Exiting The Circuit Breaker, And What It Means For Motorists

Jek Ray Low
28 May 2020

Much to everyone’s relief, the Circuit Breaker is drawing to a close, but what does that actually entail for us motorists?

The coronavirus epidemic has wrecked havoc globally, torpedoing economies and causing huge number of fatalities in more ill-prepared nations. Our government responded to the crisis by originally imposing a 4 week quasi-lockdown, that they’ve termed the ‘Circuit Breaker’. As the situation failed to stabilise within the stipulated time frame, a 4 week extension was added to keep the outbreak under control. This has affected the economy at large, and the automotive industry has been hit fairly hard too. Dealers have exhausted their supplies of TCOEs, and car sales, despite increasingly being conducted online, still saw a steady decline during this period.

Much to everyone’s relief, the Circuit Breaker is drawing to a close, but what does that actually entail for us motorists?

5. Continued Suspension Of ERP

Your commute to work post Circuit Breaker will still cost less than before the pandemic, as even when the economy is gradually being reopened, ERP charging will remain suspended until further notice. 

The gantries will remain switched off probably due to the fact that there will be a continued and significant reduction in traffic to even the most heavily used roads, as only essential workers have to report physically for work, with the bulk of the working class telecommuting.

4. Continued Suspension Of COE Bidding

COE bidding exercises, which were suspended throughout the duration of the Circuit Breaker, will remain suspended through the first phase of the staggered reopening of the economy. This is because car dealers and showrooms will remain unoperational through this initial period. Dealers can still utilise their existing pool of Temporary COEs (TCOEs) to put new vehicles on the road. 

If you’re looking at renewing the COE of your vehicle, the PQP will be based on the average Quota Premium for the latest 3 months of bidding exercise, which happens to be from January to March of 2020.

3. Vehicle Inspection Extension

Private cars due for inspection within the Circuit Breaker period, and between the 2nd to the 21st of June, will have their inspection deadlines extended by 6 months. With valid insurance coverage, the LTA will allow the road tax of these vehicles to be renewed for 6 months.

You no longer have to bring your off-peak car in for a seal inspection to renew your road tax should said tax expire with the Circuit Breaker period, up to the 21st of June.

2. Car Repairs

The resumption of car repair services must be a welcomed relief for owners of vehicles that have unfortunately broken down during the Circuit Breaker period, and have specialist repair shops that have not been given the green light to operate during the quasi-lockdown.

In general, car workshops that perform mechanical or electrical repairs, as well as bodywork, glass and interior repairs, and even installation of parts and accessories, will be allowed to conduct their business from the 2nd of June.

1. New Car Purchase

You still can't do this. Car dealerships are to remain closed for the first phase of the reopening of the economy. Retailers are still allowed to make sales via online platforms, but test drives and showrooms will remain shuttered until at least the 1st of July.

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