Odds of registering a vehicle in Beijing: 23 to 1

In December of 2010, the city of Beijing, China, announced that it would enforce a measure that restricts vehicle registrations to a mere 240,000, or one-third of the number recorded in 2010. That may sound harsh, but the move is aimed at curbing the city's chronic gridlock and reducing its unsafe levels of air pollution.

So, in January, Beijing began accepting online license plate applications under the new system, racking up 36,138 applications within the first 11 hours and 400,000 by March 8th. Since Beijing hands out license plates based on a lottery drawing system, submitting an application – early or not – is no guarantee that a vehicle will receive the registration that's required to drive it on the city's roads.

Last Saturday, Beijing conducted its third lottery drawing, which concluded with 17,600 applicants getting license plates. We did the math for you, and found out that this means that just one in 23 applicants were lucky enough to receive a plate. According to Beijing's transport commission, chances of being drawn to win a license plate were one in 11 in January and one in 17 in February. Those not selected this time around will automatically be placed back in the system, along with any new applicants, for next month's drawing. Of course, this means that the odds of being selected from the growing lottery pool will continue to fall.

[Source English People's Daily | Image: kevindooley – C.C. License 2.0]

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