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Driving in Ukraine

General Info

Ukraine flag

Population: 45.5m

Area: 603,700 sq. Km

Currency: Hryvna ukrainien (100 kopecks) UAH


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: 

  • Full, valid driving licence* (with paper counterpart)
  • International driving permit (Available from www.RAC.co.uk/travel/driving-abroad/international-driving-permit) 
  • Proof of insurance/green card (third party or above)
  • Proof of ID (passport)
  • Proof of ownership (V5C certificate) 

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 Areas Outside Built-Up Areas Motorways
Motorcycle & Car 60 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.

  • Price of fuel
    (April 2014)
Unleaded petrol (92 octane) 10.44 UAH per litre
Unleaded petrol (95 octane) 10.74 UAH per litre
Diesel 9.64 UAH per litre
LPG N/A
  • Means of payment

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

Download  a copy of our Travelling in Ukraine guide.

Download  a copy of our full Driving Abroad report.


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. 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 (August 2013).

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

  • Crimea

  • Donetsk oblast

  • Lugansk oblast

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to:

  • Kharkiv oblast

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.

Crimea

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

Russian forces and pro-Russian groups have established full operational control in Crimea. Following an illegal referendum on 16 March, Russia illegally annexed Crimea on 21 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 25 October. 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.

Since 15 July the Crimean sea ports of Kerch, Sevastopol, Feodosia, Yalta and Yevpatoria have been designated by the Ukrainian authorities as closed to international shipping.

Eastern and Southern Ukraine

Since March 2014 there has been instability in the east of Ukraine as a result of clashes between Ukrainian armed forces and armed separatists. This has resulted in over 2,900 deaths and the displacement of over 250,000 people. Although a ceasefire was agreed on 5 September between Ukraine, Russia and the separatists, sporadic fighting continues throughout the region. There have also been kidnappings, seizures of buildings and other violent incidents in Donetsk and Luhansk oblast in the first half of 2014.

On 17 July Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in the area around Torez in Donetsk oblast, an area under separatist control.

There has been no recent recurrence of unrest and violence in the cities of Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk and Mykolayiv, where the situation remains calm. But you should take great care and remain vigilant throughout eastern and southern Ukraine, and avoid all demonstrations and public gatherings.

There are no scheduled flights into or out of Donetsk and Lugansk airports.

Other parts of Ukraine, including Kyiv

The situation in Kyiv and western cities has calmed considerably following months of violent protest during which nearly 100 people were killed, although occasional non-violent public demonstrations continue in and around the Verkhovna Rada (parliament building) and elsewhere in the city. Be vigilant and monitor the media for information about possible safety or security risks.

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 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.

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

Office: British Embassy Kiev
Street Address: Desiatynna St., 9
ZIP Code: 01025
City: Kiev
Country: Ukraine

Telephone: (+380-44) 4620011, 4620012
Fax: (+380-44) 4620013, 4903662

Email: ukembinf@sovamua.com


Office: British Consulate Kiev
Street Address: 4, Glybochytska Street
ZIP Code: 04050
City: Kiev
Country: Ukraine

Telephone: (+380-44) 4903400
Fax: (+380-44) 4903480, 4902414

Email: britvisa.kiev@fco.gov.uk


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