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In the scheme announced in April 2018, owners are granted a $3,500 rebate for each of the affected bikes they deregister by 5 April 2023.

23 Apr 2019 | Local News : Singapore

About a third of motorcycles affected by a scheme to persuade owners to scrap their old, polluting two-wheelers have been scrapped a year after the incentive was announced.

A majority of motorcycles eligible are smaller capacity ones, making the rebate received more significant
In response to queries from The Straits Times, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said more than 8,300 out of 27,000 of these motorcycles have been deregistered as of end-March.

In the scheme announced in April last year, owners are granted a $3,500 rebate for each of the affected bikes they deregister by April 5, 2023. These motorcycles were registered before 1 July, 2003, making them at least 15 years old now.

"Response to the incentive scheme has been encouraging as the weekly deregistration rate of such motorcycles is about four times the rate before the scheme," an NEA spokesman said.

Industry players were expecting more to take up the NEA's offer, especially when the vast majority of motorcycles here are smaller models. Owners of such motorcycles would find the $3,500 rebate more meaningful if they were to get a replacement than, say, those who own a 1,000cc sports motorbike.

Singapore Motorcycle Trade Association (SMTA) Vice President Norman Lee said, "Owners are probably resisting the move, or they're hoping for a situation which allows them to keep their older bikes beyond 2028." In the scheme, no motorbike registered before 1 July 2003, will be allowed on the road after 30 June 2028.

Some classic models, like the Yamaha RD350 (above), will have to convert to the classic scheme by 2028 if not scrapped
Businessman Seah Kwang Peng, 40, has three motorcycles which are affected by the scheme. Mr. Seah has since exported one, a 1996 BMW F650. He said he intends to convert the other two - a 1984 Yamaha RX-K and a 1988 Honda Magna 750 - to the classic scheme when their current Certificates Of Entitlement (COEs) expire.

Retiree Lee Chiu San, 73, said he will hold on to his 29-year old Yamaha RD350 YPVS. "I'll convert it to the classic scheme when it turns 35."

Mr. Lee, a former motorcycle Grand Prix racer, added, "I bought it as a souvenir of my Grand Prix days. It is hardly used. Over 29 years, it has barely 29,000km on it. The bikes which have been scrapped so far probably aren't worth that much on the market."

Observers said more affected owners are likely to take up the NEA's offer if and when the COE premium for motorbikes falls. The COE is currently around $3,500. SMTA's Mr. Lee added, "What this means is that many workshops which rely on repairs will close down in the next five years."
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