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Buying a Car in Hong Kong – 10 Tips to Help You Out

Hong Kong Living | June 23, 2020

Buying a car in Hong Kong might seem an expensive indulgence to many. After all, the city is extremely well-connected and boasts one of the world’s most economical and modern public transport systems. Why, then, would anyone need to own a car?

Start with convenience. With your own car, you’ll be able to travel anywhere you want, anytime you want. You won’t have to factor in the schedule of trams when setting up plans. Neither will you have to have to worry about the eye-watering fares of local taxis.

Another benefit of owning a car is that it will save you time. You won’t have to spend hours waiting for a tram, taxi, or carpool. Aside from that, having your own car means you can go on road trips with family or friends. No need to book slots for each of you on the tram.

Here’s what you need to know to buy a car in Hong Kong:

How To Buy A Car In Hong Kong?

Buying a car is the second most expensive household expense, next to buying a house. It’s thus crucial to make an informed decision. Whether you’re a collector or a driver, here are ten tips for picking a shiny, beautiful car in Hong Kong.

1. Get A Hong Kong License

Before starting your Hong Kong car search, make sure to get an HK-issued driver’s license.

Hong Kong residents need three things to become a registered car owner. These include a local driving license, a valid Hong Kong ID (HKID), and proof of residential status. Ensure all three documents are on you before starting your car search.

Non-residents can apply for a full or temporary HK driving license without a driving test, as long as they are nationals of specific countries. Any non-residents whose country’s name is not on the list must complete the application process and pass a driving test to get the driver’s license.

2. Be Clear About Your Requirements

Think about your personal preferences. Do you adore classic cars, or are you the type who can’t pass up on excellent-looking coupes? Perhaps, you love a family-friendly SUV that fits everyone, including the spoiled family pets.

Regardless of your liking, it’s great to have a checklist ready to help you make a more informed buying decision. Including the following entries on your checklist might make it easy for you to find the car that fulfills your needs:

  1. Size
  2. Boot space
  3. Fuel efficiency
  4. Safety features
  5. Price
  6. And any other metrics you think are important

3. Research, Research, Research

Given that there are hundreds of car models out there, researching all of them would take months, if not years. That is why it is essential to identify the type of car (sedan, hatchback, crossover, etc.) you want to buy at the very start of the process.

Next, narrow your choices down. One way to do this is by conducting side-by-side comparisons. There are vehicle platforms that offer this service. They let you compare one crossover with another crossover, one sedan with another sedan, and vice versa.

Identified the car you’d like to buy? It’s time to look at that car’s reviews. The best place to do so is YouTube, though you can also turn to niche car forums. Alternatively, you can speak to anyone already using the car you want to buy.

By the time you’re finished reading online reviews and speaking to people, you should have a clear picture in your mind of the car’s pros and cons and the car price in Hong Kong. The next thing you should do is ask yourself whether you could live with the car’s drawbacks.

If you think you can, move on to the next step. Otherwise, repeat the process with another car.

 4. Find A Reliable Dealership

Almost all major manufacturers have car dealerships in Hong Kong. A quick Google search will reveal the HK car trader near you. While many of these dealerships sell cars already being sold in HK, some also import cars from abroad.

You can also go to secondhand dealerships if you’re looking for HK used cars. Some even provide short-term warranties. There are also trusted Hong Kong car classifieds or pin-up signs in your local supermarket.

If you’re searching for cheap used cars for sale in Hong Kong, the internet is your best friend. A quick Google search for ‘Hong Kong used car website’ will give you dozens of options from where you can purchase a secondhand car.

5. Ask The Right Questions

Always ask about how long the warranty is, what it covers, the vehicle history (if you’re buying a used car), and Hong Kong car prices. Get to know the mileage, the maintenance details, features and add-ons, and financing options on offer.

Whether you’re buying a secondhand vehicle or a brand new car, it’s essential to know what you’re getting yourself into.

6. Take the Car for a Test Drive

Identified the car you intend to buy? Thoroughly inspect all the features. Pay special attention to the door handles, seat belts, glove compartments, and cup holders. These areas will reveal whether the car has been kept in good condition or mishandled by its previous owner.

Once you’re satisfied with what you have seen, take the car for a test drive. Whether you’re an expert driver or a newbie, you should pay attention to the comfort, noise, power and acceleration, braking, and handling during the ride.

Is the ride smooth and comfortable? How does the vehicle feel when you step on the gas pedal? Does it stop smoothly when you put the brakes on? Is the turning radius tight enough to make a U-turn? Is it easy to park and maneuver?

Consider all the details that make a pleasant driving experience.

