Covid-19 Phase 1: Safe Re-opening – What does it mean for car owners?

Covid-19 Circuit Breaker: What does it mean for car owners?

“Is June’s COE bidding still on?”

“What if my vehicle inspection date falls in June?”

“Will ERP charges resume in Phase One?”

With Phase One: Safe Re-opening taking effect on Tuesday, 2 June 2020, how do the updated measures affect you as a car owner, or a potential car owner? Not to worry – we’ve got the answers.

Disclaimer: As regulations have been changing based on the COVID-19 situation in Singapore, it’s best to check gov.sg’s advisory for the latest updates. We will endeavour to update this Q&A for car owners as quickly as we can.

Singapore’s Phase One measures – What does this mean for me as a car owner?

Covid-19 Circuit Breaker: What does it mean for car owners?

Photo by Lee Aik Soon on Unsplash

COE-related questions

1. Can I drive my car if my Certificate of Entitlement (COE) expires during Phase 1? 

Answer: No.

If your COE expires during this time, you are not allowed to drive your vehicle under any circumstances. If you are caught, the penalty is a fine of up to S$1,000 or up to 3 months in prison or both, and your driving license will be disqualified for at least 12 months.

With scrapyards and exporters having their business resumed from 2 June 2020, you can arrange for a tow truck to deliver your deregistered vehicle to them to have it disposed of.

2. Can I go to the LTA customer service centre to renew my COE? 

Answer: No. 

If you need to renew your COE, you can do so via bank transfer on OneMotoring. If you renew your COE after its expiry date, you will be subjected to late fees from S$50 to $250. Better to do it before it expires!

If you are unable to renew your COE within a month of its expiry date, please contact LTA and request for an extension. Your vehicle will be automatically deregistered if an extension is not granted and you won’t be able to renew its COE again. Do note that the LTA customer service centre will remain closed until further notice.

Most loan providers would be also allowed to resume operations from 2 June. Do bookmark this link if you want the best COE renewal loan rates for later on via SwiftQuote.

3. What about June’s COE bidding exercise? Can I still make a bid? 

Answer: No.

LTA has announced that COE bidding exercises for April, May and June 2020 will be suspended. 

Dealers may use their existing stock of Temporary COEs (TCOEs) to register new vehicles. The Prevailing Quota Premium (PQP) for CAT A to D will apply in April, May and June 2020. Car owners can pay the May 2020 and subsequent PQPs from 15 April 2020.

4. Can I still buy a car during this period? Got a lot of sales leh. 

Answer: You can do so online and have your new car delivered to you

It is also advisable to test drive a car whether it’s new or used (read our guide on what to look out for in used cars) and since that is NOT possible during Phase 1: Safe Re-opening, we advise you to discuss with the dealerships on the test drive mechanics.

For bikes, as there are generally no test rides, you can discuss with the seller and arrange for the delivery when the dealerships reopen.

5. How much is the price of COE for renewal during this period?

Answer: For Phase 1: Safe Re-opening, Prevailing Quota Premiums (PQP), which is the price of COE for renewal, will be based on the 3-month average of the Quota Premium (QP) for the bidding exercises conducted in January 2020, February 2020 and March 2020.

Vehicle-inspection/Ownership questions

6. What happens to my vehicle inspection? It is due in June.

Answer: Rejoice! If your vehicle inspection is due between 7 April and 30 June 2020, LTA will be deferring periodic inspections for private cars by 6 months. LTA had also announced that it will allow the road tax for these private cars to be renewed for six months if they have valid insurance coverage.

All other vehicles, such as goods vehicles, buses, taxis, private-hire cars and motorcycles, are still required to go for periodic inspections. Authorised Inspection Centres will remain open to facilitate these inspections.

If you need to go for seal inspection of an off-peak car (OPC), it will be waived during this period.

7. I just want to transfer the ownership of my car. Possible? 

Answer: Yes.

If you would like to transfer vehicle ownership, you may still do so via OneMotoring.

8. How much time do I have to de-register and dispose of my vehicle? 

Answer: If you have deregistered your vehicle or if your vehicle’s disposal deadline falls within 7 April and 30 June 2020, you will be granted an additional two months to dispose of it.

If your vehicle’s disposal deadline falls between 1 July and 1 August 2020, you will be given a further one-month extension to dispose of it. 

If you need to de-register your vehicle, you can do so via OneMotoring. All LTA-authorised scrap yards, Export Processing Zones, and other vehicle exporters will have resumed operations by 2 June 2020.

Get the best quotations for scrapping your car here with SwiftQuote.

9. Can I temporarily suspend my car insurance since I’m still not driving my car at all during Phase 1?

Answer: Highly doubt it, but check with your insurance provider directly for this. 

If your car insurance is expiring during this period, check in with your preferred company on the digital services they have available for you to renew or purchase your insurance. If you are looking for recommendations, check out our automated recommendation and quotation engine on SwiftQuote.

10. How can I pay my road tax? 

Answer: Just do it online. 

You can renew your road tax online for six months via OneMotoring, provided you have valid insurance coverage.

Maintenance / Servicing – related questions 

11. My car needs polishing. Can I do so at a workshop?

Answer: Yes.

Some workshops which offer car grooming services will be open in Phase 1. Do give your preferred workshop a call to check if they have resumed services.

However, if they have not, you may choose to purchase car-grooming products and D.I.Y., but do note that social distancing rules apply. Explore some cool D.I.Y. hacks for your car for you to try!

12. Stuck on the roads. Are there emergency services available? 

Answer: Yes.

If you require vehicle repair and recovery services, they will still be in operations.

13. I want to appeal my traffic fine!

Answer: Sure. 

If you need to pay fines or submit an appeal, you can do so via OneMotoring here and here respectively. And yes, you can still get fined for offences during this period.

All other car-related questions 

14. Can I rent a car and make deliveries during Phase 1? 

Answer: Yes. 

Taxis and private-hire cars are also finally allowed to use their vehicles to make deliveries until end-September 2020. 

Car rental from ComfortDelGro, SMRT, Grab and Gojek are also reduced since circuit breaker. Do check with them directly for car rentals!

Covid-19 Circuit Breaker: What does it mean for car owners?

Photo by Harshal Desai on Unsplash

15. Since Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) has ceased until end-June, this means it’s cheaper to drive to my in-laws right? 

Answer: It is. But ensure that only you and one other accompanying family member are visiting.

If you’re planning to drive to the supermarket, having no ERP is definitely something to cheer about. All ERP operations will cease until (likely) 28 June 2020.

16. Can I wash my car or bike during Phase 1?

Answer: Yes, you can.

As it is NOT considered a strenuous activity, you must wear a mask while doing so. If someone else is coming along with you, you need to ensure a safe distance of 2 metres… which can be quite difficult to adhere to. It is therefore advisable to wash your car/bike alone.

Here are some DIY tips on car grooming and bike grooming respectively.

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Beatrice is a content strategist at Carousell. When she’s not Carousell-ing, she’s Classpass-ing. Both makes her happy!

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