Country-specific travel advice

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Driving in Ukraine

Ukraine
Population: 44,429,471
Area: 603,500 Km sq
Currency: Ukrainian hryvnia

 Top 10 popular attractions

  • Crimean resorts
  • Carpathian Mountains
  • Kyiv
  • Lviv
  • Odesa
  • Yalta
  • Kamyanets-podilsky
  • Chernihiv
  • Sophievka park
  • Poltava

Essentials

Driving licence:

Visitors riding or driving in the Ukraine must have reached the minimum ages laid down for residents of the Ukraine, even if they are qualified to drive at a lower age in their country of residence. Motor vehicle not exceeding 3500 kg with up to 9 seats including the driver’s may be driven at the age of 18.

National driving licences issued in a country party to the 1968 Vienna Convention are recognised.

You will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here. (Available from www.RAC.co.uk/travel/driving-abroad/international-driving-permit)

Important documents:

When driving in the Ukraine the following documents should be carried:

While driving in Ukraine you are required by law to carry the following items. Hefty on-the-spot fines can be issued for failing to carry specific items:

  • Warning triangle: Compulsory in every vehicle with four wheels or more
  • Headlamp beam deflectors: Depending on your car, you will either need deflector stickers or have to adjust the beam manually
  • First aid kit and fire extinguisher
  • Motorcyclists and their passengers must wear a helmet.

Rules of the road & regulations

Rules of the road:

  • Overtaking & passing

    Traffic drives on the right. Regulations conform to the provisions of the 1968 Convention on Road Traffic.

  • Priority

    Regulations conform to the provisions of the 1968 Convention on Road Traffic.

  • Warning of approach

    Regulations conform to the provisions of the 1968 Convention on Road Traffic.

Towing:

No Customs document is required for the temporary importation of these vehicles. An inventory of their contents is not required.

Seat belts:

The driver and front seat passenger of cars must wear a seat belt.

Travelling with children:

Children under 12 years old and less than 145cm in height must use a special child restraint.

Winter tyres:

In winter conditions, approximately from November to April, vehicles must have winter tyres on all wheels, with a minimum tread depth of 6 mm. The use of snow chains is allowed.

Speed limits:

The following national speed limits apply:

In Built-Up AreasOutside Built-Up AreasMotorways
Motorcycle & Car60 km/h*110 km/h 130 km/h

* 20 km/h in residential areas or as sign posted

NB: speed limits are not always signposted. The driver has to watch and see whether he/she is in a built-up area or not.

Penalties:

  • On-the-spot fines

    Visitors should note that, at present, the police are not allowed to collect money for fines. 

    Fines vary from 200 to 450 UAH (a system of payment by credit card is currently being studied).

  • Confiscation of vehicles

    If a visitor has not paid the penalty imposed before his departure or upon expiry of the established 15-day term, the offender’s vehicle can be detained until the penalty is paid. The vehicle will be placed in a secure car park. The driver’s licence will then be mailed to the driver’s residence through the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. The vehicle will then be returned to the visitor

Parking:

  • Parking regulations

    Parking regulations follow the provisions of the 1968 Convention on Road Traffic.

  • Enforcement of parking regulations

    In cities, parking is usually limited to 30 minutes. Tickets can be bought from parking attendants. The authorities can clamp or remove a vehicle which is parked illegally.

  • Disabled parking access 

    There are not many car parking spaces reserved for disabled motorists. Foreign disabled motorists can benefit from the same concessions as Ukrainian disabled motorists if they have a disabled permit on their car. They are allowed to park without time limit.

Traffic lights:

  • Traffic lights 

    The international 3-colour traffic light system is used.

Drink/drug driving:

  • Legal limit

    The limit is 0.00%, although a 0.02% tolerance has been established in order to allow for some medications and mouthwashes that may contain alcohol.

Availability of fuel:

The main oil companies which have service stations are OKKO, Shell and SOCAR. Some service stations offer different services such as café/restaurant, car wash, ATM, etc.

The price of fuel varies according to the location of the petrol station. Some grades of petrol are not always available at petrol stations. It is recommended to take petrol in spare cans when undertaking a long journey.

Means of payment

Credit cards are not accepted everywhere; it is wise of have some cash available (Hryvnia).


Useful guides and maps

Michelin Motoring Atlas: Europe

Download  a copy of our full Driving Abroad report.

