Beijing - Post Report Question and Answers

What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

We didn't bring a car because ours is older and Beijing has strict import requirements. Some people brought cars. - Nov 2021

A car that meets Chinese requirements. And I wouldn't bring a super modern car with a ton of electronics. - Nov 2020

If you live in the city, you probably don’t need a car for most daily activities. A bicycle or electric scooter would serve you better. If you hope to go on hikes to the Great Wall, or if you’re assigned to live out in the suburbs, you should definitely ship a car over. Any make or model will do, as parts are widely available. - Aug 2020

I recommend buying an electric scooter, which gives you the ability to really explore the city. Do pay attention to changing regulations however; gas-powered scooters were recently banned, and electric scooters may be as well. - Jul 2020

Anything works. Great for road trips to Mongolia or around town, etc.! Lots of folks have scooters too. - May 2020

We did not bring a car, as traffic is terrible in my opinion. I don't think anyone put themselves into this nightmare of a traffic situation (my opinion, but...)? - Nov 2019

Very safe here. Doubt cars get stolen too much since cameras are everywhere. Every kind of car imaginable works here. If you live downtown you probably don't need a car. - Oct 2017

I shudder at the thought. Traffic is horrendous and the driving culture here is... Unique and terrifying. Leave the car at home. - Dec 2015

Any vehicle is fine. Check local restrictions - quite sure the vehicle cannot be older than 3 yrs old. Finding Toyota, Nissan, Audi dealerships no big deal. haven't seen American dealerships I don't think. - Apr 2015

Cars or SUVs are fine. The driving here is very crazy so be very careful. Motorcycles, bicycles, tuktuk, pedestrians go any which way so you really have to watch out. Other motorists drive aggressive and cutting people of is the norm. I brought a small car but i rarely drive it and don't really need to. - Aug 2014

We have a minivan here. It is big for the parking spaces and parking garages, but manageable. Lots of other people also have vans/SUVs. Pay attention to the age of your car. You can only import cars less than 5 years old and the rules change frequently so that is something you should explore early. Some people have luck buying at post while others have had to wait a while to find something suitable to purchase. - Jul 2014

Brought my car. Roads are good, no special concerns. - Jun 2013

Beijing periodically arbitrarily chooses a date, and vehicles made before that date are not allowed in. Check on that before you ship. As for size, it’s a bit of a paradox: a smaller vehicle is more maneuverable, but a larger one has more right-of-way (according to the unwritten “rules” of the road here). - Aug 2011

None. Buy an electric scooter when you get here - Apr 2011

Don't bring a car here. The paperwork is an incredible hassle and you won't be able to get parts for it (foreign branded cars are manufactured through local joint ventures and have different designs in China even though they look the same). Beijing recently implemented a new system that makes it incredibly difficult to get a number plate. As a result, you will have great difficulty buying a car here. If you do get one, your reward is joining traffic-clogged streets that make LA rush hour traffic look fast. Take the subway or ride a bicycle (or electric bike) if you want to get anywhere. - Jan 2011

There is a company in Shunyi called ST Car Care that can service pretty much any type of car. If they can't find the parts, as happens sometimes, you'll have to order them from the States. They also offer roadside assistance, which we've had to use. - Apr 2010

No need to bring, both local and imported cars areavailable (although parts are not). Petrol is relatively cheap. - Jan 2010

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