okay. I know that posts in thebeijinger forums usually end in "I know China better than you" wars with a lot of f***s and c***s and other unneccessary stuff. Anyway, I hope someone can help or at least finds the information helpful..
after thinking about paying 4600 RMB for a official license without the need to do some weird exams (many agencies offer that), I found the possibility for L-Visa owners (currenty tourist status here..another story) to get a max. 3 month temporary drivers license:
It's easy, just go to airport terminal 3, level 1, pay 20RMB for the photos, 10RM for a health exam and another 10RMB for the actual license. you should be able to write some basic chinese to fill the forms (somehow they were able to read my childish characters, hehe) and you get your license, valid until the expiry date of your L-Visa, with a maximum of 90 days. Its all described here: http://22.214.171.124/publish/portal1/tab165/info10744.htm
When they handed over the license, the girl told me that THIS LICENSE IS ONLY FOR RENTAL CARS and does NOT allow me to have my own car here. No problem since I only wanted to rent one anyway.
In the afternoon I started phone calls to Avis and other car rentals to make a booking. I could write an endless story about that, the final conclusion after dozens of discussions with the call centers (always telling me different rules) was:
You need to be a Beijing resident to rent a car and you need a full chinese drivers license to rent a car. The funny thing is: The temporary DL is only for L-Visa owners, which means that I am a tourist and can't become a BJ resident. So, WHY THE HELL is this tDL even existing?! After calling all listed car rentals on dianping, I found one guy who wanted 5000RMB deposit additionally to the normal fee, then he would rent me a car. Didn't sound very comforting..
So although Avis China has a website where I can make bookings ans actually can read about the temporary DL on the main website (http://www.avischina.com/english/index.jsp):
"Driving in China can appear as being difficult. Additionally a Chinese driver license is mandatory. So it is very usual to rent a car with a driver. Nevertheless a recent change in regulation allows a non-national to drive a car with a temporary licence valid for 3 months. [...] Avis China is entitled by the Chinese authorities to help you to obtain a temporary or standard driving license.":
I still cannot rent a car.
Conclusion: No need to go all the way to the airport, pay airport express fees, photo, healthcert and final fees. Seems like there's no use for my shiny, new TDL.
Or is there anyone who can prove me wrong? Some good car rental out there renting cars to temporaryDL people like me?!
Thanks for your help guys!
PS. dont tell me about renting cars with a driver. I dont want that. I just wanna make some trips around Beijing, without having some weird Chinese driver always sittin in my car..