Car Hire in Hong Kong
This information is correct as of June 2015
Hong Kong, one of the most cosmopolitan cities in East Asia, is a popular destination in this part of the world. International airlines also use this as a transit point to Southeast Asia and the Pacific, where you will find a vibrant cultural scene, featuring the influences of its Chinese roots and colonial connections. You can explore the area using a car hire going through different parts of this metropolis.
Where to hire a car in Hong Kong
There are a number of car rental companies to check out when visiting Hong Kong. Some are operated by international brands, such as Avis and Hertz, which allows you to go for more familiar names. The rest of the operators are local Chinese businesses, which you can consider.
Be sure to prepare an international driver's licence and your local licence, just in case, as well as some identification. This allows checking your papers thoroughly. You should also provide an accepted mode of payment, such as credit card to make the process easier. This will help you to minimise difficulties and let you get your vehicle as soon as possible. Your choice can range from sedans to sports utility vehicles, (SUVs), depending on your needs and budget.
What to expect when hiring a car from Hong Kong
According to the statistics, there are about 285 licensed vehicles for every kilometre of road in Hong Kong. This makes it hard to deal with when in a traffic jam during rush hour. Heavy congestions are normal for all drivers every day in the city, but be sure to schedule your drives outside the worst times. The rush hours are often around 7 am to 10 am and then 5 pm to 8 pm. This makes parking hard for everybody, as they can be rare and costly. There are only 18,000 parking meters and other short-term parking options, so you should look for hotels and other accommodations offering free or reasonably priced parking slots.
Signs are both in English and Chinese, so finding your way around should not be too difficult in major cities. If you are looking for a specific route, you can also look it up the Driving Route Search Service provided by the Transport Department. Those looking for toll booths will find them only in some tunnels. Payment can be provided in cash or by Autotoll, a prepaid electronic toll collection system. If you are thinking of going to Hong Kong, you will have to ask permission from the Chinese authorities first, even if you have a Hong Kong driver's licence.
For notes on public transport, trams can be found only on Hong Kong Island and travels from the eastern part of the island to the west side as well as up the Peak. It is a considerably slow means of transport, though, so driving might be the better option. Biking is also the norm in some of the routes, so be careful with driving to make it safe for everybody using the roads.
Getting to your destination
There are a number of possible destinations when driving around Hong Kong. Some of them are:
The historic heart of Hong Kong has been a world centre of trade and commerce since the mid-19th century British colonial era. You will find here streets and squares lined with architectural landmarks that are now overshadowed by soaring contemporary structures.
When going to the city centre from the Central Plaza, head north on Fleming Road to Gloucester Road and then continue onto Route 4 to Queen's Road Central. You will experience heavy traffic on the way, so it can take more than 10 minutes to get to this part of the city.
Although the most congested shopping and residential district, Mong Kok features sights worth visiting such as the Ladies'Market and a ton of shopping streets. Some are dedicated to the sale of specific items such as flowers, birds, sneakers, and kitchenware. It seems almost everything can be found here, from bargain household objects to luxury jewellery.
To visit Mong Kok, you will have to get on Route 4 from Gloucester Road and then take exit 13 for Route 3 towards Airport/機場/Kowloon (W)/九龍（西）Continue onto Route 3 and then take exit 2 towards Tsim Sha Tsui/Ming Kok/尖沙咀/. These are toll roads, so either be prepared with money or with the Autotoll. Continue then on Yau Ma Tei Interchange/油麻地交匯處and take Nathan Rd to Sai Yeung Choi St S. The trip can be taken in 22 minutes, but it can take longer, depending on the road conditions.
Located in the southeastern end of Kowloon, this part of Hong Kong features public housing estates, as well as the Devil's Peak, a prominent landmark in the area.
Get on Gloucester Road/Route 4 from Fleming Road. Drive from Route 1, Route 5, and Route 2 to Kowloon. Take exit 2 from Kwun Tong Bypass/Route 2, and then continue on Lei Yue Mun Road to Cha Kwo Ling Road. This road has tolls, so be sure to prepare enough fare. The drive can be made in 25 minutes as well, as Yau Tong is approximately only 14 kilometres from the city centre.