The city aims to introduce the rule next year, Vice-Mayor Zhang Yankun said yesterday. If implemented, Beijing will be the first city in China to require proof of parking for a vehicle purchase. Tokyo has a similar requirement.
The rule, first proposed in 2010 as part of a package of measures to regulate traffic, could put an additional damper on vehicle sales in China's capital. The same year, it put a cap on the number of new licence plates issued yearly. In 2011, it began awarding new licences through a lottery system.
Parking has become a problem in Beijing, and many Chinese cities, as new office and shopping developments draw more cars to the city centre. Beijing bans cars from roads on specific days each week, depending on the last digit of the licence plate. Drivers of vehicles not registered in the capital also need a permit to enter the city.
The news was greeted with dismay in some online forums. "You already need an apartment before you can get a wife," read a posting by zmast-com on one forum. "Soon, you will need a cemetery plot before you can die."