VES vs CEVS: How much will it affect your car buying decision?

Come January 2018, the current Carbon Emissions-Based Vehicle (CEVS) scheme will be replaced by the new Vehicle Emission Scheme (VES). It was announced earlier this year by the National Environment Agency for the purpose of improving air quality and thereby improving public health but what does this really mean for car buyers in Singapore? Unlike CEVS which only takes carbon-based emissions, it now takes into account four additional pollutants in the criterion. Along with new criteria, the new scheme will also establish new banding rebates and surcharges. This is where future car buyers are affected so if you’ve been thinking of getting a certain favourite model, we’ll help you break down this new emissions scheme.



Let’s take a look at the current CEVs banding


Now let’s take a look at the VES banding


From one carbon-based pollutant now we have 4 additional pollutants namely hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). Most hybrid cars here have been enjoying the high rebates under the CEVS scheme (up to $30,000) because of their low carbon emissions. However with VES implementing next year, nearly half of the current car models in Singapore will end up in the neutral or surcharge band because of the now inclusive high pollutants like nitrogen oxide and particulate matter.

Here's an example of a Toyota C-HR

For a Toyota C-HR Hybrid, which is banded A1 for carbon emissions under the CEVS will now be banded as B (PM is not applicable to cars registered from 1 January 2018 to 30 June 2018) under the VES. So instead of getting a $30K rebate now you will get $0 rebate if your car is registered after 31st Dec 2017.

The main consideration would be the difference in Rebates/Surcharges for the model that you are considering when the VES starts next year.

For example, if you are looking to buy a Prius Alpha which currently enjoys a Rebate of $15K, the difference will only be $5K when the VES kicks in. However, if you are looking to buy a Sienta Hybrid or C-HR Hybrid, you should do so before 1st Jan 2018 as the Rebates will drop from $30K to zero.


How about those aiming to buy a big or high-performance car which currently attracts a $30K surcharge? Well, good news for you, waiting till next year would save you $10K in immediate savings as you would only need to pay a surcharge of $20K under the VES. Check it out with your dealers today and make sure the savings are passed on to you.


So, when is the best time to book your dream car before the VES robs you of your Rebates? From now until December you have about 3 months or 6-7 rounds of COE Bidding Exercises to secure your COE. Waiting up to the last 2 rounds of COE is a risk with bidding premiums expected to go up as car buyers and dealers rush to register their cars before the VES. Together with the traditional year-end rush, it will not be surprising to see a hike in COE premiums in Nov-Dec just like in July-Aug before the EURO 6 Emissions Standard implementation. A smarter car buyer would secure a new car sooner to avoid paying a higher COE price before the year-end rush and take advantage of the CEVS Rebates before the new VES scheme is implemented.