The Truth About Cars » car restrictions The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 20:36:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » car restrictions Car Sales or Gridlock? China’s Central Government At Odds With Beijing’s Car Curbs Sat, 25 Jun 2011 07:00:14 +0000

With a population approaching that of Australia and car sales of 700,000 new cars, or 890,000 new cars (depending on which issue of China Daily you rely more), Beijing used to be one of the most important car markets in the world’s largest car markets, China. As amply documented by TTAC, the car market in Beijing collapsed completely after city fathers ruled that new registrations have to try their luck in a license plate lottery first.

China’ top economic planners at the National Development and Reform Commission NDRC see their economic plans threatened, and are “appealing” to Beijing to change its policy.

In the first quarter of 2011, only 93,000 cars were sold in Beijing, a drop of  67 percent. Many car dealerships in Beijing are closed and boarded-up.

The NDRC wants Beijing to adjust or scrap its car quota, says Reuters, citing a story in the national Business Daily. In a report submitted to China’s State Council, the NDRC linked Beijing’s steps to the slowdown of auto sales in China. The Beijing market amounted to approximately 5 percent of China’s auto sales. This wasn‘t much as long as the market was growing in the high double digits. Now that China’s market is sputtering, every car counts. In the meantime, Dong Yang, secretary general of China’s automaker association CAAM told Reuters the report was not true.

The NDRC never had been a friend of harsh policies such as the one in Beijing. Chen Jianguo, deputy head of the industrial coordination department of the NDRC, had warned early on that purchase restrictions are not only insufficient to deal with the congestion problem, but could harm consumers and the industry overall.

In April, there were widespread reports that Beijing would exempt EVs from the license plate restrictions. However, these measures have yet to be enacted. There are no EVs to buy, and EV makers are waiting for the rules to come in effect.


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Judges Made Unwitting Accessories In Beijing License Plate Scam Thu, 17 Feb 2011 11:39:25 +0000

Beijing’s draconian license plate limits have a stimulating effect on the creativity of Beijingers. To skirt the new rules, complex schemes are being devised. Beijing’s courts are turned into accessories of the fraud. According to China Daily, the scheme goes like this:

The seller and buyer of a used car invent a debt the vehicle’s seller supposedly “owes” the buyer for which the car is “collateral”. Both go to court.  The court  orders the “debtor” (the car’s seller) to hand over the car to the “lender” (the car’s buyer). Along with the transfer of the car’s ownership comes the already registered license plate. Bingo.

Under the new rulings, registered owners of a car can buy a new one without being submitted to the license plate limitations. However, the plate does not transfer with the used car. As a result, Beijing’s second had car market pretty much collapsed in January. In the tough rules is an exception for the registration of cars’ ownership transfers through court adjudications, or property transfers related to marriages and inheritances. False marriages with car owners will probably rise also. Adoption and subsequent death might prove as too complicated.

“Such stipulations provide loopholes for used car buyers to avoid legitimate channels,” said Zhu Xingdong, a senior staff member of the people’s court of Beijing’s Huairou district. He said it’s tough for the courts to determine that the debts are legit, because the two parties have colluded in supplying watertight debt and reimbursement agreements. “If it is found to enable people to get around the lottery to obtain license plates, there will be a surge in these cases,” Zhu predicted.

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Forbidden City: Not From Beijing? Get Outta Town! Fri, 07 Jan 2011 11:44:10 +0000

Want to belong to a really exclusive club? Own a car in Beijing. Don’t have one yet? Sorry, try your luck in the license plate lottery. Out-of–towner? Don’t even think of entering downtown during rush-hour. “Vehicles that are not registered in Beijing are prohibited from entering the urban area inside the Fifth Ring Road during the two daily rush hours,” reports China Daily. Even during off-peak hours, Beijing’s capital is full of surprises for outsiders.

Beijing police has started handing out 100 Yuan ($15) fines to country folk that ignores the rush hour rule. $15 lighter, and with a warning notice in their hand, they are being turned around and sent back to the farm. The only way to get around it is with a special, and highly prized permit.

Even off-peak times can be a matter of high suspense: The “leave your car at home on one day of the week” rule now applies to out-of towners also. It depends on the last number of the license plate, and rules keep changing often enough to confuse even the most sophisticated Beijinger. Breaking that rule costs 300 yuan ($45).

The new rules jump-started a business that had been languishing in China: Car rentals. “Car rental agencies have been enjoying a boom in business ever since new restrictions made it harder for people to buy an automobile in the capital,” reports China Daily.

Another market is in a total state of confusion: Used cars. If you already own a car, you don’t need to enter the lottery if you get another one. That looked like a great loophole, and used cars turned into a prized possession. Then, word got around that the plates are not transferrable, and used car prices plummeted. Now, the market is in limbo and waits for new regulations to be handed down.

“The license plate lottery may benefit from some tweaks,” said China Daily yesterday. Beijing’s administration is taking the admonition to heart – and tweaks the system daily.

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53,000 Apply On The First Day Of Beijing’s Car Rationing Sun, 02 Jan 2011 07:10:59 +0000

So. Yesterday, Jan 1, was the first day of the grand car rationing in Beijing, China. From now on out, only 20,000 new vehicles per month are allowed onto Beijing’s roads. (If you trade old for new, this rule doesn’t apply.) And what did Beijingers do? Take a taxi? The subway? No, they swamped the system.

A grand total of 53,549 people applied for a new Beijing license plate as of 5pm yesterday, the Beijing News reports. That’s more than double the number allotted for a whole month. Citizens can apply on-line. On the 26th of each month, there will be a big lucky draw, and if you win, you may buy a car. First in line stands the same chances as the applicant that entered on the 25th – which makes the run on the databank even more curious.

The 20,000 per month / 240,000 per year quota is not cast in stone. “Beijing will revise its car quota on a year-by-year basis, depending on road capacity and air quality,” transportation authorities told Global Times.

Those without a Beijing plate “are required from Jan. 1 to apply for a permit before entering the capital,” says Bloomberg.

That alone is fascinating. If taken literally, it would bring all traffic in China’s northern quadrant to its knees. If you inspect Google maps, you will see that Beijing’s city limits (dotted line) are drawn rather wide, and, not unusual for a capital, it is a traffic hub. Up there, most roads lead through Beijing.

When the new car regime was announced last month, a record 30,000 new vehicles were registered in Beijing in the week of December 13, Bloomberg says. The city now officially has 4.76 million cars. A city development, plan unveiled in 2004, had projected 5 million cars on Beijing’s roads by 2020. No wonder the following went viral in Beijing’s expat scene:

“Did you hear they will rename Beijing AGAIN?”

“No. What’s will it be called this time?”


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