Car plates a prize asset as new rules take effect

09:27, February 14, 2011      

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DEMAND for second-hand Shanghai car plates is soaring since the supply of new ones was reduced and restrictions tightened on plates from outside the city.

The price of a second-hand Shanghai car plate price has increased 10 percent since before the Spring Festival - up to 44,000 yuan (US$6,666) this weekend, compared to 40,000 yuan before this month's holiday.

Police have strengthened restrictions on access to local highways, fining car owners with plates from other provinces found driving on Shanghai highways during peak hours. This measure is intended to ease congestion.

As a result, local car buyers who planned to buy cheaper car plates from other provinces are now seeking local plates.

But the local supply of new plates will this month be reduced by 500 to 7,500, increasing demand in the second-hand plate market.

In January, the price of new car plates Shanghai jumped to 38,771 yuan, a sharp rebound from an -unexpected low price of 15,970 yuan in December.

Auto sales boomed in December as buyers rushed to make purchases before the government scrapped a preferential tax measure. Passenger car sales in China jumped 18.6 percent year-on-year to 1.31 million units in December.

Previously, many car owners applied for plates in Jiangxi and Shandong Provinces for about 2,000 yuan a plate.

Local motorist Jason Wu, who had intended to buy a plate in -Jiangxi Province, said he may now change his plans due to the tighter restrictions.

"I will reconsider it, as buying a plate in Jiangxi no longer seem economic since the introduction of strict police inspection and fines."

Cars from outside the city were already banned from Shanghai highways during peak hours, but car owners often broke the rule as they were seldom fined.

Last week, police announced more rigorous inspections at local -highways. Many car owners -without local plates have been fined 200 yuan.

Source:Shanghai Daily
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