China Transit overland by car or motorbike

Transit China overland by your own car or motorbike

Feasibility of China transit by car or on motorbike

Is it possible to transit China by car or on motorbike? Is the entry with car or bike possible? Yes, it is. Even if the vehicles have a foreign licence or a Chinese licence number? The answer is: Yes.

Which vehicles can be used to travel China?

– Passenger cars, cross-country vehicles, camper vans, vans, lorries, fire trucks, e-cars, vintage cars, motorcycles, racing cars…
– According to our long experience, nearly every legal vehicle is permitted to enter China (providing all legal formalities are given).

This is how you transit China on bike or by car

– Apply for Chines tourist visa.
– Car/bike is imported temporarily to China.
– Car or motorbike is temporarily registered in China.
– Apply for a provisional Chinese driving licence.
– Get Chinese provisional licence plate and driving licence.
– Company of a Chinese guide.
– Your trip is arranged and supported by a Chinese travel agency.

Reasons for a transit by car or on motorcycle

China is a populous country in East Asia. The vast landscape includes pastures, desert, mountains, lakes, rivers and more than 14,000 km of coastline. China is the fourth largest country of the world in regard of its total area (land and water) and the third largest country in regard of its land area.

China has the longest country’s frontier of all countries in the world. The coastline adds up to 14,500 kilometre. The People’s Republic of China has 14 neighbouring countries. These are anticlockwise: North Korea in the northeast, followed by Russia und Mongolia, in the west follow Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, towards south and southwest India, Nepal and Bhutan follow and finally Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam.

Maybe your last destination will be China, or another asian country, or Europe, still, you will have to transit China, due to the reasons mentioned above.

The benefits of China transit with car

– More leisure time: As opposed to a sight seeing tour the transit is much more free. There is no complete freedom, of course, because you have to have the company of a Chinese guide if you transit China by motorcycle or by car.
– More flexibility: Though the trip is planned beforehand you are free to chose if the trips goes on or a break is needed. You can chose the sites you want to see and visit, also if you want to stay in a hotel or in a tent, if you want to prepare your meals or go to an restaurant, you can set the departure times and the time for rest… All activities on a Chinese transit are very flexible.
-Authentic China: China transit carries you to places far away. You will not only see metropolises like Beijing or Shanghai, but you will also see beautiful little villages in southwestern China. Additionally, you will travel through the Taklimakan Desert or you will arrive in Kailash in Tibet. We do believe that the real China is situated on the way.
– Deep into China: Crossing China means to learn more and deeper about China. You will see spectacular nature, you will learn about the ancient tradition, about the manifold culture and will have a taste of the diversified excellent cuisine.

Requirements and involved authority for China transit

– Chinese tourist visa (ministry for culture and tourism, Chinese embassies and consulates abroard
– Temporary import of the vehicle into China (customs)
– Temporary registry, temporary licence plate and national car licence for vehicles in China (agency for transport)
– Chinese temporary driving licence (agency for transport administration)
– Border control (border control station for entry and departure, foreigner department)
– Monitoring and registration on the way (Exit- and entry administration)
– Possibly the military department, too

Frequently used routes and borders for China transit

If your destination is India or Nepal:

– The route Iran-Pakistan-India is without doubt very beautiful and attractive. But at the same time there can be a safety risk in some regions or at special times. Maybe visa can be problematic, too. Please do look out for travel-tips and safety warnings of your foreign ministry.
– If you do not want to take the direct route Iran-Pakistan-India, the route via China is your only choice. In 4 to 5 days you can travel trough China from Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan and enter India from Pakistan. This China transit passes the famous Krakoram Highwas (KKH) and will take approximately 4 to 5 days. Each car will cost between 900 US-Dollar to 2000 US-Dollar, the price depends on the number of cars involved in your transit.
– Another choice is the route from Kyrgyzstan to China on the federal road G219. The route consists of Kailash, EBS, Lhasa und through the Gyirong-Pass from Tibet to Nepal with India as the final destination. The G219 is one of the roads in the highest altitude in the world, therefor driving it is a trial for the vehicles and the health of the participants.
– An additional choice may be to enter China through Kyrgyzstan, than following the Silk Road to Golmud, via Lhasa to the Gyirong-Pass, this will take you to Nepal or India, too.

If your destination is Laos, Kampuchea, Thailand, Malaysia oder another country in southeast Asia, here are some general routes:

– China transit with car from Mongolia to Laos is a common route from Europe to Asia with own vehicles. The border point is Eren Hot which has very efficient customs, border control stations and vehicle administration. Usually, yo will get on the second day after entry the temporary driver licence and licence number and continue your journey.
– You can also choose the route from Kyrgyzstan to China. You will take the Silk Road to the South until you will reach Laos.

