Please enter your username and password here:Forgot Password?
Please enter your details here:or Login
To drive in Hong Kong, you need a valid Hong Kong driving licence. If you are from one of a certain number of countries, you can normally drive with your existing licence for 12 months. Alternatively, you may be able to exchange the licence from your country for a local one without taking a driving test. People from other nations must pass the Hong Kong driving test before they can acquire a permanent licence.
Tolls do exist in Hong Kong, particularly on bridges and tunnels. Most notable of the latter are the three tunnels that connect Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. Of these, the Cross-Harbour Tunnel is the cheapest and most central and is often very congested as a result.
This is for several reasons. The Hong Kong Government’s policy is firmly geared towards public transport, and has imposed several disincentives on private motoring. All forms of public transport are cheap and efficient. In addition there are plenty of government-approved taxis, which are safe and cheap at around HK$30 a fare.
Meanwhile, roads for private cars can be highly congested. Petrol is highly taxed, meaning that fuel prices are very high. Vehicle Import Tax and insurance are further expenses you would incur. In Hong Kong, people drive on the left side of the road. If you are considering importing a left-hand drive car, bear in mind that they are not normally allowed into Hong Kong. Furthermore, even importing a right-hand drive car is a complicated process, involving environmental assessments, examinations and finally registration.
Once you have managed to import your car, driving in Hong Kong is averagely safe but not especially so. Local drivers are generally courteous to others, though conditions are chaotic. Parking spaces are at a premium, and parking charges are very high. Taking all these factors into consideration, you may want to think carefully before driving in Hong Kong.
Over 90% of journeys made in Hong Kong are made using public transport. Hong Kong has a cheap, efficient, safe and fully integrated public transport system. The system extends to connections with mainland China as well as within Hong Kong. Payment for almost all forms of public transport within the territory is made easy by the use of the Octopus card, which allows you to store your credit and pay fares painlessly.
Public transport is dominated by the train service. There are ten railway lines run by the Mass Transit Railway (MTR), covering Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and much of the New Territories. Much of the distance of these lines is underground. For longer distances, the MTR is pretty much unbeatable. An example is the Airport Express Link, which will take you from Chek Lap Kok Airport on Lantau Island to Central Hong Kong in 24 minutes for HK$100. There are also Light Rail services, in western parts of the New Territories. Note that for shorter distances, especially during rush hour, buses, trams and ferries may be a better bet. There is a heavy fine (HK$5,000) for smoking, eating or drinking on an MTR train.
Hong Kong Island has a unique system of double-decker trams. Fares are less than HK$3, making this a very cheap and handy way to get around the island.
Buses and Coaches
Like train services, buses and minibuses are plentiful and cheap. The most important bus companies are Citybus, Kowloon Motor Bus and New World First Bus. Destination signs for all these buses are usually bilingual in English and Chinese. Additionally, coach companies such as China Travel Service (HK) offer cheap long-distance services to cities in Guangdong and further afield in mainland China.
One of the world’s most famous ferries, the Star Ferry, is the cheapest method of crossing Victoria Harbour: the fare is no more than HK$3. The crossing is quick too, only taking 7-10 minutes, and the views are excellent. Other ferries, to Macau and various parts of Guangdong, are also cheap and readily available.
Sections in LIVING IN HONG KONG:
» Safety and Emergencies for Expats in Hong Kong
» Retirement for Expats in Hong Kong
» Family Life and Childcare for Expats in Hong Kong
» Solo Living and Dating for Expats in Hong Kong
» Shopping for Expats in Hong Kong
» Entertainment, Media and Television for Expats in Hong Kong
» Arts and Culture for Expats in Hong Kong
» Fitness and Sport for Expats in Hong Kong
» Communications for Expats in Hong Kong
» Driving and Public Transport for Expats in Hong Kong
» Government, Politics and Legal Systems for Expats in Hong Kong
» Regions and Cities for Expats in Hong Kong
We value input from our readers. If you spot an error on this page or have any suggestions, please let us know.
If you are considering moving to Hong Kong or are soon to depart, you can find helpful information and advice in the Expat Briefing dedicated Hong Kong section including; details of immigration and visas, Hong Kong forums, Hong Kong event listings and service providers in Hong Kong.
From your safety to shopping, living in Hong Kong can yield great benefits as well as occasional drawbacks. Find your feet and stay abreast of the latest developments affecting expats in Hong Kong with relevant news and up-to-date information.
Working in Hong Kong can be rewarding as well as stressful, if you don't plan ahead and fulfill any legal requirements. Find out about visas and passports, owning and operating a company in Hong Kong, and general Hong Kong culture of the labour market.
About | Useful Links | Global Media Partners | Media | Advertising And Sales | Banners And Widgets | Glossary | RSS | Privacy & Cookies | Terms And Conditions | Editorial Policy | Refer To A Friend | Newsletters | Contact | Site Map
Important Notice: Wolters Kluwer TAA Limited has taken reasonable care in sourcing and presenting the information contained on this site, but accepts no responsibility for any financial or other loss or damage that may result from its use. In particular, users of the site are advised to take appropriate professional advice before committing themselves to involvement in offshore jurisdictions, offshore trusts or offshore investments. © Wolters Kluwer TAA Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.
The Expat Briefing brand is owned and operated by Wolters Kluwer TAA Limited.