Beijing car buyers may be forced to reserve parking spaces

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 October, 2012, 11:39am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 October, 2012, 5:47pm

Beijing residents might soon have to reserve a parking space before they can buy a car, the city’s traffic administration authorities said on Wednesday.

Beijing traffic official Pan Bo told a government website that obtaining a parking licence to purchase a vehicle “was a future trend”. A parking space would also have to be properly installed, he added.

Pan, a parking facility administrator, made the comments as Beijing rushes to complete construction of 35,000 parking spaces by the end of the year – in an attempt to ease parking congestion.

Pan said the government’s goal was to allow vehicle owners to be able to reach a parking spot on foot within 10 minutes.

The number of vehicles in Beijing – which has a population of 20 million – reached five million in January.

A parking licence is not the only obstacle facing vehicle buyers. Under a new policy which began last year, Beijing residents also need to win a “car lottery” in order to obtain a car licence plate.

This aims to reduce the number of cars in the notoriously crowded capital, limiting new car registrations at 240,000 every year, down two-thirds from a year before.