Driving advice for every country in Europe

From required documents to European breakdown cover and vehicle accessories, find all the up-to-date driving laws and advice for every country in Europe in our travel guides.

Driving in Belarus

Population: 9.5m
Area: 207,600 square kilometres
Currency: New Belarusian Rouble - BYN
Belarus is emerging as a destination of choice for lovers of art and architecture, with impressive fortresses and castles and a breadth of history.  

But if you’re planning a road trip to Belarus, it’s essential you’re prepared as driving there has many differences to the UK. 

To make sure your trip to the Continent is safe and effortless, we’ve put together a guide to everything you need to know before you go, from required documents to rules of the road in Belarus.

Driving a rented vehicle? Jump to the advice for driving a hire car in Belarus section.

RAC European Breakdown Cover (Basic and Comprehensive) provides a wide range of benefits should you breakdown in Belarus to ensure you stay safe. 

To supplement this, RAC also offers travel insurance. Cover will include medical expenses, baggage, personal money and belongings, among many other benefits.

FREE car health check*

FREE car health check*

For a limited time, get FREE car health check with European breakdown cover.

FREE car health check*

Things to take when driving in Belarus

rac belarus guide

Documents for driving in Belarus

  • A valid, full UK driving licence
  • A UK sticker – all temporarily imported vehicles must bear the distinguishing sign of their country of registration
  • Your motor insurance certificate and V5 registration document or hire car paperwork – only original documents are accepted
  • A visitor visa (unless you are entering via Minsk airport)
  • A 1968 International Driving Permit (IDP), which you can only get from the Post Office in the UK before you travel. From 28 March 2019 the 1948 IDPs are no longer valid in Belarus
  • Valid medical insurance – you can buy in advance or at the border. This only applies if you arrive via road, not if you arrive via Minsk airport. However, a relaxing of visa regulations is currently being discussed, so check before you travel

Driving in Belarus packing checklist

Aside from the documents above, there are some legally-required items you must bring with you to drive in Belarus.

Unless your headlights can be adjusted, it's a legal requirement to carry headlamp converters (stickers for your headlights when driving on the right, so your lights don't dazzle motorists coming the other way).

A warning triangle is also compulsory to carry in vehicles in case of a breakdown.

It's also recommended to have:

  • Spare bulbs for your car's external lights
  • A fire extinguisher 
  • A first-aid kit
  • A reflective jacket
  • A Green Card (this is no longer a requirement, but it could be useful to back-up your insurance documents and show you've got the minimum legal level of cover. To find out more, contact your insurance company)

You can pick up all the car kit you need from RAC Shop.

Rules of the road in Belarus

  • Winter tyres – compulsory if you're driving between 1 November to 1 March. If you use spiked tyres you must use a sign to warn drivers behind you to keep a safe distance
  • Wear a crash helmet if you're riding a motorcycle
  • As a visiting motorist, you always declare the temporary importation of their car on the customs form they complete when crossing the border
  • In Belarus, you drive on the right and overtake on the left. Vehicles from the right and emergency vehicles have priority. In the capital Minsk, the right-hand lane is used by trolleybuses.
  • Police checkpoints are common on the roads in Belarus. You may be asked to stop and present your papers. Only make official payments.
  • If you’re involved in a road accident in Belarus, you should wait until the police arrive.
  • Unleaded petrol and diesel are readily available, as is LPG. Payment is made in cash or credit card.
  • If you're caught committing an offence while driving through Belarus, you could be given an on-the-spot fine. Driving offences include speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and using a mobile phone while driving.
  • Seat belts should be worn in the front seats. 
  • Children under the age of 12 are not allowed to travel in the front seat. 
  • There is a zero-tolerance to drink-driving in Belarus and the legal limit for all drivers is 0.00%. Police can test any driver suspected of being over the limit.

Belarusian speed limits

Speed limits vary across Belarus, so always check the signposts for maximum speeds. The limit is usually 60km/h outside of residential areas (which are often 20km/h). On national roads it’s 90km/h and motorways 110km/h.

If you have been driving for under 2 years you can only drive a maximum speed of 70km/h.

Radar detectors are illegal in Belarus, so if your car is fitted with one it must be disconnected at the border.

Other things you should know when driving in Belarus

rac belarus guide

  • The standard of urban roads in Belarus is fairly good, however rural road conditions can vary and accidents are common. Look out for potholes and road works without signage. Be aware that ponies and traps are still used on the road in rural areas which can be poorly lit. 
  • There are toll roads in Belarus. You pay using an electronic device which you can pick up at the border. The deposit is 20 EUR. You can register online and collect your device when you arrive in Belarus. To avoid being issued with a fine, make sure your device is set up correctly. More information on Belarus’ toll roads.

