Rent a Car for Travel in Beijing

As China’s sprawling political and cultural capital, Beijing overflows with remarkable heritage sites like the monumental Forbidden City and iconic Great Wall alongside gleaming modern architectural marvels. With one of the world’s largest metro systems, trains make hopping between major attractions across town efficient yet having your own rental car allows deeper neighborhood exploration, countryside detours and trips to sections of the Great Wall at your own pace.

Benefits of Renting a Car in Beijing

Having a rental vehicle while visiting Beijing gives independence beyond transit:

Accessibility Around Town

Reach sites not well-connected by subways or buses like 798 Art District, Fragrant Hills, neighborhoods of old hutongs plus parts of the enormous Great Wall much farther out from Badaling.

Airport Transport Simplicity

Forget crowded shuttle buses by picking up your rental car directly at either Capital or Daxing airport to zip comfortably to accommodations anywhere around Beijing, even late nights or early mornings during your arrival/departure.

Greater Flexibility

Visit any neighborhood, market or section of the Great Wall whenever desired without dependence upon group tour schedules or battling public holiday transit crowds. Spend more or less time at each site based upon personal interests or changing weather conditions.

Cargo Capacity

Rental car trunks and back seats provide ample secure storage for airport luggage, shopping bags, take-away restaurant meals and photography gear as you explore diverse districts of Beijing.


The per person cost savings of a rental vehicle versus accumulating transfer fares, metro tickets and tour group payments makes sense when travelling with 2-4 family/friends.

Where to Rent a Car in Beijing

As a huge travel gateway and pivotal metropolis, Beijing offers abundant rental options:

Beijing Airports

International companies like Hertz, Europcar and Avis operate large rental counters at both Capital and new Daxing airport arrival halls open 24/7 to meet incoming passenger demand.

High Speed Railway Stations

Major hubs like Beijing South, Beijing West and Beijing North stations have rental desks for passenger convenience right within the terminal buildings for easy pick-up or drop-off.

Central City Outlets

Various rental shops cluster in areas around downtown attractions like Tiān’ānmén Square, Qianmen Dashilan, CBD and embassy districts for proximity. Some provide hotel shuttles within limited zones of downtown.

AreaSample Locations
Financial DistrictJinsong area, Guanghua Lu
By Forbidden CityNanchizi Dajie near Beihai Park
Tech Business ParksZhongguancun, Wangjing regions
Art ZonesAround 798 Creative Park, Songzhuang

Table: Some key rental car locations across greater Beijing

Driving Tips for Navigating Beijing’s Roads

Follow handy suggestions for safely operating a rental vehicle across Beijing’s immense tangled network:

Verify an International Driving Permit

Carry an IDP alongside your domestic license for legitimacy and simplified procedures with authorities if any incidents or violations occur.

Adjust to Local Style

Chinese urban driving follows mix of loose Western conventions and unique local habits – pass carefully but don’t hesitate from honking or flashing lights to indicate presence.

Load a Transit Card

Having a public transit card loaded with cash ensures smooth connections on subways, buses or taxis to shuttle across certain central zones with restrictions on private cars.

Pack an Extension Cord

Bring a portable power cord for recharging devices enroute as cigarette lighters are not equipped in Chinese market economy rental fleet vehicles.

Refuel Early or Often

With sometimes lengthy distances between outlying sightseeing areas, refill tanks promptly when passing operational petrol stations rather than pushing distance limits.

Frequently Asked Questions about Renting a Car in Beijing

What documents do I need to rent a vehicle?

Expect to provide your valid driver’s license, passport, applicable visa and credit card at the rental counter. Some agencies mandate International Driving Permits (IDP).

What side do Beijing drivers operate on?

As throughout mainland China, vehicles in Beijing drive on the right hand side of the road with the steering wheel on the left side of the car.

What transmission types are available in Beijing?

Most rental agencies offer predominately manual transmission vehicles catering to local market preferences, but inventory of automatic gearbox economy or luxury sedans depends on outlet. Inquire specifically when booking about availability.


While Beijing’s orderly subway trains and extensive bus routes connect most major attractions, the freedom of having your own rental car opens more doors at your own pace without big tour groups – from meandering through old hutong alley neighborhoods to personalized Great Wall explorations farther beyond congested Badaling. Booking an economical rental vehicle sized right for your travel party ensures reaching iconic sites and emerging creative districts comfortably. Your tailored China adventure awaits!


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