Failed to Bid for Shanghai Plate

My regular readers (I mean from 5 years to 6 years ago) know my struggle to get a Shanghai car plate.

Finally, I decided to join the tens of thousands of people to bid for a Shanghai plate. Unlike many others though, we are not very eager to get one. Our attitude is just to join the bidding, and if the price is OK, we get it. If now, we give it up.

Bid for a Shanghai Plate

On Saturday, Wendy and I joined the bidding for a Shanghai plate. The price turned out to be 33900 RMB. We failed in the bidding. Our price was 34400 RMB at the last second, but it is out of the +-300 RMB range, and was rejected.

The Way Bidding Works

The procedure of the bidding is like this:

  • You need to go to the government agency office to buy a bidding permit. That cost 100 RMB with 2000 RMB deposit to guarantee that you will pay the money if you win.
  • You install the software on PC and join the bidding at 10:00 AM on the last Saturday of the month.
  • You are allowed to place a price during the first hour (10:00 AM to 11:00 AM). At 11:00 AM, the first phase of the bidding closes. The system will broadcast the lowest winning price based on the bid it received. If you don’t place a bid, you give up this bidding, and can join the next month.
  • In the second phase, from 11:00 AM to 11:30 AM, based on the current lowest winning price, you can place your bid once or twice. It requires the offer must be within the +300 RMB and -300 RMB range of the current price. With the bidding going on, the lowest winning price goes up, and so can you raise your bid along with it.
  • At 11:30 AM, the auction closes, and announces the lowest bidding price

The trick is, you always need to place a bidding price higher than the lowest winning price + 300 RMB, since at the time you place your bid at the last minute, there is always a chance the price jumps up. So it is a fine art to hold the bidding as late as possible but still be able to enter it before it closes.

At 33600 RMB, we entered 34400 RMB (the lowest bidding price + 800 RMB) hoping that we can be sure to get it. But finally, when we hit enter, the price didn’t go that high, and we were rejected.

We will join the next bidding the next month and report back the result. It is a combination of strategy and luck – with luck as a very important fact.

10 thoughts on “Failed to Bid for Shanghai Plate

  1. Auctioning the local plate as a measure to control the growth of the vehicle is unfair to Shanghai drivers, the authority should consider the electronic road toll to control the usage of the road and not the number of vehicles.

  2. In the car category (click car at the top navigation of this page), I explained the difference. The key difference is, you cannot access the elevated highway and middle ring at rush hours (7:30 to 9:30 and 16:30 to 18:30). I have used a Hangzhou plate for five years, and feel it is the time to pay more and buy more freedom for myself.

  3. You don’t need pay any tickets if your license plate is not Shanghai local, since the fine is collected by Shanghai local gov, no one cares when you renew your license outside Shanghai.

  4. I admire your courage to evade the judiciary system in Shanghai, someone have to cut his finger off as to vindicate himself from a offence that was wrongly accused.

  5. What a maddening process. But it makes for great posts. I’ve enjoyed your blog for a while. I remember teaching in Shanghai, a student told me that his car plate was stolen. I thought about license plates in America, easy to get, maybe 25 bucks… so it’s annoying yes, but if someone stole the plate… WHO CARES! I’ll just get another one. Little did I know that car plates in China are the way that you describe. I was shocked… and it was a great racket that those thieves were doing. Anybody would give them money, and a lot of money, because the alternative is to get back into the same maddening process again! UGH!

  6. I’m just wondering, why u didn’t win the bid? You gave a price that was way over the winning price. I don’t get it?? can anyone explain this to me? Thanks.

    Btw, this blog is awesome!!!

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