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China’s largest and busiest airport is Shanghai Airport, found just 20 miles east of downtown Shanghai. The facility is situated within Pudong district, close to the city’s coastline. The world’s fastest train, the Maglev, connects the airport to the city centre. Metro subway services and public bus connections are also available. However, with the Yingpin Expressway linking the terminals to central Shanghai, car rental in Shanghai Airport is a convenient transport option.
Who to Book With
At the airport, tourists will find several international car hire companies, including Avis, Budget and Sixt. The rental car service desks are located in the Arrivals hall of the terminals. In addition to self-drive services, cars with chauffeurs are available upon request.
Need to Know Essentials
Before renting a car at Shanghai Airport, tourists need to show the following documents:
- Chinese driver’s licence (for a small fee national licences can be converted)
- Ongoing ticket (if available)
- The credit card used for pre-booking
Driving in Shanghai is not for the faint-hearted. Even though the highways and expressways leading to Shanghai Airport are relatively large, traffic jams are common. Some of the roads in Shanghai are complex and tourists need to be wary of cyclists and pedestrians. Parking is limited, so tourists are advised to use hotel parking services. An International Driving Permit is not sufficient for driving a rental car in China. Tourists have to get a provisional Chinese licence. In mainland China, driving is on the left-side of the road.
Visitors at Shanghai Airport can use car rental, which includes self-drive or limousine service. Trains travel from the heart of Shanghai to the airport. Buses are also available though they can take up to 1 hour, 30 minutes to journey into central Shanghai. Taxis are another option, and although they are convenient, they are the most expensive choice.
The Maglev train is the fastest train service in the world. It is a magnetic levitation service that travels between Longyang Road Metro Station and the airport. Tickets cost about £4 with an air ticket, and about £5 without. The Maglev station is located between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Line 2 of the Shanghai Metro provides train services to People’s Square and beyond. Prices for metro trains between the airport and People’s Square are less than £1.
Taxi ranks are found outside the Arrivals exits at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Companies operating include Shanghai Eastern Taxi Service, Dazhong Taxi and Bashi Taxis. Fares increase by about 35 per cent between 23:00 and 05:00.
Shanghai Airport to People’s Square is about £15
Shanghai Airport to Hongqiao Airport is about £35
There are eight lines operated by Shanghai Airport Buses, which provide safe and reasonably quick services to destinations across the city. However, during peak hour travel, buses can take around 1 hour, 30 minutes or more to reach the inner city and western side of Shanghai. Buses run around the clock, and depending on where tourists are heading to, prices can range from £1 to £3. During busy times of the day, buses come at 15-minute intervals, then recede to 30-minute intervals outside peak hours.
The airport boasts two terminals which are connected via free shuttle buses and walkable conveyor belts. Terminal 1 was constructed in 1999 and currently has a capacity of 20 million yearly passengers. However, it is the smaller of Shanghai Airport’s two terminals. The second terminal hosts 60 million passengers a year and was built in 2008. Terminal 2 accommodates international flights operated by Air China, Star Alliance members, and some One World carriers.
Shanghai Airport contains a large car park close to Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, which has a capacity for more than 3,000 cars. In addition, there are several open parking zones which offer both short-term and long-term parking options. Prices generally begin at about £1 per hour for the first and second hours, after which time rates drop to £0.50 per hour. A day of parking incurs a fee of £5. Large vehicles are subject to different pricing policies.
Airport patrons can access wireless internet for free within Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Internet access is also available at several internet cafés in Terminal 2 and at the VIP Airport Lounge, which is found between the Domestic and International Arrivals halls.
There are two information desks located within the airport terminals. One is found near the Departures hall of the domestic zone and the other is located in the International Departures hall.
Airport Information Call Centre: +86 21 3848 4500
Airport Contact: +86 21 6834 1000
The airport is well-equipped to handle passengers with reduced mobility. Restrooms are specially fitted with spacious cubicles which feature the required add-ons for wheelchair access. Ramps are found throughout the airport and elevator access is available for patrons who need to navigate between levels. Passengers should contact their airline about mobility issues when booking.
Restaurants and Bars
Even though most of the restaurants and bars at Shanghai Airport are located within Terminal 2, both buildings offer an impressive list of dining experiences. Two of the more popular local restaurants in the airport are Hong Fangzi Restaurant and Canglang Ting Restaurant. However, there are plenty of fast-food, cafés and convenience stores in both terminal buildings.
Plaza Premium Lounge (Domestic and International)
Japan Airlines Lounge
China Eastern Airlines
Plaza Premium Lounge (Domestic and International)
Shanghai Airlines Lounge
Cathay Pacific Lounge
Airport Authority Lounge
Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge
KA/CX American Airlines Lounge
Money and ATMs
There are several banks and currency exchange services found throughout the terminals. Some of the largest banks offering such services are Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, Bank of China and CITIC Bank. These banks plus many others provide ATMs in most areas of the airport.
Duty-free shopping is available in both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. The Chinese-owned Sunrise Duty Free is the main tax-free store operating at the airport. A range of tobacco, wine, alcohol and fashion products are on display inside the duty-free stores. Regular brand name fashion stores are found in Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. The shopping facilities at Shanghai Airport are mostly located on the third floor of both buildings. Pharmacies, bookstores, convenience stores and newsagents are also present.
The following questions and answers are a selection of the most popular questions. If you do not find the answer to your question, have a look at the Frequently Asked Questions page or contact us.
Yes, we offer a guarantee of the lowest price - because we compare various retailers, we can always offer you the best price in town.
To pick up your car, you will need your voucher, passport, driver's license and a credit card. It is very important that your driver's license and credit card are in the same name as the main driver. Keep in mind that the local rental company will reserve a certain amount on your credit card as a deposit. This requires the PIN code for your credit card. If your driver's license is foreign (for example, in Chinese), you must bring a translation with you. Only your original passport and driver's license will be accepted - a copy is not sufficient.
In general, our rates are all-inclusive. Should there be any additional costs, our booking department will get in touch with you before issuing the invoice. Should you object, you can always cancel your reservation with no obligations attached (at least 48 hours in advance).
In general, Liability Insurance, Fire Insurance, All-Risks Insurance and Theft Insurance are included in the cost of your rental car.
Only rental companies with a high level of customer satisfaction are eligible to be included in our Worry-Free selection. This rate includes excess cover and unlimited kilometres. Your vehicle will be provided and must be returned with a full tank of fuel. With a vehicle from our Worry-Free selection, you can travel with peace of mind and no hidden costs.
You can cancel your reservation through "My Account". We recommend contacting us by phone if your changes to your booking or cancellation takes place at short notice (48 hours or less).
Most reservations will receive confirmation within minutes after payment takes place. We recommend contacting our Booking Department for last minute reservations (pick-up within 48 hours).