(Photo Credit: Dollars and Sense)
In an unsurprising announcement on Tuesday, 21 April 2020, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called for an extension of the Circuit Breaker initiative until 1 June 2020. Along with this, stricter measures such as the closure of more workplaces and imposing entry restrictions on “hotspots” were implemented.
While the extension may leave some exasperated, many came to consensus that the extension was necessary, and lauded the long-term intent and foresight of this initiative.
But what will the extension of the Circuit Breaker mean for vehicle owners? Let’s find out.
1) Continued Suspension of COE Bidding Exercise
(Photo Credit: Straits Times)
While it hasn’t been officially announced, the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) Bidding Exercise for May 2020 will most likely be suspended. This comes after LTA suspended COE Bidding Exercises for April 2020.
2) Car Park Grace Period Extension From 10 Minutes to 20 Minutes
(Photo Credit: Today)
In a bid to support delivery transactions, short-term parking at Housing Development Board (HDB) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) car parks with the Electronic Parking System (EPS) was extended to 20 minutes from the usual of 10 minutes.
This grace period was initially projected to last until 31 May 2020, one day before the end of the new Circuit Breaker Extension. If the pandemic is not brought under control by then, it will likely be extended past 1 June.
3) Closure of Car Parks in Parks, Gardens and Nature Reserves
(Photo Credit: Hiking The Green Isle)
As part of the stricter measures to minimise movement and interactions among the populace, car parks in gardens, parks and nature reserves are now closed.
So, if you’re one of the few minorities that drive to the park for your exercise, you’ll have to consider other options now.
4) Car Workshops to Remain Open
(Photo Credit: Today)
Although there hasn’t been an official announcement, there is a high likelihood that car workshops will continue to stay open.
However, the operating capacity will most likely be reduced. This is because services would only be provided to emergency motor repairs, and it will most likely be on an appointment-based arrangement.
5) Car Showrooms to Remain Closed
(Photo Credit: Glamox)
Perhaps the hardest-hit segment in the automotive industry, car showrooms will continue to remain closed.
Those looking to purchase a new car during this period will have to hold back your plans.
This applies to second-hand dealers as well.
However, these dealers may be harder hit as compared to their counterparts, as they would have an idle stock losing value as their COE runs down.
6) Waiver of Seal Inspection for Off-Peak Cars (OPC)
(Photo Credit: Straits Times)
Under normal circumstances, OPCs will need to pass an annual seal inspection before they can renew their road tax.
However, seal inspection waiver for OPCs will most likely be extended during this extension.
7) Waiver of Vehicle Inspection (Private Vehicle)
(Photo Credit: The Smart Local)
Before the extension, periodic vehicle inspection for private cars was previously deferred. In addition, LTA allowed the renewal of road tax for six months so long as there was valid insurance coverage.
This measure will most likely be extended.
However, this does not apply to goods vehicles, buses, taxis, Private Hire Cars (PHCs), and motorcycles. They will still be required to go for periodic inspections as scheduled.
8) Carpooling Ban to Continue
This suspension includes the ferrying of colleagues to and from work for essential workers. According to LTA, “individuals who do not stay in the same household are not allowed to travel from point to point in the same vehicle (motorcycle/car/taxi)”.
However, rides made through apps such as Grab and Gojek are allowed, as the contact details of customers can be traced should an infection occur.
The ban of private carpooling services will likely continue with the stricter guidelines on safe distancing measures.
9) Cessation of ERP Charges to Continue
(Photo Credit: Sixt)
Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) charges were ceased on April 6 2020, as LTA anticipated a significant and immediate reduction in traffic volume.
The cessation of ERP came after the previous decision to suspend ERP charges at most locations.
The suspension of ERP would most likely continue throughout the days leading up to the stipulated end of Circuit Breaker.
10) Extension of Car Disposal Deadline
(Photo Credit: Yahoo)
What if your vehicle is due for deregistration during this period?
Before the extension, LTA announced that owners would have two additional months to dispose of their deregistered vehicles.
This includes owners who have recently deregistered their cars and those with their one-month disposal deadline approaching.
In view of this extension, we expect LTA to continue this measure.
During this extension of the Circuit Breaker period, it is inevitable that we will face disruptions. However, it is still our responsibility as citizens to adhere to the guidelines implemented by the government and play our part. The quicker we eradicate this virus, the faster we can return to normalcy!
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