From February 2014, Category A cars, in addition to having engine capacity of not more than 1,600cc, must also have engine power not exceeding 97 kilowatts (130 hp).
Apparently nearly half of Category A COEs went to premium models in recent COE bidding execises. These "premium" models were lower end variants of brand name luxury vehicles, such as the Mercedes Benz C180 (engine power 115kW) or BMW118i (125kW). The move is supposed to appease those who can afford only the mass market models, which brands are normally whispered to avoid embarrassing the bottom feeders.
Minister Lui deigned to venture too far out to antagonise the super rich by levying a surcharge on those who own multiple cars. Especially those have fleets of exotic sports vehicles for showing off, not basic transportation to a day job. He also rejected calls for a Pay-As-You-Bid system and a ban on dealers bidding on COE, for reasons best known to himself - and dealers consulted by the minister.
Shifting qualifying models from Category A to Category B means no difference to the cost of car ownership, if the recent numbers of the 4 September COE bidding exercise is anything to go buy. That damn piece of paper is still another $80,000 tax going to the greedy government:
- Category A (cars up to 1,600cc): $77,304, up from $76,223 previously;
- Category B (cars above 1,600cc): $77,100, up from $76,607 previously;
- Open category: $80,000, up from $79,223 previously.
The COV (Cost Over Valuation) took umpteen cooling measures (anybody keeping count?) to be tamed, in the ever elusive chase of the affordable public housing flat. Let's hope this tweak to the COE outrage is first of many to come.