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April 17, 2011

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Car plate price rise continues

SHANGHAI'S car license plate prices continued to rise in April after reaching a three-year record high last month.

Industry analysts said the rise is within market expectations as the introduction of a policy limiting vehicles with out-of-town plates has prompted demand for local licenses.

In addition, the launch of new models at the upcoming Shanghai auto show may further increase demand.

The average auction price for a private car license in Shanghai was 47,399 yuan (US$7,260) this month, up 742 yuan from March, according to auction organizer Shanghai International Commodity Auction Co.

The lowest successful bid also gained 100 yuan to 46,300 yuan. The local government offered 8,000 licenses for auction this month, the same amount as March. The number of bidders was 22,326, a fall from 25,014 last month.

Before the weekend, second-hand car plate prices already surpassed 50,000 yuan after both prices reached the highest since January 2008.

In February, Shanghai launched a campaign to tighten the ban prohibiting vehicles with out-of-town plates from using elevated roads during peak hours.

Local police said the number of vehicles with out-of-town plates using elevated roads during peak hours has declined 60 percent since the ban began.

"Demand for out-of-town plates has dropped significantly," said an auto dealer surnamed Qian.

While another Shanghai dealer, Xie Yingfeng, said: "Some auto buyers eager to get the plate for planned outings during the May Day holiday."


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