China plans to allow private cars to offer timeshare rental services

Updated 2017-06-02 13:31:08 Ecns.cn
Cars for sharing park on a street in Beijing. (Photo/Chinanews.com)

Cars for sharing park on a street in Beijing. (Photo/Chinanews.com)

(ECNS) -- As shared bikes become popular in China, shared cars have begun to emerge in first-tier cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Issues of quantity control, parking problems and information security have become the focus.

The Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development on Thursday issued a proposed guideline on the healthy development of the car-sharing industry, inviting the public to provide feedback.

The guideline said China will "encourage the development of timeshare rentals" as a new transport option, which may reduce the need for individual car ownership and help reduce the total number of vehicles on city roads.

Private cars may also offer timeshare rental services if they meet certain requirements.

An official from the Ministry of Transport said shared cars must meet stipulations in terms of technical performance, safety testing and insurance and tax, to better safeguard users' safety and security, as well as their legal rights and interests.

"If private cars are registered for rentals and meet the local rules, they can also engage in timeshare rental business," said the official.

Wang Hao, a senior researcher with the ministry, said such a change will not make any difference in ownership, but will lead to a change in the car's maximum service life, and also increase insurance and maintenance costs.

After installing an app and going through the necessary registration procedures, the user can locate a shared car nearby using their smartphone, drive to their destination and then return the car to a designated parking lot.

The convenience and availability of parking remains a bottleneck for the growth of the industry.

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