5 Car-Sharing Options Available in China

By Bailey Hu, May 24, 2017

2 0

Got a Chinese drivers license and RMB500 to spare? That means you, too, can be part of what's arguably the most ambitious sharing craze to hit China thus far: cars.

Although they're pricier than your average sharing gimmick (cheaper options include umbrellas, basketballs and phone chargers) and prone to misuse, shared cars can be handy if you're not yet ready to buy a vehicle. What's more, some companies offer environmentally-friendly electric options.

Today, we look at five popular car-sharing companies available in cities across the country.

But first, here's how they work.

The process for renting a car is similar to bike-sharing. After downloading a company's app or following them on WeChat, you'll need to upload essential information such as an image of your license. A hefty deposit (RMB500-1500 for the companies below) is generally also required. After your details have been approved by staff members, you can check to see if there are any shared cars (sometimes at designated pickup-dropoff points) near you.

Then it's simply a matter of reserving the type of car you want, unlocking it with an app or WeChat, and driving off. When you're ready to return it, choose a spot to drop it off, end your ride and pay through whatever app you're using.

1. Car2Share


Compared to newer entries in the market, Car2Share has models that are a little older but still serviceable. The company targets white-collar workers, and its pickup-dropoff points tend to be near offices. You're required to return your car to the spot where you picked it up, but the deposit is relatively cheap and you can reserve a car on WeChat without downloading a separate app.

Deposit: RMB500  
Daytime Rate (2015 two-seater): after 30 minutes, RMB6 per half hour plus RMB1.5 per kilometer  
Available in: Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen

2. EVCard


EVCard was reportedly the first company to offer electric shared-car services in Shanghai, starting all the way back in 2013. After registering an account, users are mailed a physical card. They can use it (or the company's app) to unlock any vehicle they rent. At the end of the ride cars must be returned to a designated dropoff spot.

Deposit: RMB1,000  
Daytime Rate (4-door Chery EQ in Shanghai): RMB0.6 per minute, RMB216 for 24 hours  
Available in: Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Shanghai

3. Pony Car


Pony Car has a major factor working in its favor: it's cheap. Drivers aren't required to park at designated spots, and like Car2Share, you can book your ride directly through WeChat. Vehicles may not be top-of-the-line, but they're electric and definitely stand out from the crowd with colorfully-patterned stickers.

Deposit: RMB500  
Daytime Rate: RMB0.12 per minute plus RMB0.78 per kilometer  
Available in: Shenzhen

4. Togo


Togo's fleet of Smart cars give a smooth driving experience. One major downside: users are required to pay parking fees themselves when pulling out of whatever lot the previous driver chose. Togo reimburses users by offering them credit on the app, but past drivers have complained that it's still not enough.

Deposit: RMB1,500 
Daytime Rate (for Smart cars in Shenzhen): RMB15 for the first 30 minutes, then RMB0.28 per minute plus RMB1.88 per kilometer
Available in: Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Weihai

5. United Journey


Jokes about its name aside, United Journey is a relatively comfortable choice for drivers. It offers car models that are not only electric but also normal-sized. Unfortunately, they're also not as cheap as some of its smaller-sized competitors.

Deposit: RMB500  
Daytime Rate (Jac IEV5): RMB0.2 per minute, RMB100 cap for 24 hours  
Available in: Foshan, Shenzhen

READ MORE: 3 Things You Can Now Rent With Chinese Sharing Apps

[Images via Mercedes-Benz, Shanghai ObserverSohu, Xueqiu.com, Ifeng.com]

more news

A Guide to Garbage Disposal and Recycling in China

How to properly dispose rubbish under China's new trash sorting rules.

Instagram of the Month: @expatphoto

​Anton is a portrait photographer known for his dramatic moody portraits in front of some epic Shenzhen landmarks.

3 Shared Bike Brands Still Rolling in China

An update on commonly seen shared bikes still in business around China's biggest cities.

That's 2020 Hospitality Awards Coming to Shenzhen

We are delighted to announce that the fourth annual That's National Hospitality Awards will be held in Shenzhen.

Tap that App: Toilet Sharing

The whole public toilet network of urban China is now at your fingertips.

Shenzhen-Built 'Idolcam' Makes Shooting Quality Videos Easier than Ever

The Idolcam can allow an everyman with little-to-no camera experience create a fairly decent video.

The Rise of Bike Sharing and China's Love Affair with Cycling

Bikes have long enjoyed a unique kind of welcome in China and, today, a fresh wave of bike mania is once again sweeping the country.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at ThatsSuzhou for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Suzhou With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday


Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Suzhou!

Visit the archives