Road Rules and Driving in Hong Kong

Motoring notes on the driving laws. An introduction to what you must (and must not) do when driving on roads in Hong Kong: licences, speeding, parking and alcohol intake limits...

Rules and Regulations

  • Drive on the left (Hong Kong does not allow left-hand drive vehicles to be registered in Hong Kong except in special circumstances)
  • Overtake on the right unless there are traffic queues
  • All drivers must be aged at least 18 and hold a valid driving licence
  • Driver and passengers - front or back - must wear a seat belt if one is fitted. (It is not necessary for the driver to wear a seat belt when carrying out manoeuvres such as reversing, three-point turns or parking)
  • By law all drivers must have third party insurance
  • A valid vehicle licence must be displayed on the left hand side of the windscreen
  • Using a mobile cellular telephone is forbidden (drivers may use a hands-free system)
  • Cars entering from minor roads must give way to traffic on main roads
  • Cars turning right must give way to oncoming traffic
  • Give way to buses and minibuses
  • It is compulsory for motorcyclists to wear a helmet

Note that Hong Kong and mainland China have different driving laws and restrictions, and that with a vehicle registered in Hong Kong will have to bear secondary Chinese plates if the driver wishes to travel to the mainland.  Mainland Chinese vehicles, which are left-hand drive, are generally not permitted on Hong Kong roads.

Other rules, and items to be carried in the vehicle

  • A valid driving licence must be kept with the driver at all times when driving
  • Insurance documents must be carried in the vehicle
  • Prescription glasses should be used if needed to meet the driving test standard, which is the ability to read a vehicle number plate at a distance of 23m in good daylight
  • Learner drivers must have dual-language L-plates fitted to their vehicle. They can only drive at certain times of the day with a qualified driving instructor and must not carry passengers. Certain roads are prohibited to them
  • The Hong Kong Transport Department recommends the use of warning triangles in an emergency, but these are not essential
  • After a car is six years old, it must pass an annual Roadworthiness Test at any of the 22 designated car testing centres.

Further Information