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How does COE open bidding work? Your handy guide.

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By Lynn Tan 

You can save yourself the hassle and have your car dealer bid the COE for you, in which case, the cost of the COE will be factored into the amount that you will pay your dealer in addition to the purchase price of the car itself. But what you gain in convenience you can lose in savings and it may well be worth looking into the option of bidding a bargain price COE for yourself.

Should you choose to submit your own bid, here is a handy how-to guide.

How the COE Open Bidding System works 

  • There are two Certificate of Entitlement (COE) Open Bidding exercises every month, beginning at 12 noon on the first and third Monday, and closing on Wednesday at 4 pm.
  • It is based on competitive bidding, where bidders outbid each other in order to secure a limited quota of COEs available.
  • Bidders enter a reserve price, which is the maximum amount that the bidder is willing to pay for the COE.
  • The System automatically revises the bid upwards, at an increment of $1, until the reserve price is reached.
  • A bid still stands for as long as the reserve price is higher than or equal to the Current COE Price (CCP).
  • The CCP is the price of the highest unsuccessful bid plus $1.
  • The CCP will stop increasing when the number of bidders whose reserve prices are at or higher than the CCP equals the quota.
  • At the close of the bidding exercise, bidders whose bids are equal to or above the CCP will successfully secure a COE.
  • The CCP at the close of the bidding forms the Quota Premium for that exercise.
  • All successful bidders in the vehicle category will pay the same Quota Premium for that category. If the bidder’s reserve price is higher than the Quote Premium, the difference will be refunded to the bidder.

How to submit a bid

Individuals must have either a DBS or POSB account and they can only submit a bid via the banks’ ATMs using their ATM cards. 

Each individual can only submit one bid per bidding exercise. 

The minimum reserve price is $1 and once a bid has been accepted by the System, it cannot be withdrawn.

A bid deposit, which will be refunded to unsuccessful bidders, will be charged for each bid application and revision: 

  • COE bid deposit for Categories A, B, C and E- $10,000
  • COE bid deposit for Category D- $200

The bank will also charge an administration fee ranging from $2 to $10. 

How to check bid status 

Bidders can check on the status of their bids via the LTA Open Bidding website using their bank account information. 

They system will display the current COE information and the status of the bid.

  • “Out-bid” means the CCP is higher than the bidder’s reserve price and the bidder is no longer in the running.
  • “Accepted” means that the bid is still valid.

How to revise a bid

If the CCP surpasses the bidder’s reserve price, the bidder will need to increase his reserve price, or try again in the next exercise. 

Bids can only be revised upwards in multiples of $1 via DBS or POSB ATMs or the LTA Open Bidding website. There is no limit to the number of revisions before the exercise ends, but each revision will incur an administration fee.

How to check bid results 

Bid results will be published on the LTA Open Bidding website.

Thankfully, there is no bidding involved when it comes to motor insurance.

We also recommend checking out this handy guide on how to renew your COE. You may also want to know what are the best cars for COE renewals.

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