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Singapore’s Vehicle Quota System and its impact on motorcycles

Singfat Chu ()
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Singfat Chu: National University of Singapore

Transportation, 2018, vol. 45, issue 5, 1419-1432

Abstract: Abstract Singapore’s Vehicle Quota System, implemented in 1990, uses uniform-price auctions to allocate Certificates of Entitlement (COE) or registration rights in five categories presently. Four of these are restricted to small and big cars, commercial vehicles and motorcycles. The fifth one is unrestricted as it allows successful bidders to register a vehicle in any restricted category of their choice. Owners are incentivised via another policy to deregister their vehicle by the tenth year expiry of the COE instead of revalidating it. Each deregistration results in a new COE. Currently, 10% of the COEs from each restricted category is channelled to the unrestricted category. However, hardly any of the expensive COEs in the unrestricted category has been used to register motorcycles. The sharp decline in the number of motorcycle COEs since 2014 has led to a surge in auction premiums at about twice the price of an entry-level motorcycle. The auction process before 2014 is shown to be exemplary with the COE premium driven by its inertia and a host of exogenous factors. After 2014 however, it appears to be unresponsive to the historically low quota levels. This undesirable auction trait needs to be remedied by a reformulation of the COE quota in order to help those most in need of a motorcycle to earn a living. Measures announced in the February 2017 Singapore Budget trudge in that direction.

Keywords: Motorcycle; Vehicle Quota System; Singapore; Social equity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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