Previously cars on the Chinese mainland had a worryingly short life span, small taxi vehicles were limited to 8 years, mid size rental vehicles were limited to 10 years and large scale vehicles to 12 years, city buses vehicles to 13 years and privately owned vehicles faced the crusher after 15 years on the road. New rules which were created via a partnership of the Ministry of Finance and Business, The National Development and Reform Committee, The National Police Department and the Ministry of Environment, indicate that cars will no longer be scrapped at 15 years on the road, and instead will see their lifespan expanded to 600,000km before they have to face being taken off the road.
The new limits are likely to keep cars from the turn of the 21st century on the road a little longer, which should boost the second hand car market considerably over the next few years. From limited early research it appears that Chinese car users are, on average, keeping their cars for a period of 6 years before changing them, the new rules will give second hand markets a major boost as the market begins to expand, but at the same time tighter emissions standards and mandatory yearly tests rather than bi-annual tests on all cars older than 3 or 4 years old are likely to be introduced at some point.
Classic cars in China are relatively rare, if they weren’t destroyed during the Second World War or taken to Taiwan in 1949 or crushed in the 60′s during Mao’s Great Leap Forward in a failed attempt to make China into the world’s largest steel producer they were stored away or simply buried out of site. Classic cars survived in very limited numbers as film and drama props in TV shows where evil Nationalist soldiers would drive everywhere and not be connected to the people, unlike the horse or mule riding Communists who were keen to walk and talk with the common man whilst winning wars against entire Japanese mechanized divisions with a single shot rifle.