What RAC can do for you

RAC offers great-value, flexible RAC European breakdown cover tailored to meet your needs. We also offer comprehensive travel insurance, including cover for medical expenses, baggage, personal money and belongings. Whilst away, use our Route Planner for all your driving directions.

RAC can cover you against vehicle break down in Europe, with options available to suit your travelling requirements.

RAC European breakdown cover Basic and Comprehensive cover provides you with a wide range of benefits.


Source: All information in this document is sourced from the AIT (Alliance Internationale de Tourisme) & the FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) and, to the best of the RAC’s knowledge, is correct at the time of publication (May 2016).

Still current at:
27th Sep 2016
Updated at:
31st Aug 2016
Latest update:
Latest update: Summary – removal of information and advice on Independence Day

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:

  • Donetsk oblast

  • Luhansk oblast

  • Crimea

Events in Ukraine are fast moving. You should monitor this travel advice regularly, subscribe to email alerts and read our advice on how to deal with a crisis overseas.

Eastern Ukraine

The FCO isn’t able to provide consular services to anyone in the parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts not currently under control of the Ukrainian authorities.

The security situation in the southeastern parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine remains highly unstable with ongoing clashes between Ukrainian armed forces and Russian-backed armed separatists. This has resulted in more than 9,000 deaths and the displacement of over 1.5 million people. Civilians continue to get caught up in the fighting.

It’s illegal under Ukrainian law to enter internationally recognised Ukrainian territory through a border point that isn’t currently controlled by the Ukrainian authorities. If you do so, you risk arrest or a fine, and you may be subject to a travel ban. International border crossings that aren’t currently under the control of the Ukrainian authorities include all land border crossings into Donetsk Oblast and many or the land border crossings into Luhansk Oblast. A list of open border crossings is available at the State Border Crossing Service of Ukraine

There are no scheduled flights into or out of Donetsk and Luhansk airport.

Crimea

The FCO is not able to provide consular services to anyone in Crimea.

Russian forces and pro-Russian groups have established full operational control in Crimea. Following an illegal referendum on 16 March 2014, Russia illegally annexed Crimea on 21 March 2014 and tensions remain high.

Ukrainian International Airlines have cancelled all flights to and from Simferopol.

All train and official bus services to Crimea have been cancelled.

It’s illegal under Ukrainian law to enter internationally recognised Ukrainian territory through a border point that isn’t currently controlled by the Ukrainian authorities. If you do so, you risk arrest or a fine, and you may be subject to a travel ban. International border points that aren’t currently under the control of the Ukrainian authorities include all air and sea ports in Crimea. A list of open border crossings is available at the State Border Crossing Service of Ukraine. To enter or exit Crimea, foreign nationals will need to provide their passport and a special permit issued by the State Migration Service of Ukraine.

The Crimean sea ports of Kerch, Sevastopol, Feodosia, Yalta and Yevpatoria have been designated by the Ukrainian authorities as closed to international shipping.

Other parts of Ukraine, including Kyiv

The situation in Kyiv and western cities is generally calm, although occasional public demonstrations take place in and around the Verkhovna Rada (parliament building) and elsewhere in Kyiv. You should remain vigilant and monitor the media for information about possible safety or security risks. Public demonstrations can flare up and turn violent with little warning.

There has also been a series of small explosions, mainly in the middle of the night, and other security incidents in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson and Lviv. These have included bombs being placed in pubs and cafes and outside banks. There have also been hoax bomb threats, especially in Kyiv.

On 20 July, a car exploded in the centre of Kyiv resulting in the death of the driver, prominent journalist Pavel Sheremet. No other individuals were harmed and Ukraine’s security services are investigating.

You should take great care and remain vigilant throughout Ukraine. Avoid all demonstrations and take extra care in public gatherings.

The British Embassy in Kyiv is open to the public by appointment only. If you need to contact the British Embassy, please call +380 44 490 3660, or send an email to ukembinf@gmail.com

Around 55,000 British nationals visited Ukraine in 2015. Most visits are trouble-free.

Take care on the roads. There are a high number of traffic accidents, including fatalities. See Road travel

Beware of petty crime, especially in crowded areas and tourist spots or when using public transport. See Crime

There is a general threat from terrorism. See Terrorism

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

British Embassy Kyiv

9, Desyatynna St.
Kyiv
01901
Ukraine

Email: ukembinf@gmail.com

Telephone: +380 44 490 3660

Fax: +380 44 490 3662 Fax (trade/defence teams)+380 44 490 3695/62