12% of car-owning households have 2 cars, less than 3% own 3 cars or more
12% of car-owning households have 2 cars, less than 3% own 3 cars or more. In Singapore, around 471,000 families possess automobiles, with 12% – or 56,520 – owning two cars. Less than 3% of these families, or 14,130 people, possess three or more cars. Transport Minister S. Iswaran stated in Parliament on Tuesday that the share of car ownership has been rather consistent over the years, with no notable movement in demand patterns that may have driven higher prices for certificates of entitlement (COEs) in recent times.
Gerald Giam (Aljunied GRC, Workers’ Party) queried if households with multiple automobiles are driving up COE rates, noting that “since they tend to come from higher-income households, they have the opportunity to pay more for their COEs.” He also inquired whether the government will consider measures to reduce demand for Category A COE from households purchasing their second or subsequent smaller automobile.
In the most recent tender exercise, the COE for smaller and less powerful cars and electric vehicles concluded at $90,589, not far from the all-time high of $92,100 set in January 2013. Other categories have also established records in 2022. Mr Iswaran responded by blaming the rise in COE premiums on constrained supply rather than demand. He added that the 10-year COE cycle influences vehicle deregistrations in part because of the historical pattern of auto registrations as well as existing owners who opt to deregister or renew their existing cars’ COEs.
“On balance, I would conclude that any effort to reduce automobile ownership beyond the first car in any home does not necessarily follow that any effort to reduce car ownership beyond the first car in any household will inevitably have a dampening effect on COE prices,” he said. Mr Giam then inquired if these households contribute to the demand for COEs, adding that 12% of homes had two automobiles, which is “not a tiny number.” In response, Mr Iswaran stated that the ratio of households owning several cars has remained steady over time, even periods when COE rates were “not so high.”
He further mentioned that Mr Giam’s inquiry implies that higher-income people possess many cars. “I would like to bring out that households with several automobiles are not only those with multiple cars.”
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