In an emergency

112 - Here's a really important bit of knowledge; you can dial 112 from anywhere in Europe and an operator will connect you to an emergency service in the country you're visiting.

Operators can answer your call in their native language, English or French.

Breaking down in Belarus

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.

Driving a hire car in Belarus

Not all of the information in the guide above will be relevant to those looking to rent a hire car in Belarus.

Though it might be a good idea to read through everything anyway, here are the most important things to know for drivers of rental vehicles:

Rental information

  • The minimum age to hire a car is 21
  • You need a full, valid UK driving licence and usually a second proof of ID (passport)
  • Some car rental companies ask that you have held your licence for a minimum term of 2 years
  • Your car rental company may require you to use a credit card for deposit
  • You may not be able to drive outside of Belarus unless planned in advance - check with your hire company first
  • Make sure you get car hire excess insurance before your trip to protect yourself from unexpected costs. It's almost always cheaper to do this with a separate insurer and in advance

Hire car driving tips

  • Belarusians drive on the right and overtake on the left - the opposite to the UK
  • Speed limits vary across Belarus, so always check the signposts for maximum speeds. The limit is usually 60km/h outside of residential areas (which are often 20km/h). On national roads it’s 90km/h and motorways 110km/h.
  • Dial 112 in an emergency
  • It’s compulsory to wear seat belts in the front and rear seats
  • The blood alcohol content limit for drivers of private vehicles is strictly 0.0%

Car hire excess cover

Protect yourself from unexpected excess costs when hiring a car.

Car hire excess cover
Car hire excess cover

Driving in Belarus FAQs

  • Is it safe to drive in Belarus?

    Yes, and the traffic is lighter than in some other European countries. However, the road network can be unsafe outside of urban areas, potholes are common and roadworks are not always signposted. Visitors to Belarus should adhere to road traffic law at all times as driving offences can result in on-the-spot fines.

  • What side of the road do they drive on in Belarus?

    Like the majority of European countries, motorists drive on the right-hand-side of the road in Belarus.

  • Can I drive in Belarus with a UK licence?

    You can drive in Belarus with a full and valid UK driving licence, but you also need an up-to-date International Driving Permit (IDP).

  • Can I drive and park in Minsk?

    Yes, although it can be busy. There are secure car parks in Minsk and some on-street parking, but it may be difficult to find a space. There are very few parking spaces for disabled drivers. If you park illegally in Belarus your car may be towed away.

    Avoid driving in Minsk while political demonstrations are going on.

  • Do I need a green card to drive in Belarus?

    Like the UK, Belarus is a member of the Green Card System, a Europe-wide scheme that allows countries to recognise foreign vehicle insurance policies of visiting motorists.

    UK motorists are no longer required to carry a green card to drive in Belarus, but you should check that your policy will cover you in all countries you plan to visit before setting off.

  • Can I drive my car in Belarus?

    Yes, although before driving your car to Belarus it’s important you follow all legal requirements, including having sufficient insurance cover which is legally recognised in Belarus.

    You should also ensure you have all the required items needed for your journey in Belarus (such as a warning triangle) and any other country you drive through.

  • Do I need a GB/UK sticker for Belarus?

    Yes. Any car temporarily brought into Belarus requires identification of the country in which it is registered.

    You will need to display a UK sticker on the rear of your car unless it has EU number plates with the country code in a circle of stars on a blue background. GB stickers have been discontinued.

  • How do I drive to Belarus?

    To get to Belarus by car from the UK, you’ll need to go across the Channel to Calais on a ferry from Dover or via the Eurotunnel from Folkestone.

    Once in Calais, drive through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Poland before crossing the border into Belarus. The drive from Calais to Minsk takes around 21 hours non-stop.

  • What age can you start driving in Belarus?

    To legally drive in Belarus, you have to be 18 years or older and in possession of a full valid driving licence, regardless of the legal driving age in your home country.

  • Can I drive from Belarus to Russia?

    UK citizens cannot currently drive over the border to Russia from Belarus. If you are travelling to Russia, you must go via another country.

FREE car health check*

FREE car health check*

For a limited time, get FREE car health check with European breakdown cover.

FREE car health check*

UK Government travel advice

See up-to-date travel advice

Information in this guide is subject to change

British Embassy Minsk

37 Karl Marx Street

Telephone: (+375-17) 2105920~22
Fax: (+375-17) 2292306/111

Email: [email protected]

*Ends 13/12/23. 9am. Bookings subject to garage availability.

*Ends 13/12/23. 9am. Bookings subject to garage availability.