FAQ


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On this page we have answered the most frequently asked questions about our driving holidays in Asia. Click on a question to see our answer. If your question isn't answered below, please contact us. We’ll respond as promptly as possible and add your questions to the list!
On this page we have answered the most frequently asked questions about our driving holidays in Europe. Click on a question to see our answer.

Many of our European journeys are organized for private groups, and as such, many questions are dealt with in the process of tailor-making each experience. If your question isn't answered below, please contact us. We’ll respond as promptly as possible and add your questions to the list!
Driving and Safety

Driving in China and South-East Asia has its dangers, as does road travel everywhere. By driving yourself, you are in control of your own car which is far safer than being at the mercy of someone else whose ability and skill you don’t know and can’t control (although if you want a chauffeur for your trip with us, rest assured that all our local drivers are vetted for safety first!)

For more detail about what we do to minimize risks and maximize safety on our journeys, from the way we design each journey to pre-journey briefings and in-car walkie-talkies, please contact us.


Sadly, no – neither overseas driving licenses nor international driving permits are recognised in China. However, since 2007 the Chinese government has issued temporary driving licenses that enable visitors to China to drive in the country.

A temporary Chinese driving license is included in all of our Chinese journeys. We will make the application on your behalf before you arrive. All you will need to do is to visit the Vehicle Registration Bureau briefly at the start of your journey, usually in Kunming or Chengdu, to complete your application. This involves having a ‘health check’ (much less scary than it sounds, the check essentially amounts to a short eye test and a few questions) and signing the application form.

Elsewhere in South-East Asia the International Driving Permit is accepted.

For more details, please contact us.


In order to drive in China on any kind of driving license, one must be over 18 and under 70 years old at the time of application, and should not be colour-blind (although in practice this last is not a hard-and-fast-rule). There are also rules regarding disabled drivers that are in the process of changing at present – if you have a condition that may affect your application, please check with us in advance.


This depends on the travel document you will use to enter China on the trip. Because the temporary driving license (TDL) is aimed at foreign visitors to China, the government requires that TDL applicants hold an ‘L’ (tourist) or ‘X’ (business) visa for China that is valid for stays of up to ninety days only.

If you a Hong Kong-China home-going permit [回鄉證] holder or a Taiwan compatriot permit [台胞證] holder, you are eligible to obtain the China temporary driving license according to the current China Transport Department regulation.

If you hold a PRC residents’ permit, you will need to apply for a full six-year license before you drive on one of our journeys. For foreign residents living in China, you will need to apply in your city of residence.

If you need a six-year license, we can provide relevant information to assist your application, please note that this will require an extra charge; the exact amount and steps involved depends on your location and documentation. Confused? Please contact us for details, and we’ll be happy to explain further in person.


Our cars are equipped with a pre-programmed GPS and a walkie-talkie. The GPS will be programmed for you each morning with that day’s route and the walkie-talkie works over a range of up to ten kilometers, enabling you to communicate with other cars in the convoy and the lead car, even if they fall out of sight. As well as the high-tech stuff, we will also give you a map and a detailed Route Book before you set out on the trip. Finally, the Lead Car will wait at various points en route for you to catch up if your car falls behind because you wanted to stop for a break or to take photos, etc. – so there’s no need to stay in a tight convoy if that’s not your style!


Who can join an On the Road Experiences journey?

Of course! Children, particularly those who are slightly older, will find our journeys eye-opening experiences – travelling through remote and rugged parts of Asia will give them a new perspective on their home lives.

In particular, we recommend our Adventures in Yunnan journey, because this has been designed with families in mind – including plenty of fun activities as well as more two night stays and shorter driving times than our regular journeys.


So far we’ve had travellers on our journeys ranging from 3 to 85 years of age! We place no age limits on travellers who can join our trips, and we provide a range of itineraries to suit different tastes and energy levels. Please note, however, that in China the driving itself is limited to those between the ages of 18 and 69 due to Chinese regulations.

Our advice for you is to satisfy yourself (and potentially your physician) that the type of journey and altitudes to which you will travel are unlikely to be a problem for you, and we are confident that an On the Road Experiences journey will be a wonderful experience for you and your party!


Our Prices & Booking a Journey

On this website we have only listed prices for one potential combination of travellers (four adults sharing one car and two rooms). Please get in touch with us to see how much the trip will be for your group – prices vary depending on how many people share each car, how many rooms you will need and the season when you want travel, please see About our Prices. Please remember that international flights and visa fees are not included in our journeys.

