DRIVING IN HONG KONG

Those visiting or relocating to Hong Kong from the UK will have one big advantage when it comes to driving: as a former UK colony, Hong Kong drives on the left, and street signs are near-identical to those of the UK (and printed in both English and Chinese). What’s more, the roads are generally very well maintained and drivers in Hong Kong tend to err on the slow and cautious side – the precise opposite of driving habits in many other Asian countries – so driving there is something you needn’t worry about unnecessarily.

RULES AND REGULATIONS

  • For this reason, many natives don’t drive at all if they can possibly avoid it. Hong Kong has an excellent, highly efficient public transport system, and between them buses, trains and the territory’s 18,000 licensed taxis account for 90% of all journeys. If you do want or need to drive yourself around, though, then here’s what you need to know.

  • Hong Kong law requires drivers and all passengers to wear seatbelts at all times. Children under the age of 15 must be given appropriate child or booster seats, and these must be rear-facing if the child is under two years old and travelling in a front seat.

  • Using a mobile phone without a hands-free kit is illegal and can land you with a fine of up to HK$2,000 (£195 approx). As for alcohol, the acceptable blood alcohol limit for drivers in Hong Kong is 0.05% – that’s in line with most countries worldwide and, it should be noted, considerably lower than the UK’s 0.08%, so driving after drinking even a small amount is not advised.

  •  Hong Kong has been a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China – effectively a country within a country, with its own laws, immigration controls and so on. As a result, travel back-and-forth between Hong Kong and the rest of China isn’t straightforward – for instance, UK visitors don’t need a visa to enter Hong Kong, whereas for China they do.

SPEED LIMITS

Hong Kong law requires drivers and all passengers to wear seatbelts at all times. Children under the age of 15 must be given appropriate child or booster seats, and these must be rear-facing if the child is under two years old and travelling in a front seat.

The speed limit in the city is 50km/h (31mph approx). Outside of the city the speed limit is usually 70km/h (43mph approx), though it can be as low as 30km/h (18mph) on some mountain roads on Lantau Island, while on expressways the speed limit varies from 70-100km/h (43-68mph approx) depending largely on the age of the road, though 80km/h (50mph) is the most common.

WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING ALONG

The person driving the vehicle should always carry the following documents :

  • Driver’s License

  • International driving permit (IDP)

  • Certificate of registration of the vehicle

  • Certificate of insurance

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