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COEs for old vehicles

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COEs for old vehicles

Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 22 Nov 2012 7:32 pm

Are there any special rules for COEs for old vehicles? Special prices or anything? I never really wondered about the older 911s and MBs I see driving around, I figure they can afford it. But I've seen some other really old cars which just scream to me "wow this guy must be rich to buy a COE for that that thing".

One is an old VW Beatle I often saw parked in the car park betweenGeylang Serai and Tanjong Katong complex. The owners were an old Malay couple, I'd guess at least 70s, they'd always be there early in the morning, like 7-8am, feeding cats in the car park.

The other, this old Mini at Serangoon Gardens. It looks nice, and would be quite the fun hobby car, but to afford something like that in Singapore?


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edit: Changed the link since I was asked to block the license plate
Last edited by zzm9980 on Fri, 23 Nov 2012 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 22 Nov 2012 7:52 pm

I had one of those! Mine was an ST plate (66 Cooper Mk1). Rebuilt it from the ground up in my back yard in Seletar Camp back in the late 80's. Was a blast to drive. Quick as greased lightening but not too much top end. Found out during the rebuild of the engine that it was a very rare car (one of 400 only) in that it had a special engine for racing and was imported here for just that purpose originally. Registered as a 998cc but was actually a 997cc (High compression engine). Sold it about 6 months after the COE system was started.

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Postby offshoreoildude » Thu, 22 Nov 2012 8:59 pm

Unless they are classic scheme (30 days allowed driving per year) the COE is the same. The price of road tax also goes up though with every decade. You might have noticed a lot of older cars had COE's expiring late last year - it was a very low COE 10 years ago from that date and a lot of owners renewed COE's on older cars then. I don't expect we'll see that again and older vehicles will be scrapped more and more.
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Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 22 Nov 2012 9:12 pm

offshoreoildude wrote:Unless they are classic scheme (30 days allowed driving per year) the COE is the same. The price of road tax also goes up though with every decade. You might have noticed a lot of older cars had COE's expiring late last year - it was a very low COE 10 years ago from that date and a lot of owners renewed COE's on older cars then. I don't expect we'll see that again and older vehicles will be scrapped more and more.


It is kind of sad that is happening...

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 22 Nov 2012 11:29 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:I had one of those! Mine was an ST plate (66 Cooper Mk1). Rebuilt it from the ground up in my back yard in Seletar Camp back in the late 80's. Was a blast to drive. Quick as greased lightening but not too much top end. Found out during the rebuild of the engine that it was a very rare car (one of 400 only) in that it had a special engine for racing and was imported here for just that purpose originally. Registered as a 998cc but was actually a 997cc (High compression engine). Sold it about 6 months after the COE system was started.


I'm getting deja vu re: some kind of classic car rally in Singapore (this is going back perhaps as far as the 60s). Ring any bells anyone?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 23 Nov 2012 12:15 am

They have them every few years. The local mini club is alive and well. Quite a few of them still on the roads. The Singapore Grand Prix circuit started in 1961 or 62 and was eventually stop due to the number of deaths that occurred. It was out on the old Thompson Road but not sure of the actual course route.

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 23 Nov 2012 1:31 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:They have them every few years. The local mini club is alive and well. Quite a few of them still on the roads. The Singapore Grand Prix circuit started in 1961 or 62 and was eventually stop due to the number of deaths that occurred. It was out on the old Thompson Road but not sure of the actual course route.


Ah, interesting thanks. For what ever reason my old SG boss had an album of photos of said road-races.

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Postby zzm9980 » Fri, 23 Nov 2012 8:25 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote: Quite a few of them still on the roads.


