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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Eager buyers skirt license plate limits

By Xu Xiao (China Daily)

14:46, January 30, 2012

Beijing's monthly lottery for new car license plates. With the odds of winning a license less than 3 percent, buyers are finding creative other ways of getting their cars on the road. (Photo/China Daily)

BEIJING - Residents of the capital city face the nation's toughest restrictions on license plates for new vehicles, but some have found solutions with the help of dealers and car rental companies.

The citywide policy adopted last year makes buyers join a plate lottery on the 26th of every month-but less than 3 percent are winners.

One car owner who asked to remain anonymous said his answer was to get a plate from Hebei province, which neighbors Beijing.

He lives and works in Beijing's Daxing district close to Langfang, a city in Hebei.

"The dealer suggested I first get a Hebei plate and later replace it with a Beijing license when I have the luck (of the draw) - and I agreed without hesitation," he recalled.

Cars with license plates from Hebei and other provinces are allowed on streets outside the Fifth Ring Road of Beijing at any time. They can enter the fifth-ring area from 8 pm to 7 am on workdays and anytime on weekends and holidays.

"It's more convenient than no car," he said.

A salesman at a car dealership told reporters that buyers only need to provide a photo and 800 to 1,000 yuan to get a temporary residential certificate for Langfang - the requirement for a license plate in the city. It takes only half a day to get the plate.

The Langfang plate was the most popular alternative for eager Beijing buyers, but authorities adopted punitive measures to fight the tactic in the later part of 2011.

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