Guide to Driving In China - Drive Safe in China

With our Drive Smart guide you're fully prepared to hire a car in China and stay safe on unfamiliar roads.

URBAN SPEED LIMIT

40 kph

urban
More info  

RURAL SPEED LIMIT

100 kph

rural
More info  

motorway speed limit

80-120 kph

speed limit
More info  

Drink Drive Limit

 80mg

drink and drive limit
More info  
urban
You drive in China on the Right side  
urban
The currency in China is CNY
urban
To rent a car is  21 years and to drive is 18 years of age
urban
Current fuel price in China 0.89 €/Ltr

Driving Laws in China

Are there any special requirements for driving or hiring a car in China?

Driving in China
Pocket guide to driving in China
Profile:
China
Beijing
CNY
Driving in China
SPEED: (kph)
40
100
80-120
Speed limit in China
Holiday:
Rush hour in China
Cameras:
YES
YES
Speed cameras in China
FUEL:
0.89
0.79
EUR/Litre
Fuel prices in China
DRIVE:
RIGHT
Drive RIGHT in China
MIN AGE:
18
21
Min driving age in China
DRINK:
80mg
Blood alcohol content
Drink driving in China
EMERGENCY:
110
Emergency phone number in China
DOCUMENT:
Driving documents in China
PHONES:
Yes
Hands free only
Mobile phone driving in China
SEATBELTS:
Yes
Yes
Seat belt in China
If you're planning to drive in China as a tourist, there is a lot you need to know, here you'll find a comprehensive guide on driving in China, what you need to know, what documention you need and what to expect. Whilst China has invested heavily in it's infrastructure and road networks, it's still considered by many to be dangerous to drive in China. However, with the right knowledge and preparation, it needn't be something to avoid.

driving in china

Driving License Requirements

The first major hurdle to driving in China is the small issue of your driving license. China is one of the only countries in the world that does not recognise the international driving license or foreign driving licences at all. If you intend to drive in China you need to obtain a Chinese driving license. That doesn't mean you need to sit a driving test in China, rather you can apply for a temporary driving license on a visitor's visa. The temporary license is usually granted and is valid for 3 months. If you plan to stay for longer than this you will need to apply for a regular driving permit.

Rules of the road

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Emergency Services Numbers

Police Police:

Police Fire:

Police Ambulance:

Notes: however, English speakers rarely work on this hotline. 999, for all of the above services in Beijing and Shanghai, but it is privately operated

Fuel Prices in China by Month

Parking Information

Parking regulations

Congestion is a major issue in China's largest cities and Beijing in particular faces hige challenges. It is estimated that nearly 25% of the capital's cars (that's a staggering 1.3 million!) struggle to find parking spaces on a daily basis.

China is turning to technology to help solve the problem and has launched an app that identifies available parking spaces around the city. You can pay for parking via the app also, helping speed up the transaction the reduce congestion.

You should only park in dedicated parking bays / car parks in the major cities and always ensure you have paid for your parking, unpaid parking will result in a fine, or your vehicle being towed and impounded.

Emergency Information

Emergency Information

Police Police:

Police Fire:

Police Ambulance:

In the event of an emergency in China, the following emergency services should be contacted;
 
  • 110 - Police
  • 110 - Fire
  • 110 – Ambulance
  • 122 - Traffic Police

What to do in an emergency

If you are involved in a road traffic accident you should call the traffic police on 122. Any injured persons should be attended to as a priority.

You should NOT move any of the vehicles involved until the police have attended and documented the incident. If you have to move any vehicles to attend to injured persons, you should document what has moved. Where appropriate to do so, photographs should be taken of the incident.

Should both parties agree who was at fault and there are no injuries / damage to third parties, contact details can be exchanged and the police need not be invovled, however if you are in a rental car, we advise you to call the traffic police to enable you to present a police report to the car rental agent. You should notify the car rental agent at your earliers opportunity if involved in a road traffic accident in China.

Handy Guides

World Driving Guides

Road Signs

Handy Phrases

Whilst English may be spoken in the major cities, it's wise to have a basic grasp of Mandarin if visiting China, you may find the following phrases useful when driving in China;
 
English
Chinese
Simplified
I am lost
我搞不清楚了
Wǒ gǎo bù qīngchǔle
my car has broken town
我的车坏了
Wǒ de chē huàile
I have a flat tyre
我的轮胎漏气了
Wǒ de lúntāi lòu qìle
can you help me please
请帮忙
Qǐng bāngmáng
can you call the police
报警
Bàojǐng
where is the petrol station
哪里是加油站
Nǎlǐ shì jiāyóu zhàn

China Fuel Price History

Fuel Prices in China by Month
Month, YearDiesel €/ltrUnleaded €/ltr
Jan, 2019 0.79 0.89
Dec, 2018 0.83 0.93
Nov, 2018 0.91 1.01
Oct, 2018 0.89 0.99
Sep, 2018 0.85 0.95
Aug, 2018 0.86 0.96
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