Bus drivers in the Chinese city of Jinghua have been issued a spotter’s guide that helps them identify badges on expensive automobiles. The guide features logos and price tags for such marques as Bugatti, Maybach, Ferrari, Bentley, Aston Martin and Lamborghini, CarNewsChina reports.
The message to drivers: Don’t hit the expensive stuff.
It’s a start.
Chinese roads are believed to be the world’s deadliest (See “Has Mayhem met its match in China?”), and its developing insurance system -- which has just invited U.S. companies to enter the fray -- typically covers a driver’s liability only up to about $32,000.
That’s just enough to cover a well-equipped version of the best-selling Buick Excelle (sold in the U.S. as the Verano). But China’s burgeoning capitalist class has taken to supercars in a big way.
WreckedExotics lovingly recounts every exotic car crash it can, and an astonishing amount of unobtanium is crumpled on the roads of China. The International Bodyshop Industry Symposium (IBIS) estimates that 60 percent to 90 percent of all Chinese vehicles are involved in a car accident each year.
If (and when) a bus driver hits a Ferrari, for example, the bus company would be liable for damages over the liability amount, just like in the U.S. (See “Why your Porsche is a sitting duck.”) But unlike in the U.S., supercars can come with price tags in the millions of dollars.
The website What’s On Tianjin recently recounted the woes of a cook offering to sell everything he owns to pay for $1 million in damages to the owner of a Rolls-Royce that he clipped.
Say what you want about American-style car insurance premiums, greedy lawyers and torts law. But at least once the lawyers and other cash-grabbers sniff out that there’s no money to be had, they usually leave you alone. (See “Expensive car, cheap car insurance.”)