Drive your own vehicle through China

Driving Through China with Your Own Vehicle

For many travelers eager to explore China by their own vehicle, it’s a complex endeavor requiring careful planning and permits. Unlike other Asian countries, simply entering China with a valid visa doesn’t allow unrestricted travel. Here’s what you need to know:

Permits and Requirements:

  • Permits: Foreigners must obtain permits for each province they intend to visit. This includes special permissions and temporary Chinese number plates.
  • Documentation: Required documents include vehicle papers, four photos of the vehicle from all sides with readable number plates, certification (e.g., TÜV), insurance, and details such as color, serial numbers, engine specifications, producer, type, and vehicle value. Upon entry, a deposit based on the vehicle’s value is required, refundable upon exit.
  • Driver Requirements: Participants need passports, visas, individual insurance covering China, five passport photos, national and international driving licenses, and personal details.
  • Equipment: Essential equipment includes spare parts, GPS, laptop, satellite telephone, etc.

Costs and Logistics:

  • Costs: Costs vary per vehicle type and number of participants. For example, a 5-seater car starts at $4500 USD for one vehicle, decreasing with more vehicles. Additional costs apply for Tibet and a mandatory guide.
  • Guide Requirement: A Chinese guide is mandatory for all self-drive tours. For vehicles like cars and trucks, the guide can join participants; for motorbikes, a separate vehicle is required for the guide.

Important Border Crossings:

  • Key crossings include:
    • Mongolia: Erenhot (Zamin-Uud) – Inner Mongolia
    • Kazakhstan: Ergongzhen (Qoqek) – Xinjiang / Mohu (Emuchang, Xoproc) – Xinjiang
    • Kyrgyzstan: Irkeshtam – Xinjiang
    • Pakistan: Khunjerab Pass – Xinjiang (Karakoram Highway)
    • Nepal: Zhangmu (Dram, Khasa) – Tibet
    • Myanmar (Burma): Ruili (Muse) – Yunnan
    • Laos: Mengla (Mohan) – Yunnan
    • Vietnam: Hekou (Kim-Tan) – Yunnan

Included Services:

  • Drive-through permits for all provinces
  • Tibet Travel Permit (if required)
  • Temporary number plate and driving license
  • Customs procedures at entry and exit points
  • Guide costs (accommodation, meals, travel expenses)

Excluded Services:

  • Overnight costs
  • Highway and parking fees
  • Petrol
  • Entrance fees for sights
  • Vehicle deposit
  • Meals

Sample Itineraries:

  1. 5-Day Drive-through Kyrgyzstan – Pakistan via Kashgar:
    • Day 1: Torugart Pass – Kashgar
    • Day 2: Kashgar – Customs clearance
    • Day 3: Kashgar – Obtain number plate and driving license
    • Day 4: Kashgar – Tashkurgan (300 km)
    • Day 5: Tashkurgan – Kunjerab Pass and exit (125 km)
  2. Sample Drive-through Tours:
    • Spring Tour (April – May): Mohan to Irkeshtam
      • Includes stops in Jiangcheng, Yuyuang Pugao Rice Terraces, Lugu Lake, Zhangye Danxia Geopark, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, Turpan, and more.
    • Summer Tour (July – August): Erenhot to Mohan
      • Covers Ulanqab, Beijing, Datong, Pingyao, Zhangjiajie, Fenghuang, Yangshuo, Nanning, Mingshi, and more.
    • Fall Tour (September – October): Irkeshtam to Mohan
      • Includes Kashgar, Kargilik, Hotan, Taklamakan Desert crossing, Dunhuang, Xiahe, Langmusi, Huanglong, Panda Base, Lugu Lake, Dali, Yuanyang Pugao, and more.

These tours offer comprehensive exploration across China, ensuring a rich experience with logistical support and permits organized by GmbH. Planning ahead is crucial due to permit processing times and group coordination.

For more details, including specific costs and availability for upcoming tours, visit’s online support system or contact their operators directly for personalized assistance.