SINGAPORE: As of Monday afternoon, Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) has received some 960 applications to get cash rebates from their Certificates of Entitlement (COE) and the Preferential Additional Registration Fee (PARF).
But car dealers have said that they are not expecting a rush of owners to give up their cars for cash.
Jackson Lee, managing director of Jia Leong Trading, said: “Some of them might give up because of petrol… inflation… some of them want to be more economical (and) give up the car, but I think (the number is small).”
“For the first kind of people, whose vehicle is fully paid (up), this would serve as an advantage to them because they can exchange their PARF paper for full cash with LTA,” said Jerry Ong, Manager of Auto Inn.
“But for people with outstanding loans, it won’t make much of a difference because dealers like us, we’ve got to come up with the money to fully settle their cars for them.”
In Singapore, a car’s PARF value is the amount credited to motorists who scrap their cars before its 10th year.
A COE is the pre-requisite before anyone can buy a car, awarded through a bidding system.
As of Monday, car owners have the option to exchange their COE and PARF rebates for cash.
The move, announced in March, is aimed at reducing the car population and have Singaporeans turn to public transport.
Dealers have said it is still too early to say what car owners will do, as opinions differ among individuals.
Phoebe Lim, a car owner, said: “I feel very handicapped without a car, (therefore) whether with or without the rebate, I will still drive. Since I got my licence five years back I’ve never taken public transport, so no (I wouldn’t exchange my car for cash).”
“If the public transport is good enough, yes I think I would,” said another car owner, Andrew Ong. “I balance the two together, I value the cash rebate, I can have a saving, I can have money in my pocket, so why not?”
But whether more people will give up their cars for cash in the days ahead remains to be seen.