Monthly Archives: January 2011

Fewer people taking up driving lessons

The number of people taking up lessons to get their driving licences is estimated to have dipped by 30 per cent between the period from January to September last year, and the same period the year before.

At least one driving centre has, in recent months, downsized its fleet of cars because of the dip in enrolment.

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The rising cost of purchasing a car and Singapore’s declining birth rate are some possible reasons for the decline, say transport analysts and driving instructors.

Between January and September last year, 44,700 provisional driving licences (PDLs) were issued by the Traffic Police. The number stood at 77,000 for the 2009 calendar year. In 2008, 70,400 PDLs were issued.

Car Rental still the way to go as COE prices dip slightly

THERE was some relief for car buyers yesterday as the latest certificate of entitlement (COE) bid results showed a softening in prices from last month’s unprecedented high amounts.

The premiums for cars up to 1,600cc and taxis braked the most – by 15.7 per cent or $7,240 to $38,889, compared to the last round of bidding two weeks ago.

COE prices for cars above 1,600cc slid by 4.2 per cent or $3,001 to $69,000.

Prices of open COEs, for any vehicle type but usually used for bigger cars, fell 0.4 per cent or $313, to $75,789.

COEs, which give one the right to buy a car here, are central to Singapore’s Vehicle Quota System, which enables the Government to control the growth of the car population and thence, the level of congestion on the roads. Anyone seeking to buy a car has to bid for a COE in that category of vehicle by engine size.

Analysts had previously spoken about car distributors bidding aggressively last month to meet sales quotas.

That was reflected in the COE bidding results on Dec 8, which showed premiums soaring to among the highest levels since the COE system started in 1990 – levels not seen since the late 90s.

Going forward, motor traders do not foresee prices dropping further before Chinese New Year early next month. Traditionally, demand for cars eases at this time as consumers get busy preparing for the festivities.