BEIJING, Dec. 26 (Xinhuanet) -- Beijing residents are rushing to snap up cars before new traffic measures come into force. Starting on Friday, people in the capital will have to enter a lucky draw for a license plate when buying a car.
As a result, many drivers have fast tracked their car purchase plans before that deadline, to beat the regulations.
Thursday marked the last day for Beijing motorists to buy a car with a license plate.
Departments of Motor Vehicles were inundated with new car buyers applying at the last minute for plates.
Even at 3PM, the queue remained extremely long.
License Plate Applicant, Beijing, said, "I came here at about 7:30am, but my turn hasn't come yet. But I think I can go through the entire procedure today."
License Plate Applicant, Beijing, said, "I left home around six in the morning, but some say they have queued since yesterday. I couldn't even find the end of the line when I arrived. Some spent the night in their car."
In an effort to ease the capital traffic jams, the regulation requires that only 240-thousand new car plates will be available annually, about a third of this year's figure. Car buyers will have to obtain car plates by drawing lots before they drive their cars on road.
Many motorists say they can't wait for their turn next year.
Car Buyer, Beijing, said, "I bought my car earlier than planned."
Car Buyer, Beijing, said, "Some of my friends rushed to buy cars before the new policy, just like buying vegetables."
Car dealers estimate at least 20 thousand cars were sold Thursday alone, that is equal to an entire month's purchase under the new rule. Authorities say they received more than 30 thousand plate applications Friday.
The new policy also limits Beijing drivers to own only one car in his or her name. For plate applicants without a Beijing permanent residence permit, extra restrictions are in place.