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Booking a car hire in Shanghai gives you total control over how you navigate the city, as well as easy access to the wider Shanghai metropolitan area. If you want to hire a car in China, you’ll need a valid driving licence issued by the People’s Republic of China (Mainland). No other driving licences are acceptable, even when accompanied by an International Driving Permit.
With Shanghai being such a sprawling metropolis, it often makes sense to hire a car on arrival, especially if you know the city well. You could consider renting a car with a driver for greater flexibility than relying solely on public transport, and gives you the option of exploring further afield.
One of the best getaways within a few hours of Shanghai is the emerald green tea-producing countryside of Wuyuan County, about a five-hour drive from the city. Or, in the opposite direction on the north bank of the Yangtze, the city of Yangzhou is home to classical Chinese gardens with koi-filled ponds and elegant pavilions – an ideal location for some respite from the relentless pace of the big city.
Many of China’s cities have road signs in both English and Mandarin, but away from urban areas this may not always be the case. Bear in mind traffic can be extremely heavy in central Shanghai, so pay special attention to cyclists, motorcyclists and cars turning from the opposite direction, especially at busy intersections and designated crossings.