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March 21, 2010

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Car plate prices hit a record high

STRONG demand from new car owners pushed car plate prices in Shanghai to the highest level in two years at yesterday's auction.

The average price for a private car license rose to 39,882 yuan (US$5,839), a 1,262 yuan increase from last month, according to auction organizer Shanghai International Commodity Auction Co.

The lowest successful bid also added 1,300 yuan to last month's 39,600 yuan low. It is the sixth month the auction has driven up both the average price and the lowest price since last October.

A total of 8,000 private car plates were for sale at yesterday's auction, a return to normal levels after February's quota fell to 7,500.

The number of bidders this month dropped by 1,106 to 17,704.

"Some unsuccessful car owners from last month's auction are eager to get on the road as soon as possible, resulting in yesterday's high prices," said auto dealer Zhang Yanzhi.

The 11th Beijing Auto Show, which kicks off on April 25, also contributed to the heated demand for plates as users are normally eager to try out new models launched at auto shows.

Automobile sales are expected to remain robust this year, continuing to feed demand for car plates.

"The reduced number of bidders suggested people who are not eager to own a license may take a wait-and-see attitude but the price won't fluctuate much as the government is keeping strict control on car plate quotas," Zhang said.


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