I am picking up the plan of buying a car in Shanghai again. I thought I have dropped the plan already when I started to seek for apartments in Puxi again. It is disappointing. I have to re-consider my plan. I visited some car stores. It seems my first car is only 100 meters away.
I started with Buick Sail. I only want to have the cheapest car as my first one to start with. Obviously, the Buick Sail at 78,000 RMB (9,390 USD) is the cheapest on the Shanghai market. I mean the cars with well known brand. I don’t consider cars like QQ.
Later, I found FIAT Palio and Siena is almost at the same price range as SAIL but looks much better. More importantly, it is bigger.
The reason I have to be rush to get a car is, I MAY re-consider to move to Pudong. Also, I can get a car plate in nearby areas if I am hurry. The door to get a non-Shanghai plate is closing soon. Last month, a car plate in Shanghai has risen to 40,000 RMB. That is more than 50% of the car price already. In contrast, a plate in Zhejiang is only 3500 RMB.
There are some limitations of foreign plate car – they cannot use the elevated high way in rush hours in working days. I don’t really care this limitation. This is a simple calculation.
Days of working day per year: 260 (days)
Times to use elevated high way per day: 2 (/day)
Years the high-price plate policy exists: 4 (years)
Price of the plate: 40,000 (RMB)
Cost of using elevated highway per times= 40,000 / (260 * 2 * 4) = 20 (RMB)
It means I have to pay 40 RMB per day for using the high way, which means it is among most expensive roads in the whole world.
Meanwhile, the road under the high way is typically less crowded. Sometimes it is faster to use the normal road than the elevated high ways. The elevated high way sometimes becomes the elevated parking lot. Why bother to pay the high price?
Control It or Encourage It
It is reported that the high price of a car plate has greatly changed the way people in Shanghai buying a car. KIA shipped a new model that is less than 10K RMB last year. However, people in Shanghai are less interested in it since the plate price is 3K+ already. Why not add a little percentage to buy better cars? KIA sold 5000+ cars in Beijing last year while sold only 1000- in Shanghai. That is the difference.
My personal view is, the high price plate policy will be abandoned in one year. The high price does not help on the transportation system too much while it hurt the automobile industry greatly. Shanghai is not Singapore. Shanghai has mess areas outside the outer ring. Without cheap cars, that areas can hard catch up.
I will go ahead to get a Siena if no strong reasons found in one week.
Image courtesy of Sina Auto. The dashboard of Siena