TIANJIN, Dec. 31 -- China's northern municipality of Tianjin will start a bidding and lottery system for car license plates on Jan. 1, 2014, a move targeted at restricting the increase of cars, said government authorities on Tuesday.
Sixty percent of the quota of 100,000 new car license plates will be issued via lottery, including 10,000 and 50,000 for fuel-efficient cars and conventional cars respectively, said a management plan approved by the Tianjin municipal government.
The remaining 40,000 plates for conventional cars will be auctioned. The opening bid will be 10,000 yuan (about 1,652 U.S. dollars).
A total of 88 percent of the plates will go to individual car owners, while non-individual applicants, such as companies, will compete for the other 12 percent.
Government organizations and institutions in Tianjin will not be permitted to apply for new official cars, and all auction incomes from car plates will be used to support public transport, according to the management plan.
With a permanent resident population of over 14 million, Tianjin has witnessed serious traffic congestion. Travel speed in downtown areas has slowed 18 percent compared with 2000 levels.
Tianjin is the country's third municipality to implement the car-buying restriction after Beijing and Shanghai in an effort to battle both traffic jams and air pollution.
The Tianjin municipal government announced at 7 p.m. on the evening of Dec. 15 that the city would impose a quota on its new car license plates. The policy took effect just five hours after the announcement, which sparked overnight panic buying in the local car market.