I just realized the difference between China and US is less and less obvious. Let me give you some signs. The recent development is car rental. We tried our first car rental in Sanya this holiday, and it worked almost as well as in the US.
The price is twice as high as in US: 330 RMB/day (or 50 USD/day) for Toyota Yaris vs 25 USD/day at AVIS. However, that also reflected the price of cars (twice as high) and other related costs in China – like all kinds of difference taxes, and fees paid to the government related to car ownership.
The good thing is, they have a dedicated person to help you – you can always call her mobile phone to make arrangement.
Pickup and Return
In US, it is pretty standard – you directly drive to the AVIS car return at the garage, park the car there, and it is.
For this car company, they offer to provide the car to the hotel of where you stay at 50 RMB service fee. You can make reservation to their people and you can return the car at the domestic departure level – the exact location where your friends or taxi will drop you off at airport. You give the car to the person coming to pick up the car, and you enter the airport – even better than AVIS. The only concern is, you have to make a phone call to make appointment to the person.
This time, the Yaris is only 10,000 KM in mileage, a very new car. We returned it at 11000 KM. The car is very nice – just as any new car. It is automatic shift, and come with empty gas – you need to fill in the gas yourself, and return it with empty gas.
I will Always Rent!
For my next trip to Sanya, I will always rent a car. For my travel in other places like Hainan – a place with wonderful scenery, not a city like Shanghai – I will definitely rent a car again. There are more and more car rental companies in China emerging, like 1hai.cn, Zhizun. I am sure in 5 years, car rental can be a big industry and will become the new lifestyle in China.