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City mulls higher fees for cars, bikes

Update: March, 18/2015 - 08:41
Traffic at the Hang Xanh intersection in HCM City. The city police have proposed increased registration fees for motorbikes and non-commercial cars. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai

HCM CITY (VNS) — The HCM City Police proposed a registration fee increase for motorbikes and non-commercial cars with less than 10 seats, according to Lao Dong (Labour) newspaper.

The proposed registration fee on under-10-seat cars would increase fivefold from the current VND2 million (US$93) to VND11 million ($512). The three-tiered motorbike registration fees would all be raised by 50 per cent.

For motorbikes valued under VND15 million ($699), the fee would increase from the current VND500,000 ($23) to VND750,000 ($35). Those worth between VND15 million ($699) and VND40 million ($1,870) would require fees up to VND2 million (US$93). Finally, the fee for bikes worth more than VND40 million ($1,870) would increase from the current VND2 million ($93) to VND3 million ($140).

The municipal police told Lao Dong that the fee hike is legal under a Ministry of Finance regulation that governs the collection, administration and use of vehicle registration fees. The fee hike would generate funds to cover traffic safety expenses and serve as a solution to traffic congestion, according to the police.

However, the city tried to raise vehicle registration fees in 2008 and 2012 and failed both times.

The police compared HCM City to Ha Noi, where car registration fees were 10 times higher than in the southern city. The two largest cities in the country should have similar fees, they said. The car registration fee in Ha Noi is VND20 million, compared with HCM City's current VND2 million. The proposed law change would increase it to VND11 million.

Tran Quoc Minh, a lawyer with the HCM City Bar, said the proposal wouldn't reduce the amount of cars on the road. People who could afford to buy cars wouldn't hesitate to pay the increased fee, he said.

On a similar note, Pham Sanh, a transport specialist, said the fee hike wasn't feasible and the agency wasn't persuasive in its arguments for it.

"They could not predict how many new personal cars and motorbikes would be reduced over the next two or three years by imposing the new fee," he said.

Sanh said he feared that the fees might not benefit motorbike owners. The added fees would increase their already considerable fee burden, possibly causing public outcry.

The increased fees should only apply to people who already own one or more motorbikes and are looking to register additional ones, Sanh said.

It was reported that in fiscal 2012 the HCM City Police earned VND715 billion (US$33.3 million) from new vehicle registration services. That does not include dozens of billions of dong coming from licence re-registration and renewal services, and temporary plate granting. — VNS

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