Private Cars

Public transportation in Hong Kong is extensive and efficient; a car is not really necessary. Nonetheless, many expatriates like the convenience that a car gives them especially on the weekends. For those living in Kowloon and the New Territories a car will provide greater flexibility and freedom to access nearby shopping malls and schools for example.

Car Insurance Third-party insurance is compulsory by law. The largest online insurer in Hong Kong is:

Car Rental Automobiles are available for rental either for self-drive, or you can rent a car and driver by the hour or by the day.

Private Cars

Self Drive

Avis Rent-A-Car Tel: 2890 6988

Car Service Farrington Travel Ltd.
Tel: 3011 2173
This travel agency will arrange a car service to the airport.

Kong Kow Hire Car & Travel Co. Tel: 2770 8322
This is a car-and-driver hire service. They have both old and new Mercedes sedans.

Hertz Shop HOK11, Level L1,MTR Hong Kong Station, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: 2525-1313

Driving License

Expatriates, who intend to reside in Hong Kong longer than 12 months, must apply for a Hong Kong Driver’s license if they want to drive a car. This is easily obtained from the Transport Department. Bring your driver’s license from your country of origin and your passport.


For the direct issue of a Hong Kong driving license, you must satisfy the Commissioner of Transport with documentary evidence that:

  1. 1. You have a full driving license (but not an International driving permit) during the past three years issued by one of the following countries or places: licences/how_to_apply_for_a_driving_licence/appendix_c/index.html
  2. 2. The driving entitlement(s) for which you are applying must be equivalent to the class(es) which are authorized to drive by the issuing country or place; and
  3. 3. Your driving license was obtained by passing the relevant driving test(s) in the issuing place; and
  4. 4. You satisfy one of the three requirements below:
    • a. The license was originally issued to you on any date during a period of residence of not less than 6 months in the country or place of issue (you may prove the six-month residence with the entry and departure stamps on your passport, your school transcript or employer’s testimonial with employment period specified.); or
    • b. The license has been issued to you for not less than 5 years immediately prior to the application; or
    • c. You hold a passport or an equivalent travel document of the place in which your license was issued.

Fee HK$900 for a 10-year full Hong Kong Driving License.

You can submit your application in person or by an authorized person to Hong Kong Licensing Office. If an authorized person submits the application, the authorized person is required to produce his/her own original identity document for record purpose. 5 working days are normally required for processing the application.

For enquiry, please call 2804 2600 or visit the website

Hong Kong Licensing Office 3/F, United Centre 95 Queensway, Admiralty (MTR Admiralty, Exit D)

The Transport Department opens at 9 a.m., however, in order to avoid the waiting que, we recommend you que up from 8:30 am onwards. If arrive early, you should be in and out in less than an hour. You can then nominate someone to have your driver’s license collected.

Required Documents

When you submit your application, please produce the originals and copies of the following documents:

  • Original and photocopy of Passport
  • Original and photocopy of HKID card (your temporary HKID will suffice)
  • Original and photocopy of overseas driving license (front and back)
  • An officially certified translation of your overseas driving license if it is in a language other than English or Chinese
  • Address proof, within last 3 months (e.g. water/electricity/gas/mobile phone bill or banking correspondence)
  • Authorization letter for collection (if applicable)
  • Application Form TD63A

Relevant documents provided by the Transport Department (Licensing office), Post Offices and Home Affairs department Public Enquiry Service Centre.

HK Licensing Office Transport Department
3/F, United Centre 95 Queensway
Tel: 2804 2600

Contact Electronic Service Delivery (ESD). An online service, enabling you to renew your driving license, vehicle license, apply for a certificate of particulars of vehicle and to notify your change of address.

Electronic Service Delivery (ESD)

Driving Lesson

HK School of Motoring
Tel: 2529 9670

Driving Tips

To actually drive here will seem harder than getting your driver’s license. The left-side driving and the curvy, steep roads seem daunting to newcomers, but it’s actually not as hard to learn as it first appears to be.

Your first order of business is to get your geographical bearings before attempting to drive. Next, try to practice during non-rush hours. If you are accustomed to right-side driving, remember:

  • 1.

