MOST car buyers are not waiting for next month's 10-point cut in Additional Registration Fee - the main car tax - to pick up a new ride, going by the latest COE tender results released on Tuesday.
Premiums did not plunge as some had predicted. COE for cars up to 1,600cc closed $1 higher at $12,002, while the premium for cars above 1,600cc was $80 lower at $13,209.
The Open category, used mainly for cars, took the biggest plunge: falling all of $500 to close at $13,301.
COE for commercial vehicles finished $500 higher at $13,001, while motorcycle COE was $13 lower at $999.
Mr Mark Choong, managing director of Toyota distributor Borneo Motors, said premiums ended 'firmer than expected''.
He said buyers and sellers alike were probably bidding more aggressively in anticipation of a smaller supply of COEs from next month - a development that would negate savings from the car tax cut for many. For instance, a 10-point cut in the ARF of a popular car like the Mitsubishi Lancer translates to a saving of only $1,100 or so.
A rise in COE could wipe that out. Also, cars bought with lower ARF will have lower scrap value.
'There were several articles in the newspapers last week about a significant drop in quota,' he said, explaining that if COE quota is smaller, premiums are likely to rise.