Car hire in Beijing is booming with the Chinese press reporting bookings have increased by a massive 300% compared to the same time last year.
There are two main reasons for the sudden surge in car hire bookings, the first being the introduction of new policies by local government to help reduce carbon emissions in the city, and also the forthcoming Spring Festival.
The authorities have introduced a number of radical policies to help the Beijing promote environmentally friendly travel and also ease congestion on the inner city roads. Beijing residents have to draw lots to determine who and when they are permitted to use their car in the city, plus a lottery has been introduced whereby only those who are chosen are allowed to purchase a new car.
Another reason for the increase in car hire in the city is the Spring Festival which takes place on February 18th and is part of the celebrations for the Chinese New Year. At this time, people from all over China and also from overseas, are likely to descend on the city, which has contributed to the rise in car rental bookings.
Because of the high demand for car rentals in Beijing during the Spring Festival combined with the new government regulations, car hire providers have warned that hire prices are likely to increase unless vehicles are booked well in advance.