THE average winning price for a car license plate in Shenzhen reached 95,103 yuan (US$14,410) in the December auction, nearly double the average price in July.
Statistics from the city's car license plate administration office showed that the price in the latest round of monthly auctions, 13,000 yuan or 15.2 percent more than the previous month, is the highest among Chinese cities that have adopted the auction mechanism to control the annual number of new vehicles allowed to register, such as Shanghai.
Car-plate prices in Shenzhen ranged between 25,000 and 50,000 yuan in the first half of the year. It suddenly started rising in August, and increased by more than 10,000 yuan each month. In August, the price stood at 51,282 yuan.
The sudden rise was believed to be partly because of a new rule that expands road restrictions for non-locally registered vehicles during rush hours since August. Some believe the rising price for car plates for fuel-powered vehicles will help popularize electricity-powered vehicles. Buyers of electricity-powered vehicles can apply for license plates directly without necessarily taking part in lucky draws or auctions.