Our journey prices include absolutely everything, except your flights to/from the starting point/end point of the journey, your visas, occasional meals on free days, and personal purchases. When we say absolutely everything, we mean it: from hotels to a la carte meals and drinks (including beer and wine) and daily refreshments for your own picnic baskets, from the cars to insurance, fuel and tolls; from entrance fees to jointly attended activities to your temporary Chinese driving license; from the lead car to the entire crew; from itinerary-internal flights or trains or ferries to GPSs, maps, walky-talkies; from special permits to border-crossing formalities and fees….really everything! You won't have to take out your wallet again! (For a detailed list about what is included in each journey, please see the journey pages on our website.)

Also, please note that in addition to the journey price, we also ask that for our Asian journeys you pay a vehicle deposit of CNY10,000 per vehicle. This amount covers our car insurance excess and is refundable at the end of your journey. While our insurance coverage in Asia is good – thanks to our relationship with many reputable rental car companies – drivers still need to cover the first CNY10,000 of any repairs to the vehicle.


Luxury Driving Experience Limited (On the Road Experiences' legal name) is a registered tour operator in Hong Kong. We are a member of both the Hong Kong Travel Industry Council (license no. 353338), and the Hong Kong Association of China Travel Organisers.


If the dates listed for our standard small-group journeys do not suit you, please see our Create Your Own Holiday page for private journeys or contact us. We can offer a private departure date on a standard itinerary, or can even tailor-make an entire journey to fit your interests – perfect for small groups of friends and family!


Of course – we are happy to help you arrange longer stays at either end of our journeys – please just let us know your requirements when you book.


Each of our scheduled journeys has a go/no-go date indicated on the booking form. If the journey is a no-go (either because of a force majeure condition or because too few people booked the journey), we will refund you any money you have paid in full. No-go's occur infrequently, but you need to be aware of this.


Logistics

Once you have booked your trip with us, you only need to do two things:

1) book your flights to the start point and back from the end point of the trip, and
2) apply for your visas.

Please note that neither of these items is included in your journey price.


The SUVs that we usually use can seat four adults comfortably or two adults and up to three children. We have had up to five adults share one car before, but it can be a bit of a squeeze!

If your party is larger than that, we are able to source larger vehicles for specific routes. Just let us know your requirements and we’ll do our best to help.

At any rate, for details please contact us.


We strive to make our journeys as comfortable as possible, and use some of the best hotels available in the region, from award-winning inns to international 5* resorts. However, in some places – especially in regions where tourism is still in its infancy – the hotels may not be as comfortable as you are used to, especially in Tibet.

The star ratings of our hotels are in the journey dossier of each journey which you can find on the Journey detail pages on our website.

For more information, please contact us.


Unless the Journey Dossier for your journey states otherwise, your rooms will have – at a minimum – a clean en suite bathroom with a shower and a seated toilet.

While you are on the road during the daytime, we cannot always guarantee the same standards of hygiene and public toilets are almost always of the 'squat' variety. However, we have a practical (and fun) alternative that ensures privacy and a degree of comfort in case there is no acceptable alternative available. We also provide hand sanitisers and disinfectant wipes in your car.




After booking your journey we will send you a Pre-Departure Guide. This will contain information specific to your journey about the climate, what you should pack, internet access en route, and so on and so forth. If you have any important questions about these things before you book your trip, please let us know when you first enquire about the trip.


Insurance

We include travel insurance (with basic cancellation insurance) and vehicle insurance for all our journeys. For full details of our coverage, please contact us.


Travel in Tibet
Tibet is a unique destination in more ways than one. The following information will help you to prepare for a trip to the ‘Roof of the World’:

For Hong Kongers holding home-going permits: Nothing! Just your home-going permit (回鄉證) will be enough to enter Tibet.

For foreign nationals: In order to enter the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) – whether by road or by air – you will need your passport, a Chinese visa (‘L’ tourist visa is preferable) and a Tibet Entry Permit. If you join one of our Tibetan journeys, we will apply for the Tibet Entry Permit on your behalf. When we receive your booking form for the journey we will advise you on the requirements for this process. If you hold a diplomatic passport, Chinese ‘J’ journalist visa or have any other non-standard paperwork, please contact us before booking your journey to Tibet. If in any doubt, please write to us to make sure we can apply for a Tibet Permit for you.


The average elevation of the Tibetan Plateau is a breath-taking 4,500 metres (14,750 feet). When flying to Lhasa or ascending quickly, many travellers will suffer some discomfort for the first few days. In some instances, individuals may get altitude sickness (also known as ‘Acute Mountain Sickness’ or AMS), or more serious health problems.

Before joining a trip to Tibet, we recommend that you read our ‘High Altitude Travel Briefing’ (please write to us for a copy) and visit your family doctor to discuss the altitudes to which you will be travelling. If you only have a short time in Tibet, it’s a shame for the experience to be marred by illness, so please take your preparation seriously!


