent, now almost 6 years old.
I’m most unhappy about the turn of events, as it means that now I have to pay more than what I was prepared to pay (for a new car 15 months ago) even for a 2nd hand car of about three years old — if I decide to update my transport.
Sure, I could have been more more aggressive last year re COE. And realising that, I should blame no one but myself for not doing my sums properly and not having better foresight.
But it sure makes me feel better to stoke my resentment against the Government’s COE policy and practice.
Like for example, why should people who need only one car have to compete in the COE market with those having deeper pockets and could buy a whole garage-ful of cars, high COE prices notwithstanding?
In fact, one young couple who lives in my condo owns 3 high-end cars and even have matching number plates for them, each bearing the lucky three-digit 818!
Why should individually-financed Singaporeans have to compete with bank-rolled high income foreign talent for that precious liberating commodity called a car?
Our new transport minister should review the process of tendering COEs and their recycling when cars reach 10 years or are scrapped/exported before the 10 years are up.
Why not allow a Singaporean owner (with one car) to keep his/her COE ad infinitum so long as he/she continues to own a car for his/her own use? When the owner gives up his/her car, the COE then automatically reverts to the state, with no ifs or buts.
All non-citizens and those wanting extra cars should be subjected to the current practice where their COEs are concerned.
In my view, this is one good, no excellent, way for our newly chastised Government to show resentful Singaporeans that citizens really matter.
While waiting for a newly listening Government to do something about the COE market, I’d better seriously consider going back to work despite being doddery and old, to earn some moolah to close that gap between what my cranky Hyundai is worth and what I’ve to pay for a car that’s just slightly younger than mine! 🙄