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Business News

Licence plates costlier than cars in China

Monday - Feb 20, 2012, 02:22pm (GMT+5.5)
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Beijing - The prices of licence plates in China seem to be going through the roof as in some instances what one pays to buy a licence plate is much higher than the car's actual cost.

In Shanghai city, licence plate prices rose again this month as the lowest price surged to a record high of 55,400 yuan at Sunday's auction, causing some bidders to complain about the "insane" cost, the Shanghai daily reported.

A car plate is more expensive than some cars including a 40,000-yuan (about $6,350) Chery QQ subcompact, a Chang'an CX20 and a Geely Free Cruiser sedan.

"It's insane," said a bidder, Wang Yi, who failed in her third attempt to get a licence plate. She said she bid 55,000 yuan but didn't have enough time to raise the offer as prices jumped too quickly.

"The price level is inconceivably high," Wang told Shanghai Daily. "I will have to buy a car plate on the second-hand market for more money or my new Honda CR-V will remain parked at home."

Shanghai is China's only city that issues car plates through a monthly auction. The move was designed to keep the vehicle population from increasing too fast and help ease traffic congestion.

According to auction organiser Shanghai Commodity International Co, the lowest bid for a private car plate rose to 55,400 yuan, up 2,600 yuan from January.

The average price increased 2,437 yuan to 55,632 yuan in February, the second highest price on record. A record high of 56,042 yuan was set in December 2007.


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