Renting a car for a self-driving tour in Hong Kong: requirements, process, fees, and precautions

 香港租車2021: 本地租車自駕遊條件、流程、費用及注意事項

The novel coronavirus puts a stop to nearly everybody's travel plans. Many opt to visit local sightseeing spots instead for a taste of vacation. For this reason, renting a car for a local self-driving tour is becoming increasingly common. What precautions should you take when going on a self-driving tour during the pandemic? How do you rent a car in Hong Kong in the first place? Today at Kwiksure, our experts will delve into these questions.

Car rental process and requirements in Hong Kong

Fret not, generally, renting a car in Hong Kong is easy. You only need to follow these few steps:

1. Inquire through the Internet or telephone

Of course, before you start, it's best to compare prices and do some research. You can call car rental companies directly, or reach out through the Internet. Get to know the car rental process, required documents, and conditions of different companies. Once you've decided on a best-fit company, contact them for a car rental arrangement. 

2. Go through the formalities 

Prior to your appointment, have all of your documents, rent, and deposit on hand. Want to pick up or return the vehicle at a specific location? Car rental companies will usually charge an additional fee for that. After signing the rental contract, it's best to examine your new ride for any preexisting scratches and deficiencies before driving off with it. 

3. Renew or return the rental car

Return your rental car at the contract-specified location and time. Feel free to renew your rental contract, but only if you notify the company in advance. 

4. Complete the application to return the car 

After returning the vehicle, they will check the condition of your car. If everything looks good, you'll have your deposit returned in full. 

Tips for self-driving tours during the COVID-19 pandemic 

1. Don't go on one if you show symptoms of the novel coronavirus 

According to the Department of Health's guidelines, the most common COVID-19 symptoms include fever, fatigue, dry cough and difficulty breathing. Get tested as soon as possible and avoid traveling if you display any of these symptoms. Other signs of COVID-19 include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Headache
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Sore throat 
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Rash
  • Fingernails or toenails changing colors 

2. Sanitize often

After picking up your car, use antiseptic alcohol or wet wipes to wipe down the most frequently used areas of the car, such as the steering wheel, armrests, seats, seat belts, touch screens, etc. This is to prevent contracting residual germs and viruses from the previous driver. We also recommend opening the windows while driving to maintain air circulation. Here are five ways to keep your car safe from germs and viruses.

3. Stay vigilant when out driving or refueling your vehicle

Remember to wear a mask when you get off to take a break or visit scenic spots. Before eating, wash your hands with soap for 30 seconds or use a hand sanitizer if that's not an option.

4, Wear a mask and limit your number of passengers

To prevent the virus from transmitting, we recommend keeping your mask on while driving. You should ask any unfamiliar passengers if they have COVID-19 symptoms before they hop on. To be extra safe, ask them to leave their contact information with you, so they can be tracked if necessary.

5. Avoid going to crowded places

Avoid visiting crowded tourist attractions or areas where there were many confirmed COVID-19 cases to protect you and your family. 

Hong Kong car rental frequently asked questions

Is there an age limit for who can rent a car for personal use? 

In Hong Kong, anyone aged 25 or above and holds a valid Hong Kong driver's license for at least two years may rent a vehicle. 

What's the average rate for renting a car in Hong Kong?

If you're renting a vehicle during the day time, the rate is roughly $600 to $1,000 per day. This price fluctuates based on: 

  • How much mileage is included in the rental price?
  • Is there 24-hour road support?
  • What's the fuel calculation method?
  • Is car insurance included?
  • Is there a surcharge for additional drivers?
  • How much surcharge is required if you pick up and return the vehicle outside of the designated location?
  • Are you paying rental fees for any additional equipment (ex. baby seats, GPS devices)?

Before renting the car, you should read all the terms and charges carefully. Also, look through the car rental confirmation before picking up the car. This goes a long way in helping you avoid unnecessary losses.

What documents are needed when picking up your rental car?

Renting a vehicle for personal use requires several documents: your ID card, driver's license, pick-up ticket, proof of address for the last three months, and credit card. If you're renting a car under a company name, you must present a valid business registration copy and company seal.

Keep in mind that each rental company has different regulations. You can verify what documents are required with your specific car rental company when you make a reservation.

In addition, it is important to note that some car rental companies do not accept certain types of credit cards or rent vehicles to drivers who have had a driver's license for less than 36 months.

Do you need to return the rental car with a full tank?

Most car rental companies ask their customers to return the vehicles with a full tank. Otherwise, they might charge you a service fee. 

Do you need to buy insurance when renting a vehicle in Hong Kong for a road trip? 

In Hong Kong, most rental car companies already registered and bought insurance from the Transport Department. As a result, drivers don't need to purchase an additional car insurance plan. The coverage limit depends on your car type and your car rental company. If you have questions about the coverage areas, you can always ask your rental company.

Is it safe to share a rental car?

Car-sharing is the act of renting out idle cars on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. However, we do not recommend this. In the event of a traffic accident, it is difficult to clarify who is responsible. In addition, there have been numerous similar disputes in the past. Even if an agreement has been signed, it is not foolproof. Therefore, we recommend renting cars from reputable car rental companies or agents with physical stores.

Continue reading: Lending your car: Insurance cover for the car owner and borrower

Contact Kwiksure for more insurance solutions

Kwiksure has more than 20 years of experience in the car insurance industry. Aside from car insurance (third-party and comprehensive), we also provide home insurance, motorcycle insurance, Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS), Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) insurance, and many more! Get a free quote now with our online quotation tool, or contact our team of insurance expert advisors to learn more about Kwiksure's insurance plans