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 own autos, with 12% – or 56,520 – having two vehicles. Fewer than 3% of these families, or 14,130 people, own three or more automobiles. Transport Minister S. Iswaran stated in Parliament on Tuesday that the share of car ownership has been fairly stable over the years, with no discernible shifts in demand patterns that may have resulted in increased prices for certificates of entitlement (COEs) in recent times.
Gerald Giam (Aljunied GRC, Workers’ Party) questioned whether households with numerous autos drive up COE rates, adding that “since they tend to come from higher-income households, they have the option to pay more for their COEs.” He also asked if the government would consider measures to curb demand for Category A COE from households acquiring their second or subsequent smaller automobile.
The COE for smaller and less powerful cars and electric vehicles in the most recent tender exercise was $90,589, not far from the all-time high of $92,100 established in January 2013. Other categories have also set new highs in 2022. Mr. Iswaran responded by blaming the increase in COE premiums on supply constraints rather than demand. He also stated that the 10-year COE cycle influences vehicle deregistrations in part due to the historical pattern of auto registrations as well as existing owners who choose to deregister or renew the COEs on their existing vehicles.
“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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