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Can pickups enter Kunming?

Yuanyangren (297 posts) • 0

Hi, I have been told that there are restrictions on pickup trucks entering the city of Kunming and that they aren't allowed in the center of town. This seems a bit odd to me, as in most other countries, pickup trucks or utility vehicles are simply considered to be a type of car that can carry a load at the back and are treated the same as sedans, SUVs etc. Does anybody know if this is true?

On another note, does anybody know the procedure for a Lao registered car to be driven to Kunming and stay there long-term? The car would from time to time also be driven back to Laos, Thailand and other regional countries hence the reason for being Lao registered. I have read somewhere the car would need to have license (number) plates from Yunnan, likely Xishuangbanna plates obtained from Mengla or Jinghong, but haven't been able to confirm this. I know that Lao registered vehicles are commonly seen throughout Xishuangbanna and that they don't require any Chinese plates, but then they are restricted from travelling north of Jinghong without special permission. My company's case is different because the car would also need to be driven around Kunming and other parts of Yunnan.

Thanks for all the info.

Yuantongsi (716 posts) • 0

Our Ute in my old company was not allowed into the city. Funny rule,,but that's how it goes.

If you are only driving sometimes and not too far into the city you might get away with it.

mike4g_air (787 posts) • 0

I suspect the left hand driving rule ( steering wheel on the right side) is a problem.
If you want to register a car in KM it needs to be new, they dont register old (2 yrs) cars anymore.

tigertiger - moderator (5017 posts) • 0

If you only occasionally come to Kunming, it may be cheaper to hire a van and driver, in Xishuangbanna, on a day rate. That way you also get an extra pair of hands if you are loading and lifting.

Yuanyangren (297 posts) • 0

@mike4g_air, the car will be brand new. I would register it within a month of purchase, if necessary. When it comes to the steering wheel on the right side, this is not an issue as Hong Kong cars have right hand steering and are allowed to drive on the mainland. However, my car will have left hand steering anyway (since the car would be purchased in Laos). If however, the Lao price isn't much cheaper than the Chinese price my company will purchase locally.

@Yuantongsi, any reason why this rule applies? Thanks for confirming this info though, means that my company will have to consider purchasing an SUV instead.

I have to find out, but I believe I will be based in Kunming most of the time, so I need to be able to drive my car around freely. I will often need to go down to Xishuangbanna and into Laos, Thailand and possibly Vietnam. For trips to Myanmar and India I would fly as driving into those countries is currently restricted.

Dazzer (2800 posts) • 0

Why not buy a car in China? Are there restrictions on Chinese cars in Laos, etc.??

There is a compromise vehicle, which is based on the Nissan Paladin chassis. It is a cross between a pickup and an SUV and a minivan. I saw one parked up in Kunming Metro once.

Yuanyangren (297 posts) • 0

@Dazzer, good point but right now what it comes down to is cost. The Jeep Cherokee that I am interested in starts at a whooping RMB 575,000 in China and that's just for the cheapest model. It's quite possible that the price in Laos is lower and the reason for considering purchase in Laos is that the vehicle will travel there anyway as my company is considering setting up some operations there. It seems that Chinese vehicles can easily enter Laos and stay for up to 30 days at a time, so that isn't a problem, but when it comes to Thailand and Vietnam, 2 other countries I would have to enter with the car, Lao registration would be better. Indeed Vietnam is now cracking down on Lao vehicles entering its territory, so I would imagine that Chinese vehicles would face an even harder time as in all my years spent in Vietnam I've only ever seen 5 Chinese registered vehicles there and all of them were near the Chinese border.

On the other hand, as mentioned if the Lao and Chinese price aren't that different, my company will purchase locally as that way we can avoid all the paperwork that we would inevitably face trying to register a Lao car here.

Thanks for the link tigertiger; although the crossover vehicle you have shown me doesn't look like it has that much more space than a large SUV would have though.

I was wondering if a pickup with a canopy could avoid the restrictions driving into Kunming city cause it would then look like the crossover you have shown me? Although my company is now set on purchasing a largish SUV so I think we can now avoid the potential problems that could arise from purchasing a pickup.

tigertiger - moderator (5017 posts) • 0

The vehicle shown does not have a removable canopy, and so does not appear like a pick up at all. It is actually bigger than it looks.
The Jeep will cost a lot in China if imported. However, there is a JEEP JV in Beijing. The other thing is that vehicles with larger engines are getting hit for more tax now.
Can you register a bought in China vehicle in Laos?
Can you register a bought in Lao vehicle in Yunnan?
The import taxes may favour one over the other.

Yuanyangren (297 posts) • 0

@tigertiger, I was just thinking the same thing. We might be better off purchasing a vehicle in China and then trying to register it in Laos aswell than the reverse, based on my initial enquiries on import taxes for vehicles imported into Laos. We will try to explore which option is better tax-wise.

I have noticed the huge difference in price for the 6.4L Jeep Cherokee compared to the smaller engine models. I guess this is evidence of the larger taxes applied to larger engine vehicles. Check www.jeep.com.cn (only in Chinese I believe) for details.

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