So are these the richest people in Singapore? Or do they keep them as classics (mentioned above), in which case they're probably still rich since I assume they would have a landed house and garage.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 23 Nov 2012 3:05 pm

It depends on definition I suppose. A lot are dairly runners and they are kept in HDB covered parking lots. But the real "classic/antiques" are usually owned by the wealthy as they are the only ones who can afford the "space" to keep them. Others park them in their car porches of landed property (which may not be a sign of liquid wealth) that may well have been family owned for many years so the asset wealth is there but never been monetized to provide for income. Dog knows I'm not wealthy and I had one! Even lived in rental property at the time (Black & Whites for $400/mo - which I learned yesterday are at the moment renting for $4000/mo 15 years later - Seletar Camp).

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Postby taxico » Sat, 24 Nov 2012 2:32 pm

i think rules have been relaxed in recent times to allow import of cars older than 30/35 years (but must be on classic car scheme).

you can identify them with a dual-colored (RED/YELLOW) license plate, usually with a new'ish license plate, eg SKG1234Q

additionally, now that license plates can be transferred to any vehicle (previously you can only transfer them to a brand new car), coupled with the fact that singaporeans really like to show off, there has been a gradual rise in people purchasing old license plates as a sign of... old money?

the "original" old cars will have no alphabet suffixed to their originally issued license plate, eg ST4321

once a plate has been transferred to another vehicle, it's legally mandatory to stick an alphabet at the back (been so for a while now), eg SV4321C

a few used car dealers have been doing good business importing these cars in for sale as classic cars because COE is only 10% of PQP, flat rate $300 road tax (regardless of engine size - bentley blower owners rejoice!) and in return, you get to drive it for 52 days a year.

motor head, me? what?!

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Postby zzm9980 » Sat, 24 Nov 2012 3:21 pm

taxico wrote:you get to drive it for 52 days a year.


How do they track this? If I had one of these cars and avoided all ERP gantries, is it just up to manual enforcement?


Also, the pictured Mini has a license plate of XX####, so I take it the owner has had the car for a while then?

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Postby taxico » Sat, 24 Nov 2012 3:45 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
taxico wrote:you get to drive it for 52 days a year.


How do they track this? If I had one of these cars and avoided all ERP gantries, is it just up to manual enforcement?

Also, the pictured Mini has a license plate of XX####, so I take it the owner has had the car for a while then?


yes, the plate is probably original to that car and it was not a recent import. some of the plates are even original... you can usually tell from the "hammered by hand" look they exude...

i'm not 100% sure if the vehicle was transferred (sold) WITH the same plate to a new owner, that the alphabet will be suffixed. i don't think so. i believe it's only for transfer of plate to a different vehicle. i'll have to ask my friends to be sure.

as for the enforcement... it is not mandatory for cars to have erp devices so they can't track it properly via the device.

my wife often asks how do the authorities enforce weekend cars being driven without a day license.

i think the old monkey may have a super computer in his basement doing the scut work. THEY ARE EVERY WHERE AND KNOW EVERY THING...

okay, i think LTA enforcement officers (parking wardens) and LTA patrol officers (the ones that look and behave like traffic cops but are just jerks on 2 wheels) just need to note it down and enter it into the system in bulk a few days later to see if the elicense has been applied for (24 hour grace period or soemthing).

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Postby taxico » Sat, 24 Nov 2012 4:11 pm

useless trivia from a jobless dude:

there're probably only a handful of vehicles with 3 characters (single digit) on their license plates, the most popular being the Q company series. E is less common and S is most uncommon. i'd say between 15-20, including motorcycles with A and F prefix.

the most unusual prefix i've seen is an SAA plate white bmw, which i think was issued for an extremely extremely short time, after EZ. i've never seen one before until 3 weeks ago and thought i was seeing double.

the authorities decided there should be no use of vowels (eg, SAW, SEA, SIX, SOW, SUE) to prevent words being formed, hence they quickly went to SBA.

i guess that SAA plate slipped through as it was a bidded number (released earlier than assigned random numbers)...

what about SKY? hmmm...

oh my god, why do i retain knowledge of these weird things.


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