Buying a Used Car in China

Information on the paperwork and processes involved when buying a used car or leasing a vehicle in China...

Most Chinese cities have used car markets, which usually have a large selection of vehicles to choose from. It is advisable to go to a reputable one that has been recommended by someone else. Used cars are also available from some dealerships and are advertised in classified sections of newspapers and online. Expat orientated websites are a good place to find a car; these usually have adverts in English.

When buying a used car it is essential to get a sales invoice, which is required to register the car.

Leasing a Car

Many foreigners choose to lease a car while living in China, which generally works out cheaper and frees the individual from the cost of repairs and maintenance. Some car lease companies provide roadside assistance should the vehicle break down. An initial deposit, the size of which depends on the type of car being leased, must be paid at the start of the leasing period. The following documents are needed to lease a car:

  • A valid passport
  • A PRC driver's licence
  • An identification card


Both third party liability and accident insurance are compulsory in China. As of February 2012 the Chinese government agreed to open the auto insurance market to foreign companies, which means that it is no longer a requirement for a Chinese insurance policy to be taken out.

Selling a Car

Cars can be sold via a dealership or by placing an advert online or in the classifieds section of a newspaper.