Rules in China are as follow:
- Everybody can drive a scooter without any driving licence
- Electric scooters are allowed
- Oil scooters are forbidden in cities
- Motos are forbidden in cities
- Your scooter should have a registration plate
On the photos most of the scooters don't have licences. Many of them are taxi scooters.
The owner must then pay a fine. (Those who can not pay will get reeducated!). Also the scooter will be branded by the police. If you continue driving your scooter without a licence plate and the police catches you a second time your scooter will then be confiscated definitively.
Two famous brands : Lima Shanghai and Snow
Two main companies share a large part of the market: Lima Shanghai and Snow. There are several other companies but they have less success.
It is interesting to note that Lima uses Shanghai city name in order to promote the quality of its brand.
How to get a licence plate?
As I told you: all electric scooters are allowed in Chinese cities.
However you need a registration plate!
In fact you can only get a registration plate for pedal scooters and very small scooters!
You can get a registration plate for the Lima Shanghai models above
On the left price 2780rmb. 40km autonomy.
On the right price 2280. 40km autonomy.
Autonomy 40km, price 2880rmb, pink, white or green.
For all the other models, the authorities won't deliver any registration plate since 2007!
You can still buy a fake registration plate or buy back someone else registration plate if you pay the price.
Chinese paradox: you can buy bigger scooters but you can not get any registration plate! You can always try you luck. Police will mostly check registration plate during summer when there are too many unregistered scooters.
How to charge your scooter?
For smaller scooters you can take the battery with you and carry it to your appartement and office.
For all other scooters you need to charge the battery from a plug and often use a extension. In China you have many place to charge your scooter: garage, parking, small street vendors...
Scooters are a very important phenomenom in China. Regulation changed and adpated in time:
- At first all scooters even oil scooters and motos were allowed everywhere
- Then oil scooters and motos were forbidden in cities
- Today you need a registration plate. It means that you can buy only small scooters with less autonomy
Scooters are a working tool for many.
Most Chinese don't have a car. It is too expensive for them. The majority of Chinese work in construction or in small shops, restaurants... They need scooters for their businesses, to deliver material, ingredients, to their customers. That is why they take the risk to drive a scooter without registration plate. That explains also why police are lenient and mostly check scooters registration plate from time time
Scooters are the solution to avoid traffic jam and pollution
Scooters are the only alternative to driving a car or taking buses, subway. You will go much faster with a scooter and can avoid traffic jams.
This is another Chinese paradox: Chinese authorities want to limit the use of scooters. In fact they support the car industry! You need a registration plate and in fact can only use small scooters with less autonomy. The scooter autonomy is not enough in Chinese cities.
Taxi scooters: forbidden!
Also in China you will never be able to find a taxi at rush hour. Scooter taxi are the solution. But they are forbidden in China! All Scooter taxi are forbidden. First they don't have registration plate. And this profession is simply forbidden in China!
Even though scooters (and bike) appear as a great solution to reduce traffic jam and pollution. The authorities seem reluctant. At some point scooters were even forbidden in Beijing for a short period of time. Can you believe it!!!
No Scooter lane
In China there is no scooter lane. Even though Chinese road are huge and very large, there is no special lane for scooter. You should in fact drive on the pedestrian way and risk crushing people at anytime! Another absurdity!
In fact most scooters zigzag between cars and buses. Accident happen of course.
In fact I believe that Chinese authorities are still undecided what to do with scooters: forbid them? allow them? At the top level some fight must be going on. It explains that a lot is still obscur.
Also the construction of road in China is not always well planified and it explains a lot. I will tell you more in a coming article.