Complete a survey for a chance to win £100 of M&S vouchers.
Sales enquiries: 0844 891 3111

Search for advice


Driving in Russia

If you're driving in Russia your checklist requirements are:

  • A valid UK driving licence - both the photo and paper parts
  • An International Driving Permit - find out more here
  • A GB sticker on the back of your car - even if your car has 'Euro-plates' (number-plates that show a circle of 12 stars on a blue background)
  • Your motor insurance certificate and V5 registration document or hire car paperwork, plus an International Registration Certificate if you're going outside any English-speaking areas
  • A warning triangle inside the car in case you break down
  • Headlamp converters (stickers you put on your headlights when you're driving on the right, so your lights don't dazzle motorists coming the other way)
  • A first aid kit
  • A fire extinguisher

You must also:

  • Be 18 or over
  • Make sure everyone in the car wears a seatbelt at all times
  • Wear a crash helmet if you're riding a motorcycle

It's a good idea to have:

  • Spare bulbs for your car's external lights
  • Spark plugs, wiper blades, a fan belt and other basic spares
  • A Green Card - it's a useful back-up to your motor insurance documents and shows you've got the minimum legal level of cover. If you'd like to find out more, contact your insurance company

Other things you should know:

  • Not all insurers cover driving in the Russian Federation so check before you go. If not, you must take out short-term motor insurance when driving into the country - third party is the minimum level of cover but we recommend you take fully comprehensive
  • The speed limit is 60kph in built-up areas, 90kph on open roads and 100kph on motorways - but if you've held your licence for less than two years, you shouldn't exceed 70kph
  • The drink driving limit is zero - so there must be no alcohol in your blood when driving
  • Petrol (leaded and unleaded) and diesel are readily available. LPG is harder to find
  • It's wise to keep your tank topped up as there aren't a great number of petrol stations, especially in rural areas - you can't bring a can of petrol into the country but once you're there, you can carry one in the car
  • If you're caught committing a driving offence, whilst driving through Russia, you'll be given an on-the-spot fine
  • You shouldn't use your horn except in cases of extreme danger
  • It's illegal to pick up hitchhikers
  • If you're involved in an accident or your car breaks down, you must contact the police, known as Militia, as well as any break down organisation
  • You should always use dipped headlights during the day
  • It's common for state police to stop drivers and check documents, particularly if your car has foreign plates
  • It's illegal to drive a dirty car

Useful guides and maps

Michelin Motoring Atlas: Europe

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.

Sources Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Disclaimer: RAC are not responsible for the content of external websites. The information provided is correct as of August 2009 to the best of our knowledge and should be referred to for information purposes only - it should not be relied upon as formal advice. Please always check the current requirements of the country you are visiting before you leave.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan and the districts of Budyonnovsky, Levokumsky, Neftekumsky, Stepnovsky and Kursky in Stavropol Krai.

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to North Ossetia, Karachai-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria (including the Elbrus area). See Local travel and Terrorism

There is a high threat from terrorism. Attacks have occurred most frequently in Moscow and in the North Caucasus. The most recent attacks took place on 29 and 30 December in the city of Volgograd. You should remain vigilant in all public places. See Terrorism

Political rallies can occur in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other places across Russia. The situation in Ukraine has led to a recent increase in the number of political rallies in major cities. Check media for the latest information, be vigilant, and avoid any demonstrations. See Political Situation.

You should be aware of the risk of street crime. See Crime

Current figures are not always available. However, British nationals made around 127,000 visits to Russia in 2011. Most visits are trouble-free.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

FCO TRAVEL ADVICE - know before you go - fco.gov.uk/travel
This service is currently unavailable
Driving in Europe?
European Breakdown cover for complete peace of mind when driving abroad.
Driving in Europe?_img Find out more