Second-Hand Car Sales and Online Car Listings Hit Record High in Singapore

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Conversion Hub and sgCarMart Connect today announced the results of an industry study based on a survey of 1,200 consumers and the latest Land Transport Authority (LTA) figures. Conducted in early January 2012, the study highlights changing trends and consumer behavior in the Singapore automotive industry.

Tight supply of certificates of entitlement (COEs) makes new cars too expensive in Singapore, which already has the world’s highest cost of car ownership due to vehicle and ownership taxes." - Joel Fu, sgCarMart Connect Business Manager

Buyers are driving second-hand cars ownership transfers and online car listings to the highest figure since 2000. Tight supply of certificates of entitlement (COEs) makes new cars too expensive in Singapore, which already has the world’s highest cost of car ownership due to vehicle and ownership taxes. Findings are based on the Automotive Trends and Consumer Engagement Report, an industry study conducted by Conversion Hub in conjunction with sgCarMart.com.

In Singapore, where owning a Toyota would now cost your over $100,000SGD ($79,000USD), owning a new car is simply too costly for the average consumer.

According to recently released data from the Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA), new car registrations fell to an all-time low of 28,270 as the supply of COEs - which consumers must bid for the right to buy a motor vehicle - fell to its lowest level to date.

In contrast, more than 72,000 cars had their ownerships transferred last year - the highest figure since 2000.

As high COEs prices continue to take a central stage in Singapore, sgCarMart.com - Singapore's largest online car portal saw a 112 percent surge in direct owner listings as more sellers choose to cut cost by selling directly to another consumer instead of through a dealer.

SgCarMart.com has observed a surge in direct owner used car listings from 7,213 to 15,269 over a two-year period. [1] Similarly, there was an 87 percent increase in vehicle ownership transfers over the same
period. [2]

Apart from high, prohibitive COE prices, another reason for the spike is the trend of car owners selling directly so as to increase the returns on the value of their used cars. The increase in returns can range from $5,000 to $30,000 without going through a second-hand car dealer.

According to a recent survey conducted by sgCarMart.com [3], 94 percent of the respondents said they would buy or sell directly if there was a free service to help them settle the transaction paperwork from car loan and insurance settlement to vehicle ownership transfer.

To meet the demand, sgCarMart.com has set up a free suite of services, under sgCarMart Connect. sgCarMart Connect will provide direct car sellers and buyers an end to end direct solution to transact their car directly online including assisted online listing, vehicle mechanical inspection, sourcing for multiple insurance quotations, sourcing for multiple financing quotations and legal transfer of the vehicle ownership. To date, sgCarMart Connect has more than 10 direct car owners using its services since its launch less than a week ago.

SgCarMart.com projects that by next year, sgCarMart Connect will see a 30-40 percent growth in terms of direct vehicle ownership transfers in tandem with the positive second-hand car market outlook.

About Conversion Hub

Conversion Hub, an online marketing science company that helps clients achieves the No.1 or No.2 position in their market. Conversion Hub typically delivers a return on investment (ROI) improvement in excess of 100% to our clients. Conversion Hub delivers world-class solutions based on the premise of performance excellence and long-lasting results.

Headquartered in Singapore, Conversion Hub combines a decade of digital experience in online sustainability and marketing expertise, serving brands and government institutions such as Philips, Bayer, Microsoft, SingTel, National Heritage Board, Prime Minister Office, Public Service Commission, National University of Singapore and many others.

For more information, visit http://www.conversion-hub.com.

About sgCAarMart Connect

sgCarMart Connect operates Singapore's Number 1 automotive marketplace for six years running according to Hitwise. Each month, sgCarMart.com generates over 2 million visits and 35 million page views, helping millions of consumers easily plan and purchase their dream car.

With sgCarMart Connect Best Price Guarantee, sgCarMart.com customers can get a seamless experience in directly buying and selling a car as well as the best rates available for car loans and insurance..

For more information, visit http://connect.sgCarMart.com/.

About Land Transport Authority (LTA)

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is a statutory board under the Ministry of Transport that spearheads land transport developments in Singapore. LTA plans the long-term transport needs of Singapore, taking care of those who drive as well as those who take public transport. The ultimate goal - a smooth and seamless journey for all.

For more information, visit [1 In 2009, direct car owner listing is at 7,213. In 2011, direct car owner listing is at 15,269. Surge can be attributed to market reactions towards LTA’s new policy to reduce new COE quota in 2009.
[2] Total number of transfers with LTA for 2009 is at 47,751 and 2011 is at 89,117.
[3] 1,261 sgCarMart members answered the survey over a two-week period (15 Nov – 1 Dec, 2011)

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