Do I need a car in Gaungzhou, China?

JennyK's picture
By JennyK - Posted on
14 June 2011
In the process of the last round of interviews for a position managing retail in Guangzhou and trying to anticipate my expenses there if i do get offered the job. The one question that I can't seem to get a handle on is whether or not I'll need a car in Guangzhou? Can anyone advise?
Stephanie's picture
Last seen: 6 years 6 weeks ago
Joined: 19/04/2010

Living in:
Cape Town, South Africa

Charlotte, North Carolina (the USA)

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I think the better question is - will you be okay to drive in Guangzhou? Doctors haven't proven it as yet, but I'm nearly positive the driving in China is linked to high blood pressure. If you're coming from a western nation like me, you'll find the rules of the road are kind of like the rules of the jungle. May the biggest, bravest beast win. And may all the other beasts do whatever they want, wherever and whenever they want.

Neeldess to say, there's little lane discipline, little respect for traffic laws, and lots of congestion and traffic all the time. People will even drive the wrong way on a one-way street.

So basically, if you can avoid it - don't buy a car in Gaungzhou. Rather live somewhere that's proximal to your work and play and use public transportation and the "ways" of the pedestrian otherwise.
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Seth's picture
Last seen: 6 years 44 weeks ago
Joined: 23/05/2011

Off the bat, I would say probably not. There are a few details you need to consider. Where is your place of work in relation to the metro? Have you considered where in GZ you want to live? The metro system is much more economical and usually not much less convenient than driving. Taxis are pretty reasonable for shorter distances too. Currently there is a 2 yuan gas tax that you will have to pay besides the meter fee. Just a heads up.

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Anonymous's picture

At the moment it is very difficult for a foreigner to get a drivers license in China. You have to go through many procedures and you might not be allowed to drive. If you would like a car, I would recommend getting a driver. They normally come with their own car and insurance. This is much easier. Also if you don't need a car I would recommend using the public transportation system. It is great and very reliable.
good luck

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Paz's picture
Last seen: 6 years 10 weeks ago
Joined: 17/05/2011

Living in:
Guangzhou, China

Wisconsin, USA

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I would highly advise against getting a car. The public transportation is very reliable and easy to use.  You will figure it out in no time!! Also it is extremely hard for a foreigner to get a car and many companies actually do not allow their foreign workers to drive while in China. Depending on the company and your position some companies do provide expats with a company car and then they hire a driver. I would see if this is in your offer. 

If once you are here you feel that you must have a car I would recommend looking for a driver when you are here. They are very easy to come by and reasonable. We have been here for one year and have never  had a need for a car. Check out my site on living in China if you have other questions. 

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Anonymous's picture

where is the best place to live in Guangzhou .

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sinobread's picture
Last seen: 5 years 43 weeks ago
Joined: 11/06/2012

if you are in big cities, car make you troubles, also problems with parking, plenty of cameras and you will collect a lot of tickets.
Of of big cities, you CAN'T live without car, you will be wasting a lot of time.
I'm driving in China for the last 10 years, 1st 7 without driving license, no problem at all.
If you have money, you may rent our limo, it is coming with driver.


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