7. Have The Car Inspected

After the car has passed your test drive requirements and you saw no anomalies in the vehicle history report, it’s time to call in the experts.

Most dealerships provide a certificate stating the vehicle has been properly inspected, but it’s best to have the car inspected by an impartial, third-party service provider. You can ask the dealership to consult an impartial inspector or arrange one yourself.

The inspector can place the car on a lift and check if there are any damages underneath. Despite the extra expense, it’s 100% worth it. The inspection might reveal any repairs the dealership needs to undertake before handing over the vehicle, saving you money on costly maintenance.

8. Get Quotes From Multiple Dealerships

Make sure to get at least three quotes from different dealerships. The more quotes you have, the more you can negotiate for a better price. Let the car dealerships beat the lowest bid.

Try to wait until the end of the month to make your purchase. From time to time, Hong Kong car dealers offer discounts. Given the quotas the salespersons have to achieve each month, the best time to negotiate price is towards the end of the month, as your purchase may decide whether or not they can get that bonus.

9. Purchase Car Insurance

It is mandatory to purchase car insurance before buying a car in Hong Kong.

The type of vehicle you choose and the history of your driving record will greatly affect the cost of insurance. Sports cars, high-performance cars, turbocharged or supercharged vehicles, four-wheel drives, and those with larger engines often result in higher insurance rates. Vehicles with records of being stolen can also demand a premium.

You can purchase one of two types of car insurance in Hong Kong:

  1. Third-party motor insurance: For most people, third-party motor insurance plans are most practical, as they’re designed to cover the minimum motor coverage required in Hong Kong
  2. Comprehensive motor insurance. It covers the insured vehicle, as well as several extras like the towing vehicle’s expenses. While comprehensive policies are pricey, they present better value in the long run

To lighten the burden of insurance expenses, you can take advantage of a no-claims discount.

This no-claims discount is a markdown based on the number of years in which you haven’t claimed on your car insurance policy. Concessions can be up to 60%, depending on the number of years you’ve been driving without a claim.

Again, cars are long-term investments, so it’s essential to think about how you will use them. Check rates across various providers and compare their coverage to find the one that suits you best. Don’t skimp on your insurance because that decision could cost you in the long run.

10. Ask For Rebates, But Say No To Add-ons

To finish the negotiation process, ask the dealer about any special rebates you might be eligible for, on top of a general rebate for everyone. Most manufacturers offer rebates for various personnel, and you may qualify for some of them.

These include military/veterans, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, first-time buyers, college graduates, conquest (i.e., if you own a particular competing car already), or loyalty (if you already own the same brand of car). Get the best deal when you buy a car in Hong Kong.

Finally, don’t get tempted by the extras they offer you after you’ve already agreed on a price. These can include physical add-ons like flashy rims, bright headlights, and extended warranties. In most cases, the add-ons available at the dealership are pricier than you can buy from the market.

Wrapping It Up

In conclusion, don’t rush your purchase. Car companies and auto dealers often trick consumers into making a hasty purchase, so be aware of them. Do your homework and find a car that will make you happy for years to come. If you follow these tips, you’ll get yourself a good deal.

Looking for an apartment to buy or rent? Find your perfect property using Spacious.hk, Hong Kong’s number one real estate platform.


How to find parking spots in Hong Kong?

Different mobile applications like Hong Kong eRouting and TingPark provide you with a detailed list of available parking spots in Hong Kong. Thanks to these apps, finding a parking space would be the least of your worries

Why are electric cars not popular in Hong Kong?

The main reason is the price. Unlike other developed areas of the world, Hong Kong doesn’t offer significant subsidies on electric vehicles, forcing anyone who intends to buy an electric vehicle to pay more than for a similar traditional vehicle.
Another reason is the lack of charging stations, especially in rural areas. This deters people who want to buy electric vehicles from going ahead with the purchase.

Where to buy Tomica cars in Hong Kong?

You can buy Tomica cars from physical stores. These include Tomica (Causeway Bay), Toys (Causeway Bay), Autorbit (Mong Kok), TomicaOmocha (Kwun Tong), among others. You can also buy Tomica cars online from Toys R Us and Ubuy

How many private cars are there in Hong Kong?

There were 628 thousand private cars in Hong Kong in 2019, the latest year for which statistics are currently available. There was a one-third increase in private car ownership in Hong Kong from 2009 to 2019.

How many cars are there in Hong Kong?

In 2019, the total number of vehicles registered in Hong Kong stood at 878,539 thousand. Hong Kong saw registrations of over 200,000 vehicles between 2009 and 2019.

How many people drive in Hong Kong?

There were around 2.33 million registered drivers in HK in 2019, according to Statista.


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