    Keep the driver’s side closest to the center lines in the road. This makes it less likely that you will cross over to the wrong side.
    Road rules are similar to those in the U.S. and Europe with a few exceptions.

  • 2.

    Many road directions are painted on the road itself. Be aware of markings on the road.

  • 3.

    A solid white line across your lane means “stop”. A dotted white line means “yield”.

  • 4.

    A crosshatched section with blinking yellow lights is a pedestrian crossing. You are supposed to stop to let pedestrians cross, but don’t stop abruptly without looking in your rearview mirror. Some drivers treat these as optional and won’t be expecting you to be polite.

  • 5.

    Never stop to let passengers out at curbs painted with double yellow lines. If you are a pedestrian trying to hail a cab and are puzzled why empty cabs are not stopping, look down at your feet—you may be in a double-yellow-line zone.

  • 6.

    There is tremendous lane discipline here. It is illegal to cross over a solid white line. Cross only on dotted lines. Also, right turns are not allowed over a double white line.

  • 7.

    In traffic circles, traffic moves in a clockwise direction. Look to the right and yield to traffic entering or on the circle before you.

  • 8.

    Some roads do not allow passenger cars at all. Be aware of the signs, but here are some helpful hints: a) Driving west on Caine Road during the day is prohibited on Mondays to Fridays between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., and Saturdays between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. On Sundays, traffic on Caine Road is two-way. b) Another common mistake is bearing to the right on Queen's Road at the old Bank of China Building coming into Central after the intersection of Garden Road. Stay to the left or you will find yourself in a tram and bus lane. c) Some roads in Central are closed on Sundays and public holidays for the Filipinas’ gatherings.

  • 9.

    Learner drivers will display a bright yellow plate with a black letter “L” on it.

New Cars
New Cars

There is usually only one franchise dealer for each car make in Hong Kong, so if you have a particular type car in mind, the dealership will be easy to locate. Call the Consumer Council Tel: 2929 2222 with the brand name of the vehicle you wish to purchase and they will tell you the name of the dealer and the pertinent details.


Three harbor tunnels connect Hong Kong Island to Kowloon: the Cross-harbour, Western, and Eastern Harbour Tunnels. Other tunnels are Aberdeen (linking the north and south side of the Hong Kong Island), Lion Rock (Kowloon—Shatin), Shing Mun (Shatin—Tsuen Wan), Tate’s Cairn (Kowloon Expressway—Shatin), and Tseung Kwan O (Kwun Tong—Junk Bay).

Tunnel fees vary and ticket purchases can be made in advance from tunnel administration buildings and designated outlets.

Autotoll lanes are designed to ease congestion at the toll gate. To use the Autotoll lane you must purchase a pre-paid electronic card from the Cross-Harbour Tunnel office, which will automatically deduct payment when you pass the monitors at the toll gate. The Autotoll is monitored by video cameras, those using the lane without an Autotoll must go to the Tunnel office and pay or send the amount due to the Tunnel administration stating date, time and car registration number. Failure to do so can result in a small fine and administration charge. The card is valid for use at the Cross-Harbour, Eastern Harbour, Western Harbour, Aberdeen and Lion Rock tunnels.

Cross-Harbour Tunnel company
Tel: 2161 1888

Used Cars

Don't overlook the possibility of purchasing a used car. Used cars in Hong Kong are generally in excellent condition because they have been parked in garages and typically have low mileage. Here are a few sources for used cars:

Car City G/F, The Gracedale, No. 23 Yuk Sau Street, Happy Valley
Tel: 2893 6126
Open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Monday to Sunday), this car show has more than 300 cars, 30% of which are brand-new Japanese cars imported directly from Japan.

The Automall Urban Parking B1 HK Convention and Exhibition Centre 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai (Next to Grand Hyatt)
Tel: 6821 1614
Hotline: 3113 2111
Open from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.Monday to Sunday. Approximately 30 car agencies, with 400 cars displayed, of which about 80% are European cars.


Not all properties will include parking and there can be a limited number of spaces available in your place of residence. Check with your management office if there are any car parking spaces for rent.

