Business / Auto China

Beijing car plate 'yin and yang'

By Han Tianyang (China Daily) Updated: 2014-06-16 07:08

Legal risks

Yet such practices do have legal risks, lawyers warn, especially for the person that lends the license plate.

In car accidents, owners of vehicle plates sometimes bear joint liability even if they are not driving, said Wang Ying, a lawyer at Yide Law Firm.

In some cases, the owner of the vehicle license and the driver sign agreements to define responsibilities if an accident happens, but such agreements are invalid when a third party sues for compensation, said Zhang Yanqi, a partner in the Beijing Anzhi Law Firm.

In addition, there could be disputes over ownership of the car, although those have been very rare, both lawyers said.

But the days of friendly cooperation could soon be over as the government further tightens regulations on the use of license allotments.

A revised regulation released at the end of 2013 and effective from this year says that plate rights can only be used by those who win in the lottery. Attempts to sell, lease or lend the allotment will result in revocation of rights and the original owner will be banned from the lottery for three years, it said.

But the reality is that large numbers of Beijingers still rush to join the lottery whether they need a car or not in next six months.

Nearly 2 million applicants participated in the drawing in April, less than 1 percent of them winners.

To increase the odds, many call on family members and relatives to join the lottery.

According to local media reports, more older residents in their 50s and 60s went to driving schools in the past two years to get a driver's license, a requirement to join the lottery.

The majority don't learn to drive for themselves but to try and get a license plate for their children, the reports said.

Beijing car plate 'yin and yang'  Beijing car plate 'yin and yang'

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