Acute Mountain Sickness

Some of our journeys go into high altitude. On these journeys, some travelers may suffer from Acute Mountain Sickness (abbreviated as AMS and otherwise known as “High Altitude Sickness”). AMS is not to be taken lightly. If the journey you are contemplating one of our high-altitude journeys – all of our journeys that take you to Tibet, Sichuan and Qinghai, but also those that go into the Tibetan region of northwest Yunnan – we strongly advise you to read our AMS Briefing Paper: please write to us for a copy . With proper precaution, serious cases of AMS can pretty much be avoided; without proper precaution, it can become very serious.


On this page we have answered the most frequently asked questions about our driving holidays in Asia. Click on a question to see our answer. If your question isn't answered below, please contact us. We’ll respond as promptly as possible and add your questions to the list!
On this page we have answered the most frequently asked questions about our driving holidays in Europe. Click on a question to see our answer.

Many of our European journeys are organized for private groups, and as such, many questions are dealt with in the process of tailor-making each experience. If your question isn't answered below, please contact us. We’ll respond as promptly as possible and add your questions to the list!
Driving, Cars and Licenses

Whether you need an ‘International Driving Permit’ (IDP) in addition to the your home country driving license will depend on:

- the country you want to drive in
- and the car rental company through which we arrange your rental car

In general, if you have the IDP (valid for 12 months) and your home country driving license, you ought to be able to drive on any of our European itineraries, using a car from any of our car rental partners.

However, if you have any doubts, please contact us and we will ensure that you do not encounter any difficulties.


While we specialize in self-driving holidays, occasionally our guests want to enjoy a road journey without driving themselves. If this applies to you, we are very happy to arrange a safe and courteous driver for you. Please contact us for details.


In our basic package price we include a car that we believe is enjoyable to drive. However, the European car rental market offers many car choices, and you are welcome to can change to a different make and model, should you wish to. Please contact us for details.


Prices

For our scheduled journeys in Europe, we have fixed ‘list’ prices quoted in Euro/person for small-group departures of 3-5 cars and 8-10 customers. In general, our journey prices vary depending on the following:

- the itinerary (where you're going and how long for)
- how many of you will want to share one car (the more people that share one car, the lower the per-person price)
- how many rooms you will need
Please contact us for our list prices for the current year.

For private journeys (see below), we will give you a quote after discussing the details with you. Please also see our "Create your own holiday" page.


In general, the list prices for our scheduled journeys include everything except transport to the start point and back from the end point of your journey, visas and driving licenses, personal purchases, and ‘liquids’: fuel for your car and alcoholic drinks for you.

Some of the details will vary by journey. Therefore, please refer to the 'What's Included' section of the journey dossier for the itinerary you are interested to obtain a complete list.


Booking

After deciding on which itinerary you are interested in, please write to us for prices with information about yourself: How many people will be in your group? Which specific departure you are interested in? How many cars and rooms will you need?

We will respond right away to answer any questions you may have, before sending you a quote, and, upon your approval of the quote, a booking form to complete and sign.


Yes, our formal name is “Luxury Driving Experience Limited” and we are a Hong Kong limited company that is fully licensed as a tour operator. We are happy to send you copies of the licenses, if you are interested.


Each of our scheduled journeys has a go/no-go date indicated on the booking form. If the journey is a no-go (either because of a force majeure condition or because too few people booked the journey), we will refund you any money you have paid in full. No-go's occur infrequently, but you need to be aware of this.


Our package prices include two types of insurance:

1. travel insurance – please write to us if you would like to see the details of our coverage.
2. car insurance – the vehicle insurance offered by the rental car partner providing the car you choose.

Since the terms differ by rental car partner, please write to us for more information.


Journey Arrangements & Private Journeys

Yes, of course. In fact, more and more of our customers choose to book private journeys with a group of friends and/or family.

If you are interested in a private journey, please visit our Create your own holiday page or write to us to discuss your ideas for a custom-made journey. Customisation can range from changing a hotel on one of our standard itineraries, to designing an entire journey from scratch.

We will tell you openly where our expertise lies. If we believe we cannot meet your requirements, we won’t shy away from saying so. On the other hand, often we use a customer’s requirements as an opportunity to extend our knowledge into new areas, researching new regions and activities in order to create an entirely new journey.

We look forward to your enquiry!


Of course, you can extend your stay by arriving earlier at the starting point or staying on at the end point after the journey has finished.

If you like us to help you make these arrangements, please let us know.


If you join one of our scheduled journeys, you will stay in the hotels we have carefully selected for the journey, as laid out in the journey dossier.

If you choose to organize a private journey (see above), then we will work with you to select and book hotels according to your interests, needs and budget. Please contact us for more details.