Tuesday, January 19, 2016

COE Bidding - Do It Yourself - My Experience

We are in the market for a new car. Good thing is that our existing car still has more than 1 year to go and we have been considering a new car and we know we need to give ourselves enough time to get a car. 

At first, the plan was just to go to a dealer to do the usual booking, plus guaranteed or non-guaranteed COE and then get the car. But since we had some time, we did a bit more research and realised that perhaps bidding for our own COE wasn't too difficult.

Some considerations.

First, we could bid through DBS ATM.  Deposit is $10,000.  Non refundable fee is $2.  If I get a COE, I would have 6 months to register a car.  And I don't have to pay for the rest of the COE until we register the car.  So it is not the case that the full COE amount is deducted from my bank account upon successful bid.  So that's cool and 6 months is a decent length of time.  Here is some more information from the One Motoring website.

Second, we think that COE prices are headed downwards, since more COEs will be released this year.  However, we know that when COE prices drop, the dealers may not pass on the full savings to the consumer.  Well, dealers will be dealers.  They also make some profit from this entire COE bidding process.  Therefore, since LTA allows individuals to bid, then why not?

Third, we are not too particular about the specific trim or model of car.  We are going for a Cat A car. Broadly speaking, I would be fine with an Altis.  For PIs, I would also be fine with a Honda Vezel.  I am leaning towards the Vezel, but let's see how.

Fourth, before we bidded, we randomly called up some dealers and PIs.  We had heard before that dealers and PIs do not like individuals to bid for their own COEs.  Some even say that they won't entertain you.  Well, our experience wasn't too bad.  I don't think the dealers/PIs sounded very enthusiastic but almost all said they will sell us the car and gave us a price. The price would, of course, vary from the price that they charge if you go with them for a full package.  Later, I found out from some friends that some dealers or even big PIs may already have some new cars in stock that they can sell to you.  If you have a ready COE, can do a deal.  If they want to clear stock, maybe even can get a good discount.

With the above, we were confident that we after getting our own own COE, we will be able to go shp around for cars and get a car.  Most important is that our requirements are flexible, and we will just get the best deal we can, given our preferences.  Another important point is that we already have saved up enough to pay for the new car outright, so we don't have to worry about the deal being complicated by financing.

So why not?  Try lah.

Therefore, on 18 Jan 2016 evening, I put in a bid for my own COE through a DBS ATM Machine.  I know it sounds a bit trivial, but I took a video of the process (which was very easy) and have since put up the video  on Youtube (see below).  Do watch the video if you want to know how much I bid for.

I also posted the experience in myCarForum and to my surprise, the post has generated substantial reactions!  This is the link to the myCarForum post.

Bidding for my own COE

I think my video may be the first ever video on Youtube showing you how to bid for your own COE through a DBS ATM.  When I do a search for "Bidding for COE" or "Bid COE", I can't find any other similar videos.  Maybe I made history here!

Anyway, let's see whether I can get the COE this round. If not, I'm prepared to keep trying for a few more rounds, since there is still some time.

Very little action so far, see this screenshot on MyTransport App by LTA.  Well, most of the action will be tomorrow, just before the COE bidding closes at 4pm.  Stay tuned!

As it turns out, I did not get the COE.  This is the final outcome of the COE bidding. Cat A closed at $51,301.

Check out the bid prices rise in the last 10 minutes.  Fun to watch.  I put it in a slideshow.

Will I try again?  Yes, I plan to.  Stay tuned!
Do follow my blog as I will continue to update on the experience. Cheers and have a great day!

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