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Beijing allows outsiders to buy cars for first time
By Liu Wei (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-03-04 01:47

People who live in Beijing but enjoy no permanent residence registration in the city will now be able to buy cars in the capital for the first time.

The move was announced by the Beijing vehicle administration authorities, and was due to come into effect yesterday.

The revised vehicle registration regulation is in line with the national capital's attitude towards removing barriers for migrant workers.

Under the rule change, anyone, even if they do not have a Beijing household registration card, will be allowed to buy a car in Beijing.

Out-of-town drivers need their ID cards, temporary resident documents, their vehicle purchasing invoice and other documents to apply for a licence.

Owning a car is no longer a privilege just for native Beijingers.

Reaction to the news was mixed, according to notes posted on a website.

One web user expressed satisfaction on the lifting of the ban, saying he is considering buying a sedan following price reductions across China in recent months.

But another web user said he was not so pleased at the news.

"I bought a car about 10 days ago in the name of one of my good Beijing friends," he said.

"If I apply to re-register the owner's name on the licence I'll have to pay an extra 2,000 yuan (US$240)," he complained.

Changing the ownership of a car costs about 2.5 per cent of the vehicle's value.

Traffic police also expressed their concern about the possible sharp increase in the number of vehicles on Beijing's roads, which are already clogged with traffic.

Registered cars in Beijing now number 2.27 million, including 1.5 million frequently used on the city's roads, statistics show.

However, the city has so far shown no signs of restricting private purchases.

Liu Xiaoming, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Communications Commission, in a recent speech revealed government guidance on this issue.

"The city currently has no restrictions for private sedan use. However, we're considering raising fees for each car as a administrative measure," he said.

Insiders told China Daily that the move to let outsiders buy cars in Beijing is part of the government's efforts to revitalize the auto market, which has been in a slump since last year.

(China Daily 03/04/2005 page3)

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