If you want to drive from Asia to Europe

– China transit from Laos to Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, and so on
– From India to Europe the route India-Pakistan-China (4-5 days) – Kyrgyzstan is often used

Actually, the need for China transit is manifold. In principle, you can cross any border which is open for people and vehicles from other countries.

China visa for transit via land

This question is often put by people who want to cross the Chinese border. For China transit you need a tourist visa. For single entry it is in force for three months with a length of stay of 30 days. If you have one of this tourist visa, please make certain, that it is still valid when you arrive in China. Please note that the visa expires if you drive to other countries before driving to China. Then you have to apply for a visa in the neighbouring country. This is possible, but not as easy as in your own country.

Therefor we strongly recommend to apply for a double entry in your own country. This visa has a validity of 6 months and is sufficient for you to travel to China.

Those travellers who cross China need no reservation of planes or hotels to apply for the tourist visa. We offer you a letter of invitation, the route and a list of hotels. These documents allow you to apply for a visa. You can apply for the visa or you can authorize an intermediary for the application.

Presents on the way in China

One of the most beautiful attractions of China transit with car is the possibility to encounter Chines people. Some small gifts will help you to befriend the inhabitants. Presents from your home country are considered as very valuable, even more valuable than a very expensive Chines gift.

If you ask us, you will get an unexpected answer: We recommend to prepare some coins: 1, 2, 5, 10 Cent. The people will be very happy to get them as a gift. They will show this present to their neighbours and will be proud to tell your story.

Refuel on China transit (petrol and diesel)

– Regular petrol, super unleaded and premium 95 are called in China petrol No. 90, 93 and 97. They cost between 90 Cent and 1 Euro 10 per litre. The price for petrol in China is set by the government. – The number or the price does not apply for the quality, please be sure to refuel the suitable petrol.
– We also have diesel No 0 and -10, it always costs between 80 Cent and 1 Euro per litre. If the temperature is between minus 4 and minus 5 degrees Celsius you can refuel diesel No -10. But this diesel is not so common, even in higher plains.
– Please refuel at the government-owned station Sinopec or PetroChina, they offer better quality than the private petrol stations. Some private petrol stations may look like Sinopec or PetroChina, be sure to avoid them.
– At the petrol station cash is mostly used, credit cards are seldom accepted.
– Refuelling in Xinjiang or Tibet takes more time. In this areas you have to register with identity card or passport. Please be patient and keep up your good mood.
– To refuel a motorbike sometimes a jug is used. At some petrol stations you have to park your bike next to the station and carry the petrol from the station to your bike. Still, you are not allowed to take petrol or diesel in a petrol can with you on the road.
– In Xinjiang and Tibet you are not allowed to take petrol or diesel in a petrol can with you.

China transit with car on the motorways

– Chinas motorways are the most extended in the world. On other streets you have the advantage of the view of a fine landscape, but sometimes you have to take the motorway to save time
– Chinas motorways are not for free. Different vehicle types cost different fees. The lowest fee is from 5 to 7 Euro per 100 kilometre. If you pay for a certain part of the motorway, please keep the voucher. On the voucher your vehicle type and the rate for your car is noted and this can come in handy for the next tollgate.

China transit on motorways on motorbike

– Motorbikes are not allowed in every province on the motorway
– In these provinces motorbikes which fulfil the requirements for engine displacement, etc. are allowed: Hubei, Beijing , Hainan, Xinjiang, Tianjin, Inner Mongolia, Liaoning, Hunan, Guangdong, Yunnan, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Anhui, Guizhou, Guangxi, Hebei, Shaanxi, Gansu, Tibet.
– The fee for a motorbike on a motorbike correspondent to the one of a small car

Driving under the influence of psychoactive substances

– An alcohol level of 20mg/100ml bis 80mg/100ml at the wheel: a fine of 1000 to 2000 RMB, 12 points and the revoke of your driver’s licence for 6 months.
– An alcohol level above 80mg/100ml: permanent revoke of your driver’s licence, for five years no possibility to get a new driver’s licence, plus detention und fine according to court decision.

Chinese SIM card on China transit with car

– You have to present an ID card or passport to purchase a SIM card in China
– There are three mobile phone service provider in China: China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. Please put into mind that different mobile phones have different mobile networks. E.g an iPhone 7 from Hong Kong does not fit to China Telecom, you have to buy a card from China Mobile oder China Unicom
– Not every store accepts passports from foreigners. Especially in small towns there are mostly not more than one or two stores where a foreigner can buy a SIM card with his passport and get pay scale options
– If you tell us your mobile phone version and the place where you would like to purchase the SIM card we will be able to use our own ID cards to buy a SIM card and get a good pay scale

Most commonly used Land Borders for China Transit