The new year has brought new restrictions for those wanting to buy a car in Beijing. It's been a headache for drivers, but brought about a boom in the rental market.
The holiday period is a traditional peak period for renting a car. Ninety percent of available vehicles are being snapped up at medium- and small-sized suppliers. The manager of one company explained that some companies rent cars for their clients - while other people hire cars to drive back to their hometowns.
"Some people want to avoid the hassle of getting a train ticket, so it's more convenient for them to rent a car, and share the expense with their colleagues or friends," said Xiang Ping, Manager of Rental Car Company.
Xiang said the high demand is related to the newly launched license-plate lottery system.
Under the new regulations, the authorities have stopped the free-for-all among would-be drivers, and are limiting the number of new vehicles allowed on Beijing's roads. With such restrictions in place, more would-be buyers are choosing to rent.
"Now, only 20,000 vehicles get new license plates every month. And this number covers the ones belonging to both enterprises and individuals. It's a good thing for the rental car industry," Xiang said.
(CNTV.cn January 23, 2011)