China: Beijing mulls program that only allows car buyers with parking spaces image

Beijing, the capital city of the world’s largest automotive market, China, is also the leader in terms of vehicle ownership in the country, at close to six million vehicles, followed by Chongqing, Chengdu, Shenzhen and Shanghai.

The city is now planning to have all local auto purchases be tied to a secured parking space before the consumer is actually able to acquire the new vehicle, as the city tries to reign down on congestion and pollution. According to Vice Mayor Zhang Yankun, who spoke at a meeting in the capital today, the city would implement the measure starting next year, which could make it the first city in China to ask for proof o parking when purchasing a vehicle. The similar requirement already exists in Japan’s capital city – Tokyo. The idea is not new, as it was first proposed back in 2010 in a strategy of new measures that would have better regulated traffic. It could also impact the capital city’s sales, after the authorities decided to cap the number of new license plates issued annually that same year.

Analysts say the main concern is how the local government would enforce the new rule and because other cities could mirror the idea and bring similar policies it’s important to see Beijing’s implementation. Parking is a major concern in Beijing and other sprawling Chinese cities, as new shopping and office projects bring more traffic and weigh on the available parking space. Because of congestion, the city has already imposed rules in which cars can only drive on specific days depending on the last digit of their license plates.

Via Bloomberg