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Driving in Ukraine

If you're driving in Ukraine 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
  • Winter tyres or snow chains

Other things you should know:

  • You'll have to pay a road tax when you enter the country
  • Unleaded petrol and diesel are readily available. You won't be able to find leaded petrol, lead replacement petrol or LPG
  • 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
  • Children under age 12 or less than 1.45m tall can't travel in the front seat
  • Speed limits vary across Ukraine, so check the signposts for maximum speeds. If you've held your licence for less than two years, you shouldn't exceed 70kph
  • If you're involved in an accident, whilst driving through Ukraine, you must call the police
  • The drink driving limit is zero - so there must be no alcohol in your blood when driving
  • It's best to avoid driving outside built-up areas - roads can be poor and local drivers aggressive
  • There have been cases of local police stopping cars and issuing on-the-spot fines for minor traffic offences. They do have the power to stop you and to issue a ticket but not to fine you or confiscate your licence.

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, www.nationaldrivesafe.co.uk.

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 Crimea and all but essential travel to the eastern regions (oblasts) of Kharkiv, Donetsk and Lugansk due to increased tensions in the region.

British nationals in Crimea should leave now. The FCO is not able to provide consular services to anyone choosing to remain in 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

Russian forces and pro-Russian groups have established full operational control in Crimea. An illegal referendum was held on 16 March and tensions remain high.

Flights in and out of Simferopol airport are subject to disruption. Ukrainian International Airlines have cancelled all flights to and from Simferopol until 29 April. If you’re using this route, you should stay in touch with your airline.

Train and bus routes out of the peninsula are still operating, though subject to unscheduled disruptions. There are reports of road blocks, with passengers being searched but traffic is able to get through. If you’re currently visiting or living in Crimea, you should leave now. If you choose to remain, you should keep a low profile, avoid areas of protest or stand-off and stay indoors where possible.

You should take great care and remain vigilant throughout Ukraine. Those choosing to travel to Kharkiv, Donetsk, Lugansk, Sloviansk and Mariupol should be aware that there have recently been violent clashes in these areas, including some fatalities. Other clashes have occurred in Dnipropetrovsk, Odesa and Mykolaiyv. Such incidents could occur again at short notice. You should avoid all demonstrations and public gatherings.

The situation in Kyiv and other Western cities has calmed considerably following months of violent protest during which nearly 100 people were killed, though public protests continue in and around Independence Square and St Michael’s Squares. There has been some increase in street crime, including muggings, in Central Kyiv, especially after nightfall.

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 82,600 British nationals visited Ukraine in 2013. 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 low threat from terrorism. See terrorism

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

FCO TRAVEL ADVICE - know before you go - fco.gov.uk/travel
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