What’s the Average Cost of COE in Singapore?

If you’d like to own a car in Singapore, a Certificate of Entitlement (COE) is a non-negotiable purchase alongside the vehicle. Find out how much this certificate has typically cost in recent years, and what factors determine its price.

ValueChampion Editorial Team

by ValueChampion Editorial Team on Feb 24, 2024

Cars in Singapore having different COE costs


The price of a Certificate of Entitlement (COE) should be a major consideration for anyone aspiring towards car ownership in Singapore. You would’ve seen in the news or through personal anecdotes that there are even times when it’s possible to pay more for the COE than for your car.

As a result, it’s helpful to have a general idea of what people are paying for these certificates which allow you to own a car for 10 years in Singapore, especially as you consider what reserve price you’ll need to pay to succeed in the bidding process.

It’s also just as important to understand what drives changes in COE prices. In this handy guide, we compare the average price of COEs across the years and outline the primary factors that determine their cost.

Related: Best Car Loans in Singapore 2024

What Is the Average Cost of a COE in Singapore?

YearAverage COE Price (S$)
2024 (January – February)72,546

As you can see in the table above, COE prices have been rising at a swift pace since 2019. The average cost of a COE in 2024 is currently S$72,546. Even though prices have pulled back from 2023’s high, it’s still extremely close to what a COE would set you back in 2022.

If you’re wondering what the average price is currently like across the five categories, here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Category A: S$79,000
  • Category B: S$102,338
  • Category C: S$72,001
  • Category D: S$9,290
  • Category E: S$100,101

To put things into perspective, a Suzuki Swift costs around S$50,000 without the COE.  Therefore, it’s crucial that you save as much as you can on this extra cost if you’re planning to own a car in Singapore.

What Are Some Factors Affecting COE Prices?

white car
Source: Unsplash

COE prices are affected by changes in their supply, along with demand for them. Granted, it’s never easy to predict with a high degree of certainty what will happen to COE prices in the future, as they fluctuate from month to month.

However, having an awareness of the main factors that tend to affect the prices of these certificates will help you spot trends and make better decisions when purchasing your car.

Supply Side

One of the biggest factors affecting COE prices is the supply of COEs available.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) regulates the number of cars on the road in Singapore. When it increases vehicle quotas, the supply of COEs increases as well and this usually applies a downward pressure on their price.

Among the various factors that influence the vehicle quota, one of the most important things for you to pay attention to is the number of vehicle de-registrations. This number is highly variable, but it can be predicted based on publicly available data.

The table below displays the number of new cars less than a year old from 2019 to 2023, along with cars who are at least 11 years old. In response to a rise in car de-registrations and fewer brand new cars on the road across the five years, the LTA has increased COE quotas to control the vehicle population in Singapore.

YearNo. of Cars Less Than a Year OldNo. of Cars 11-12 Years Old

Source: Land Transport Authority

As a result, this led to COE prices finally dropping in 2024. However, the rest of 2024 has yet to unfold, and automobile dealers are unsure of what the situation will be like as well.

Demand Side

Demand for COEs from consumers also plays a significant factor when determining the COE price. Higher demand drives up COE premiums, whereas lower demand brings prices down.

There are a number of factors that influence demand that you should pay attention to. These are:

1. Economic Conditions

Generally speaking, when the economy isn’t doing well, demand tends to be lower. For COEs to be in demand, people naturally need to be purchasing vehicles.

During uncertain economic conditions, fewer people will want to buy a car. Singapore is currently experiencing a slowdown in economic growth, and the value of the Singapore Dollar has fallen, especially when compared to the US Dollar.

With a weaker currency in Singapore, imported cars become less affordable, which would tend to have a negative effect on car sales – and demand for COEs.

Interest rates play a role in this regard as well. Due to high car prices in Singapore, folks would tend to take up car loans to buy their vehicles. When interest rates are high, people are disincentivised to borrow money, which has a negative effect on car sales and demand for COEs.

At present, the average cost of COE premiums have been soaring. This increase has been attributed to the combination of higher demand for vehicles as the economy opens up during the tail end of the COVID-19 pandemic and decreasing quota numbers, which has led to high competition and even higher premium rates.

YearCOE QuotaCOE BidsRatio of COE Bids to COE Quota

Related: Singapore’s Economic Outlook for 2024

2. Government Regulations

Another factor that can affect demand for COEs is the passage of new government regulations, such as emission standards. For example, Singapore has implemented more stringent and extensive emission standards under the new Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) that took effect in 2018.

These regulations, which will impose tax surcharges on more models and disqualify more vehicles from tax rebates, will apply upward pressure on overall car prices. Higher car prices tend to have a negative effect on car sales and COE demand.

This happened in 2018 as COE premiums dropped throughout the year because buyers were waiting to see how much further premiums would decline.

At the same time, other government regulations may play minor roles in COE prices. For instance, in 2018, the LTA reduced the vehicle growth rate to zero. This will remain at 0% until 31 January 2025. This means that the number of new cars allowed on the roads has to match the number of vehicles deregistered that year.

However, because the COE quota is determined by vehicle de-registrations, it was predicted not to have a large effect on COE quotas.

If you’re thinking about buying a car within the next year or two, it would be a good idea to keep an eye on how consumers, car dealerships, and automakers react to various government regulations and schemes, and find out if the models you’re interested in will be affected be these rules.

In Closing

Owning a car in Singapore isn’t a trivial cost, even if you’re wealthy. As mentioned above, even a Suzuki Swift would set you back a six-digit sum after throwing in the COE and other miscellaneous costs.

Therefore, knowing the average COE price and how you can time your car purchase is crucial to ensuring that you get the best deal possible. Every dollar saved will be worth it, especially in a world where costs are increasing at a faster pace.  Keep track of the monthly figures that the LTA releases if you’re planning to buy a car for you or your family.

This allows you to stay on top of trends and make a bid when the time is right. Start planning early if you foresee a car being absolutely vital for your personal or professional situation.

If you’re ready to buy your next car, be sure to get the best car loans and cover yourself with the best car insurance in the market. 


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Cover image source: Unsplash

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