Winners of Vietnam's first number plate auction back out

By Pham Du   October 12, 2023 | 01:10 am PT
Winners of Vietnam's first number plate auction back out
A screenshot of an auction website shows the number plate 51K-888.888 being sold for VND32.34 billion. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Du
Six car number plates that found winning bidders last month, including one that won a US$1.3 million bid, have been put up for auction again as the winners did not pay.

The Vietnam Partnership Auction Company on Thursday released a list of new car number plates that will be auctioned in October.

Among them is the HCMC number 51K-888.88, which won the highest bid of VND32.34 billion (US$1.33 million) during an online auction held on September 15, the first time Vietnam ever allowed people to bid for car number plates.

As its winner did not pay in 15 days, the auction result has been canceled.

There are five other plates in the same situation that initially went for between VND1.3 billion and VND14.1 billion.

A number plate collector in Hanoi said that the cancelation was "not surprising as the winning prices are way too high compared to the real market value."

"It is possible that they are investors and they bid the high prices to test the market demand," he said.

The collector added that after one month, bidding prices have gradually dropped to the actual market demand, with winning prices set to stay at VND40 million, VND85 million, or VND610 million.

As currently ruled, the winners are required to pay within 15 days, and register within 18 months for a designated car. Failure will see the license plate revoked and the bidder lose the deposit of VND40 million they made to join the auction.

People who fail to win any number will get their deposits back.

All revenues raised will go straight to the state budget.

Major General Nguyen Van Long, Deputy Minister of Public Security, said that after one month since the auction was launched, more than VND100 billion had been raised for the state budget.

He said that given the efficiency, it was necessary for Vietnam to soon legitimize the activity to create another source of budget collection.

The National Assembly passed a resolution in November 2022 approving it on a trial basis.

The ministry has since issued a list of 153,102 numbers to be auctioned.

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