In China, some drivers are saying that owning a car is a hassle they could do without.
Expensive license plates, traffic snarls and fuel costs are among the reasons why a significant proportion of Chinese say they would give up their cars, according to a report issued Tuesday by consultancy Bain & Co.
“Owing a car is not as cool as it was five years ago,” said Raymond Tsang, a China-based partner with the firm and coauthor of the study.
Interest in shedding cars would grow if conditions got worse, the study found. About 11% are considering getting rid of their rides due to traffic, for example, but that level could rise to around one third if traffic got thicker and slower. Likewise, 11% said they would consider giving up their cars if fuel costs– which until recently were rising in China–hit 7.5 yuan, or $1.22, per liter. That figure would rise to 31% if gasoline prices jumped to 9.5 yuan per liter. (In Shanghai the price currently comes in at about 6.28 yuan per liter.)
Bain’s China New Mobility Study is based on surveys of around 2,100 consumers across six major Chinese cities and was conducted during the last quarter of last year.
Rapid urbanization is transforming China. Each year millions of new cars cram into the streets and highways, resulting in severe congestion and creating choking pollution.
To counter this, governments in some cities have introduced often expensive measures aimed at curbing car ownership. For example, in Shanghai, getting a license plate for a new car can cost as much as a new mid-range sedan.
Read more at The Wall Street Journal.