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September 14, 2009

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Drivers count mounting cost of license plates

NEW city drivers will bid for 8,500 car license plates at this month's auction, a record number so far this year to meet demand during the prime car sales season.

Shanghai International Commodity Auction Co, the auction organizer, said yesterday that an extra 500 private license tags will go under the hammer in the monthly auction on September 19, compared with 8,000 announced last Friday.

"It's normal to offer more plates at this time of year because September and October are the prime car sales season," said Zhu Junyi, an official from Shanghai Information Center's automotive industry research office.

China sold 1.13 million autos in August, traditionally a slow month for sales, according to China's Association of Automobile Manufacturers. That was the sixth consecutive month to see a sales of over 1 million.

Plates on Shanghai's second-hand market have cost as much as 39,500 yuan (US$5,800) recently.

Analysts said it was possible the auction price could exceed 40,000 yuan this month.


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