The story appears on

Page A2

January 20, 2013

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Public Services

Bullish bidders send car plate prices to new high

SHANGHAI car plate prices struck a bullish note at the first auction this year yesterday, surpassing the 70,000 yuan (US$11,263) benchmark for the first time.

In the seventh consecutive month of hitting a record high, the lowest winning bid for a Shanghai car plate shot up to 75,000 yuan at the first monthly auction this year - up from 6,100 yuan from last month.

The average price surged 5,986 yuan on December's figure to 75,332 yuan, Shanghai Commodity International Auction Co said.

The steep price increase came after the city reduced the supply of car plates by 300 from last month to 9,000 - the lowest in nine months - while the number of bidders increased from 18,244 to 20,857.

This saw the percentage of motorists with successful bids fall from 51 percent in December to 43 percent.

Observers said that it seems that nothing can stop some what people call "the most precious metal plate on the Earth" from setting new price records, not even the car plate resale rule introduced last July.

This extends the period a plate must be retained from one year to three years in a bid to cool down speculative bidding.

But since its introduction the average price has increased more than 28 percent.

Shanghai car dealer Xiao Yan said scalpers may be leaving the game but members of the public looking for a plate have opted to start the year with bullish bids, after seeing no signs of downward correction in recent months.

"There are clear and unwavering expectations of further price hikes, which makes overbidding common," said Xiao.

And with the Spring Festival - a peak time for buying cars - next month, Xiao expects no downturn.

"The arrival of Shanghai's traditional car shopping season is likely to increase impulsive bidding," said the dealer.

Would-be plate buyer Vicky Ye, who balked at yesterday's prices, was left ruing not bidding earlier. After waiting in vain for prices to cool, she was determined to buy this time, but was put off by the prices.

"I didn't expect prices to go that high. In retrospect, I should have taken part in auctions last year or been more decisive this time," Ye said.

Faced with soaring Shanghai plate prices, many city drivers choose to get out-of-town license plates. This can save them a lot of money, though they face restrictions of travel at rush hours.

Another option is to buy an electric or hybrid car.

These are eligible for a free special license this year, under incentives by the municipal government to encourage sales of new energy cars.

Next week, the first batch of these "green car plates" will be presented at a ceremony held by Shanghai Gaozhan New Energy Vehicle Sales Services Co.

The city has set aside 20,000 car plates for new energy cars this year, in addition to a maximum 40,000 yuan subsidy for each vehicle.

These incentives have persuaded hundreds of drivers to go green, according to Xu Weihan, the founder and CFO of Shanghai Gaozhan.

There have been around 10 electric car orders a day this month, according to Xu.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend