Buses are inexpensive but also crowded during peak hours and because of heavy traffic, rarely if ever, arrive on time.


Taxis are an affordable way to get around the city and, unlike Shanghai, it's relatively easy to get one. The exception is on Beijing's rare rainy days.


For those whose offices and homes are close to subway stations, it's a quick, comfortable and affordable way to get to work. Multiple new subway lines will soon open creating, at long last, a network covering most of the city.


Some expatriates choose to purchase or lease a car. Those living in the Shunyi suburbs definitely need one as there are few taxis and no subway access. A 3 year old used Jeep Cherokee (the early 90s model) costs about RMB100,000 while a new basic model Toyota Camry costs about RMB280,000 with plates. Note that some companies have policies specifying that foreign employees may not drive during their posting in China. Many expats choose to lease a car and driver. It is important that you lease from a driver (or leasing company) with the correct permit allowing him to lease out his car. Specific lease terms vary, but rates start from about RMB10,000/month for a VW Passat with driver but excluding petrol and toll fees.

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