Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Car Inspection

I'm talking to my friend in Beijing on Skype. She just bought a car and took delivery this morning. Even though it's a brand new car, they still need to bring it to some kind of government office (DMV?) to have the car inspected. I think she said they check the lights, tires, brakes, etc. The entire process takes 20 minutes but since there are multiple stations, it takes forever... they've been there since 9am (or about 4 hours ago) and they still need to wait for one (or more) inspection(s). I can understand if they want to do safety inspections on used cars but why new ones? Is the QC so bad in China? She did say that imported cars are exempt from inspection, only domestic cars are inspected.

Call me cynical but I think the main reason for the "inspections" is to create more opportunities for "red envelope" gifts. You would think that car manufacturers and dealers would inspect the cars themselves before it left the lot. One good thing: they get to choose their own license plate number at no extra charge. In Shanghai, license plates are auctioned off so plates with the number "8" usually sell for a lot of RMBs.


She said two guys just got into an accident at the inspection place. They were both driving big shiny new BMWs and were trying to squeeze their way into the line of waiting cars. There wasn't enough space so they hit each other. I see Chinese drivers play "chicken" all the time when driving; I guess they both lost this time. They're both the arrogant and boorish 大男人 types so they're standing there yelling at each other.

For some reason, they're both clutching man purses in my mental image of the situation.

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