Guide to buying a sports car while COE premiums hit 100k mark in 2022

Owning and driving a sports car is a dream for many. Just imagining the exhilaration as you whizz by in a stylish and speedy sports car gets many car lovers’ hearts racing.
PHOTO: Unsplash

Buying a sports car in Singapore

Enjoying the luxurious comfort, speed and power of a sports car in Singapore does come at a cost, although it is usually worth it for the thrilling experience you get to experience on the daily.

On top of the hefty prices of a sleek luxury sports car, Certificate of Entitlement (COE) prices are also ever-increasing, further pumping up the prices for a to-be sports car owner.

Amidst the rising COE, as well as a greater variety of sports cars — from luxury to the slightly more accessible to the trendiest electric ones, read on to know more about how much it takes to finally become a sports car owner like you've always dreamed of.

COE premiums for open category reached the 100k mark

Following the COE results release for June 2022, to-be car buyers may be dismayed at the latest bidding exercise, as COE prices for the Cat E (Open — All Except Motorcycle) category skyrocketed past the six-figures mark, at a whopping sum of $100,697.

The Cat E category is where most luxury and sports cars fall in. Totalling the already expensive prices of sports cars with the increased COE premiums, buying a sports car in Singapore becomes all the more increasingly expensive.

Below are the newest COE results for all the five categories of vehicles, all of which experienced an elevation in the premiums.

PHOTO: ValueChampion

COE prices have been so high all along, why are they still climbing and climbing, seemingly infinitely? The principal factor explaining this phenomenon would be the low and tight supply of COEs.

For instance, for the open category (Category E), there were 316 bids received, competing for the quota of 190 available COEs offered.

Further upward pressure is also expected in the near future, taking into account the continually high demand for cars in the market.

Demand for luxury and sports cars is also relatively high and elastic, hence, a rise in the COE premiums may not serve as enough of a deterrent for the rich, and bids would continue to increase in size.

Furthermore, the Singapore government also has a zero car growth objective in place, hence explaining why the quota is so low.

All in all, the constrained supply of COEs offered continues to be the pressing reason for the climbing COE premiums. With the COE premium already hitting the 100k mark, which is the highest since 1994, it is likely that COE premiums would break the nominal record set in 1994, where COE premiums reached $110,500.

How much it takes to own a sports car

With the latest nearly record-breaking COE prices, how much does it now take for you to own a sports car in Singapore?

The table below illustrates the prices (before COE) of the following sports car models, from quite expensive to very expensive, as well as the total price, with COE incorporated for consideration.

We can see that with the sky high COE premium prices, it takes up almost one-third of the total amount to be spent.

Out of the five models below, the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid and BMW i8 2020 are electric cars, which are both trendy and could also appeal to the more environmentally-conscious consumer segment.

Car Model Approximate Price (before COE) Total Price
Mazda MX-5 RF $234,888 $335,58
Lamborghini Huracan Tecnica 2022 $329,820 $430,517
Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid $412,788 $513,485
BMW i8 2020 $640,888 $741,585
Bugatti Divo 2022 $7,980,000 $8,080,697

A closer look at sports cars

Mazda MX-5 RF

PHOTO: Mazda

The Mazda MX-5 RF is a relatively more accessible sports car model, but it boasts equally exquisite features as its more expensive counterparts.

With Mazda's KODO: Soul of Design at its heart, this car has a balanced body, comfortable interiors, and a sleek and elegant exterior.

With its prominent safety features, such as its Adaptive LED Headlights and Advanced Smart City Brake Support system in place, drivers can also drive with assurance that their safety on the roads is in check.

All these features bring to light that this car model is indeed one for consideration, especially for those who prioritise comfort whilst driving.

Lamborghini Huracan Tecnica 2022

PHOTO: Lamborghini

The Lamborghini Huracan Tecnica combines both impressive performance and striking beauty. As a sports car inspired by racing, the car's exteriors are structured and designed with sharp lines to enhance its aerodynamics, making driving this car pleasurable and enjoyable.

The striking lines and exterior architecture of the car are also distinctive and iconic to this well-loved car brand, making this car model one of the most desirable sports cars on our list.

On top of its impeccable design, the Lamborghini Huracan Tecnica also boasts Lamborghini Connect, an exclusive dashboard in the car which keeps the driver up-to-date with the functions on board, allowing for an engaging, enjoyable and peaceful ride whenever you are on the road.

Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

PHOTO: Porsche

As an electric car, the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid allows drivers to incorporate sustainability into their daily living. However, performance is never compromised when it comes to Porsche, as even this sustainable model is still a sports car at its core.

With impressive top speeds and ease of driving over various terrains, the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid is indeed a great choice for many.

Boasting a five-seater, it is also perfect for families. Just like all other Porsche cars, this car model is powerful and precise, and is certainly one to consider if you are thinking of purchasing a new sports car for yourself.

BMW i8 2020

PHOTO: BMW

The BMW i8 is part of BMW's sustainability line, and boasts a beautiful and futuristic appearance, as well as being a hybrid car. There is a convertible version as well, and it is the only full plug-in hybrid drop-top in the car market.

The i8's pure electric range is around 18 miles, and this car offers both high efficiency and impressive power and performance.

The BMW i8 also boasts an incredible in-car system, with Apple CarPlay compatibility and a strong infotainment system complete with impressive audio and display screens.

With the strong and beautiful appearance of this model, it is highly representative of BMW as a brand, and its hybrid efficiencies also give way to becoming a leader in the new market segment.

Bugatti Divo 2022

PHOTO: Bugatti

The Bugatti Divo is a car that offers maximum speed, with top-tier agility and dynamics. It is Bugatti's first modern coachbuilt project, and is a sharp and athletic sports car with striking character.

With exceptional craftsmanship, systems and engines which have been fine-tuned to perfection, the Bugatti Divo offers drivers the most exhilarating driving experience.

Sports cars are so expensive, what can I do to own one?

For the sports car enthusiasts who really want to own one, but find it difficult to fund such an expensive big-ticket item, there are a few ways to possibly get a sports car for a lower price, or to increase its affordability.

Shop for a used sports car online

A brand new sports car may be ridiculously expensive, but a used one may not burn such a large hole in your pocket.

There are retail sites in Singapore, such as sgCarMart and Motorist which offer buyers a chance to get their hands on some beautiful sports cars, some of which are in top-notch and pristine condition.

Apart from their immaculate conditions, some cars also boast features like low mileage.

The best part is that the prices are much lower than if you were to walk into a luxury car showroom and purchase a brand new sports car from there.

Trust us when we say that no one would be able to tell the difference between your brand new sports car and some of the best-conditioned used sports cars available online!

Wait for COE premiums to fall

While right now it seems like an impossibility for COE premiums to fall, it may happen in the near future.

Currently, COE prices remain high and ever-rising, due to the lack of supply of COEs. However, industry watchers and experts opine that the premiums are expected to keep climbing at least until next year in 2023.

When COE premiums start to stabilise or even take a slight dip, it may become the best time to finally purchase that dream car of yours.

This article was first published in ValueChampion.