There will be slightly fewer COEs (certificates of entitlement) for the February-April quota period.
Around 6350 COEs will be available for bidding each month. This is down from 6830 in the current quota period, according to the Land Transport Authority.
The supply of Category A COEs (for cars up to 1600cc and 130bhp) will average 1945 certificates a month, down from 2036. Category B (for cars above 1600cc or 130bhp) will average 1966 certificates a month, down from 2023.
There will be 655 COEs a month for Category E, down from 754.
COEs in this Open category can be used for any vehicle type except motorcycles. However, they are usually exclusively used by bigger cars.
There will be 629 Commercial vehicle COEs a month, down from 635. The motorcycle COE supply will drop from 1382 to 1155.
The drop in COE supply is partly because more people are extending the lifespan of their vehicles beyond 10 years. It is only when a vehicle is scrapped that a fresh COE is released.
There were 49,726 COEs revalidated (or renewed) in the first nine months of 2019, almost matching the 52,960 revalidated for the whole of 2018.
Motor traders do not expect COE premiums to soar with the smaller quota. They expect the weaker economic outlook this year to temper demand for new cars.
Mr Neo Nam Heng, chairman of diversified motor group Prime, said: “Prices will stabilise. People are likely to be more cautious this year.”
He expects Cat A COEs to hover between $35,000 and $40,000, and Cat B COEs to range between $40,000 and $45,000.
In the most recent tender last week, the two categories closed at $35,320 and $37,109 respectively.
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