Driving in Hong Kong may seem like a confusing and stressful endeavour, but compared to many other South East Asian countries, it’s actually one of the safer and more regulated driving environments. It’s easy for most Western drivers to adapt to driving in Hong Kong, with just a few important differences to remember.
Hong Kong Driving Rules and Regulations
Basically, Hong Kong driving rules and regulations are closely based on the UK system, so things like giving way to traffic on main roads is required when entering from a minor road. In addition, cars turning right have to give way to oncoming cars. Buses and minivans are everywhere in Hong Kong, and smaller vehicles must give way to them at all times.
People in Hong Kong drive on the left-hand side of the road. This will be an issue if you come from a country that drives on the right-hand side, and there will be an adjustment stage which can last a few hours up to a day or so in most cases. In line with this, drivers in Hong Kong overtake on the right unless there are traffic queues.
Just like many developed countries around the world, all drivers in Hong Kong must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driving license. Another similarity to many Western countries are the seat belt rules, which dictate that everyone in the vehicle must wear a seat belt if one is available. Interestingly though, this rule is waived if the driver is parking, reversing the vehicle or doing a 3-point turn.
If you own and drive a car in Hong Kong, the vehicle must be covered by 3rd party insurance, and proof of this insurance must be kept in the vehicle. In addition, a valid vehicle license be displayed on the left side of the windscreen in a visible place.
There are many insurance companies that have experience insuring foreign-owned vehicles in Hong Kong, such as Direct Asia Hong Kong.
Mobile phones are not allowed to be used while the vehicle is moving, but hands-free systems are permitted. If you ride a motorcycle, don’t forget to wear a helemt at all times. It’s compulsory in Hong Kong, in addition to being a safety consideration.
China is just a short trip away across the border at Shenzhen, but you will need to have secondary Chinese number plates if considering a driving trip. In most cases the excellent rail system is much cheaper and more convenient. China also has different driving laws and regulations, plus they drive on the left-hand side which can be confusing to people accustomed to the Hong Kong system.
If your vehicle is over 6 years old, you will need to have an annual road-worthiness test done at one of the designated testing centres around Hong Kong.
For tourism purposes, a valid international driving license is sufficient to cover you in Hong Kong. If you stay more than a year, you will need to get a local valid driving license.
Author Bio:- Rose is a freelance travel blogger.She was recently involved in a minor traffic accident in Hong Kong but was thankfully covered by Direct Asia Hong Kong.When not running into stationary vehicles, she can be found blogging about his crazy travel adventures online.