China: licensed drivers surpass the 300 million mark image

The world’s largest auto market can also brag about the fact that its total number of drivers almost matches the total number of people living in the United States, the second biggest global auto market.

According to the Chinese public security ministry and US census figures, currently there are more than 300 million motorists in China, which compares to a total population of 319 million inhabitants in America. And that’s even as only one in three adult Chinese qualify to drive a motor vehicle. The Chinese ministry said in a statement published on its official website that 100 million new drivers were added by the country in just four years. There are also 35 cities in China that have more than one million autos, with places such as Beijing and Shenzhen already at twice the figure.

While congestion and pollution is getting worse in major urban centers, the growing number of licensed drivers will only help produce greater demand for new or used cars and this week the public security ministry separately announced it would make the licensing procedure even simpler. A prediction coming from the state-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers puts Chinese new vehicle deliveries in 2014 at around 23 million units.

Via Bloomberg