For a list of public car parks, consult the Government Transport Department


Expat Used Car Dealers

John Keer Auto Erotica
Tel: 9195 5587

Getting a Professional Opinion

Have a car mechanic take a look at the car you are considering buying. It is well worth the cost to have your prospective purchase checked for serious problems. Also, for older cars, they must pass a rigorous inspection every year before your registration is renewed.

Doing the Paperwork
Both the seller and buyer will need to fill out a change of ownership notification form to be filed at the Transport Department located in Admiralty Center above the MTR station. Make sure you know how to contact the previous owner in case the car has any outstanding parking tickets. You will also need to arrange for insurance and provide proof thereof, and pay a processing fee to re-register the car. Unless the car is very new, an honest insurance agent will recommend that you get “third-party” liability insurance only. This covers your liability if you crash into someone, but does not cover bodywork on your own car. If someone crashes into you, they are theoretically supposed to pay for the damage.

Car Insurance
Third-party insurance is compulsory by law. You must obtain a certificate of insurance before a transfer of ownership and car registration can be completed.

Registration and Transfer of Ownership
You are not allowed to drive a car on the road unless it is registered and licensed. Register your car at the Transportation Department.

You can obtain the necessary forms for auto ownership transfer at the Transportation Licensing Department. You will need the Vehicle Registration, your Hong Kong Identity Card or passport, proof of insurance, and payment of necessary fees.

HK Licensing Office Transport Department
3/F, United Centre 95 Queensway
Tel: 2804 2600

Finding a Car
Your best bet may be to buy a car from an individual leaving Hong Kong. Used cars from a dealer tend to be higher in price. Read the ads in the South China Morning Post in the “Motors and Boats” section of the classifieds and check useful website like Asia Expat and Geo Expat. It is worth following these for a while, to get a feel for prices, and what seems sensible or overpriced.

Look at the notice boards in the larger supermarkets in Stanley, Repulse Bay & HK Parkview as they have cars advertised from departing expats.

Maintenance and Repair Services

Hong Kong Automobile Association (AA)
Membership Tel: 3583 3615
Breakdown Assistance Tel: 9688 3896

Elegant Motor Service Co. Ltd
G/F, 5 Mui Hing Street
Happy Valley
Tel: 2893 9767

Fookie Motors Company Ltd
Shop 7, G/F, Paramount Building, No. 12 Ka Yip Street, Chai Wan
Tel: 2565 6166



Taxis can be found everywhere and at the taxi pick up points located in convenient areas. Taxis are regulated and required to display both their car numbers and names on the dashboard.

Most taxi drivers understand the English names for major streets, hotels, and numbers. Anything more complicated could be a problem. Having your destination written in Chinese characters can help.

At night a lighted roof dome indicates availability; in daytime a red “for hire” flag on the dashboard can be seen at a distance. Off-duty or pre-booked taxis will display an "Out of service" sign.

Taxis in Hong Kong are relatively inexpensive; a trip from Central to Mid-Levels costs approximately $18.00-$35.00. A trip from Mid-Levels to the airport will cost approximately $500. Drivers do not give small change. If the fare is $18.20, the driver will most likely give you $1 or $1.50 change from $20. Tipping in the form of rounding up is common practice; a larger tip is discretionary. You will also incur additional expenses if you use the trunk of the taxi to store your luggage HK$5, as well as extra charges for tunnel tolls.

Taxis come in different colours, indicating the area they are allowed to service.

  • Red Hong Kong Island and Kowloon
  • Green New Territories
  • Blue Lantau Island

Booking a Taxi

If you are home and wish to call a taxi, this is easily done; there is a $5 taxi booking surcharge. Please note that taxis are sometimes difficult to get during rush hour and during rainy periods.

24-Hour Reservation Hotline Hong Kong Tel: 2398 1881
Kowloon Tel: 2760 0411
New Territories Tel: 2657 2267

Wi Fat Taxi Owner Association Hong Kong Island
Tel: 2861 1008
Areas covered: Hong Kong and Kowloon.

Radio Taxi (Booking) Services Fraternity Public Car Radio Center
Tel: 2527 6324
Areas covered: Hong Kong and Kowloon.

Wing Tai Radio Taxi Tel: 2861 1011
Areas covered: Hong Kong Island.

Taxi App Download the taxi app to your phone for a convenient way to book a cab.