Number of cars in China 2009-2019

The vehicle population in China has been increasing in the last decades and stood at 240 million as of the end of 2018.

Status quo of car parc in China

  Car parc refers to the number of vehicles in use in a region, generally having registered in the area. However, car parc differs from vehicle parc by excluding motorcycles and agricultural vehicles. The car parc of China has been increasing exponentially due to the ever-increasing new vehicle registration every year. Guangdong leads country wide as the province hosting the most registered vehicles. Currently Guangdong had around 2.6 million new registered vehicles in 2018. Besides, Guangdong has always been the province with the highest number of drivers since 2011, which stood at 37.56 million in 2018. In 2018, small passenger vehicles were registered the most at over 22.8 million units while new registrations of other passenger vehicles ranged from nearly 68 to 156 thousand units.

Problem and solutions

  The effect of the constantly increasing car parc started showing in the last few years as heavy traffic jams and deteriorating air quality, particularly in Beijing. Some cities like Beijing introduced car plate policies to allow cars to be driven on a certain day depending on the last digit of the plate, which did not stop the car parc in China from increasing. Therefore, other measures were introduced to discourage car use, for example, in Beijing and Shanghai, one needs to win a complicated lottery process to earn a license plate before they can go on the road, which could cost more than the vehicle itself. However, despite the increase of car parc, Shenzhen and Guangzhou has announced to increase the quota of new license plates given out each month in 2019, and other cities in Guangdong cannot restrict the number of plates, since the authorities were looking to stimulate the vehicle sales and consumption in China after weak sales for the previous year.

Car parc in China from 2009 to 2019

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Release date

January 2020



Survey time period

2009 to 2019

Supplementary notes

*Figure for 2010 has been obtained from a press release of the National Bureau of Statistics.

Figures for earlier years have been taken from previous press releases.
According to baidu baike (百度百科), car ownership (汽车保有量) in this statistic excludes other motorized vehicles such as motor cycles, farm vehicles etc.

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Statistics on "Automobile sales in China"

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