Thanks to new regulations governing auto registration, winners of this month's private auto license plate auction are expected to get permission to drive their new cars in much less time.
The Ministry of Public Security issued a regulation to simplify registration procedures of new cars late last week. According to the new rule, applicants can receive auto license plates on the day of application.
"That's really good news for ordinary customers," said one bidder at the city's monthly private auto license plate auction on Saturday.
"That means we won't have to be worried about how long we need to wait for the license. The wait sometimes could be for more than a month, depending on your luck and efficiency of the police."
Individuals who want to own a car in Shanghai must bid for a private auto license plate before buying it and apply for the auto registration at the police office.
The auto registration process used to take more than a week.
The new regulation will be effective on October 8 in 15 cities, including Shanghai, and nationwide in February.
The regulation will also provide opportunities for auto owners to choose their favorite plate number.
However, the new rule didn't influence this month's auto license plate auction, said the Shanghai International Commodity Auction Co. Ltd., organizer of the monthly sealed-bid auction.
The lowest successful bid at the private plate auction slid to 11,200 yuan (US$1,349) this month in accordance with a slight decline of the average winning price.
That price is 3,400 yuan less than the lowest winning price a month earlier, when the average winning bid declined by 765 yuan to about 14,279 yuan.
The auction house sold 1,500 license plates on Saturday, 100 more than those sold last month.
As usual, the auction house declined to reveal the highest bid and the number of bidders.
"The average bidding price stood at a rather high level, despite the larger number of plates on the block," said the auction official, who declined to be identified.
"That showed that individual car purchases are continuing to boom, particularly stimulated by the forthcoming National Day holidays," the official added.
Shanghai, as home to two major domestic automobile manufacturers, is known for its tight restrictions on private car purchases, which is part of the city's effort to reduce traffic congestion.
Just last year, the city government relaxed its restrictions by dropping the required 20,000-yuan minimum bid and a stipulation that the plates bought at auction be used only on cars made in Shanghai.