Driving a vehicle with a military license plate in China provides many privileges. Legally reserved for official vehicles only, the designation apparently allows drivers to enjoy special liberties on the roads, including breaking traffic laws, filling up with free fuel and receiving light-and-siren escorts through congested cities. So attractive are the benefits that there is a secondary market for used legal and counterfeit plates - especially among those wealthy enough to afford luxury cars. But all of that is reportedly coming to an end, as President Xi Jinping, chairman of the Central Military Commission, is on a mission to fight corruption in his country.

A new license plate system goes into effect today, and it is designed to "maintain social harmony, stability and the reputation of the military," says the PLA Daily, the armed forces' official newspaper. While the abuse has been going on for many years, the internet has put the spotlight on the bad behavior, and the negative press does not represent the morals and true colors of the armed forces, say officials.

While military-plated Porsche drivers have been singled out as offenders, Bloomberg notes that all vehicles with engine displacements above 3.0 liters and with a sticker price in excess of about $73,000, will be banned from receiving military plates. This includes vehicles from Audi, Cadillac, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln and the Volkswagen Phaeton. Even if drivers are savvy enough to circumvent the new issuing system, the military has put technology at toll gates to catch users of counterfeit plates. There has been no word on the punishment if caught.


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  • 27 Comments
      SeanR
      • 2 Years Ago
      None of their military vehicles have a displacement above 3.0L? O.o
        Bernard
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SeanR
        I'm thinking they are talking about POV's (privately owned vehicles) with military plates.
        Snark
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SeanR
        No, it's just to prevent luxury vehicles from wearing military plates.
      canuckcharlie
      • 2 Years Ago
      A small step forward in the right direction
      superchan7
      • 2 Years Ago
      This kind of smack down needs to come from the President himself. Money buys too much in China, and military plates on civilian cars is just one tame example.
      antacid
      • 2 Years Ago
      china fighting corruption is a weird set of words that doesnt make sense to me, the system they made was set up to specifically allow for corruption
        Jonathan Atwood
        • 2 Years Ago
        @antacid
        Agreed. Chinese saying they will fight corruption is like the US Congress saying they will pass a bill on anything (at least one that doesn't affect them. see FAA sequester furloughs)
      Cubanaso
      • 2 Years Ago
      What!!!! Hold the press!! Are you telling me in a communist nation "the people" are not all equal????
        theautojunkie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Cubanaso
        ....Cubanaso, I know you were joking because \"they\" all live under the guise of Communism, but their world is fueled on Capitalist-Global based economy, you know \"the slaves create wealth for the very few privileged citizens few who control them. In both social venues, the principles apply equally, and the consequences are the same. Few of us drive BMW, Audi, etc..., but many of us drive cheaper brands. You know the story.
      SloopJohnB
      • 2 Years Ago
      Old news.
      Ted Peterson
      • 2 Years Ago
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      abrath8793
      • 2 Years Ago
      I like the free FUEL part !! Here in the USA we call them "handicapped plates"....LOL
        • 2 Years Ago
        @abrath8793
        [blocked]
      jeff
      • 2 Years Ago
      Look at the saving the military save on not buying luxury made cars. Why should they have luxury car in the mlitary. It a waste of tax payer money. U.S. can save alot if they did the save. If it was their money buying it they wouldn't buy a luxury car. That the way Fed Government need to think about tax payer money in any countries. Military license plates or any Federal plates on any luxury autos show a waste of money.
        Welcome Trey
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jeff
        First, this is China, not the United States, so your tax payer dollars are not being wasted. Second, if this was about the United States, who cares if someone in the Military is driving a luxury car? Are you jealous that they can afford it, and you can't? It's not a waste of tax payer's money. The money people in the Military receive, is the money earned, like at any other job. Say you were making millions on records and cds, what if the citizens got upset because you were buying BMW's with money given to you from them for your music? Same concept.
          valgaavmiko
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Welcome Trey
          Except Trey isn't talking about liberties that come with plates. He's talking about luxury cars.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Welcome Trey
          In the US plates put on by servicemen don't give special liberties in traffic laws.
      breakfastburrito
      • 2 Years Ago
      They didn't want to stop the corruption. They simply wanted to make sure that only government officials enjoy the benefits of corruption.
      straight2spam
      • 2 Years Ago
      CHINA ALWAYS BANNING EVERYTHING, DICTATORS SHOULD BE HANGED.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
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