Driving advice for every country in Europe

Find up-to-date driving laws and advice for any country in Europe before you visit, including any accessories you may need to purchase. Don't forget the RAC provides European breakdown cover while you're driving in Europe.

Driving in Moldova

Moldova
Population: 3.4m
Area: 33,843 square kilometres
Currency: Moldovan Leu - MDL

Nestled between Romania and Ukraine, Moldova offers something different for travellers seeking new adventures in Eastern Europe. Its picturesque countryside, sprawling vineyards and medieval fortresses are a pleasant surprise. 

The roads are very quiet, but if you’re planning a car trip around Moldova, it’s essential you’re fully prepared ahead of time as driving there has many differences to the UK. 

To make your trip east as safe and effortless as possible, we’ve put together a guide to everything you need to know before you go, from required documents to rules of the road.  

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

RAC European Breakdown Cover (Basic and Comprehensive) provides a wide range of benefits should you breakdown in Moldova 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.

Things to take when driving in Moldova

driving-in-moldova-advice

Documents for driving in Moldova

  • A valid, full UK driving licence
  • A GB sticker (even if your car has Euro-plates – number-plates that show a circle of 12 stars on a blue background)
  • Your motor insurance certificate
  • V5 registration document or hire car paperwork

Driving in Moldova packing checklist

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

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 Moldova

  • Wear a crash helmet if you're riding a moped or motorcycle
  • Use dipped headlights day and night from 1 November to 31 March (motorcyclists must use them all year round)
  • Your car will need to be declared to customs authorities at the point of entry into Moldova. Drivers of foreign-registered vehicles have to pay road tax, the cost of which depends on how long your stay is
  • In Moldova, you drive on the right and overtake on the left. Vehicles from the right and emergency vehicles have priority
  • Horns may be used when overtaking or in cases of immediate danger
  • All accidents must be reported to the nearest police station within 2 hours, even if there has only been material damage
  • There are no motorways in Moldova. However, when driving into Moldova, a road tax (vignette) is levied on foreign-registered vehicles. The cost varies depending on the length of your stay, but for up to seven days you can expect to pay around €4.
  • Unleaded petrol and diesel are readily available, as is LPG. Payment is generally made in cash, although petrol stations in the main towns will accept credit cards
  • If you're caught committing a motoring offence while driving through Moldova, you could be given an on-the-spot fine. Penalties range from 1,000 MDL (about £50) for a minor speeding offence to 25,000 MDL (about £1,100) for driving under the influence of alcohol
  • Seat belts should be worn in all seats where a belt is available
  • Children under the age of 12 must be placed in a child seat or booster cushion conforming to European safety standards
  • The drink-drive limit is 0.03%. The police can ask you to undergo a breath test at the roadside as part of a routine check, or after an accident or traffic violation

Moldovan speed limits

The speed limit is 50km/h in built-up areas, reduced to 20km/h in residential areas. On the open road, the maximum speed allowed varies from 80km/h-110km/h, so keep a close eye on the signs.

Other things you should know when driving in Moldova

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  • Roads vary in quality and driving standards can be poor. Avoid driving at night as many roads are unlit
  • You should exercise caution if visiting the breakaway Transnistria region. If you do travel there, you will need a vignette. Check Government advice for travelling in Moldova for the latest information
  • Parking must be on the right-hand side of the street in the direction of traffic and as near as possible to the kerb. Drivers parked illegally could be fined 150-300 MDL (about £7-£14)

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 Moldova

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 Moldova

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

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 - check with your hire company first
  • Most companies require you to use a credit card for deposit
  • You may not be able to drive outside of Moldova unless planned in advance. Talk to your hire company about any potential restrictions or fees
  • 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

  • Moldovans drive on the right and overtake on the left - the opposite to the UK
  • The speed limit is 50km/h in built-up areas, reduced to 20km/h in residential areas. On the open road, the maximum speed allowed varies from 80km/h-110km/h, so keep a close eye on the signs
  • 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 0.03%. That's lower than the whole of the UK

Car hire excess cover

Protect yourself from unexpected excess costs when hiring a car.

Driving in Moldova FAQs

  • Is it safe to drive in Moldova?

    Yes, although Moldova’s road network isn’t in the best shape. It’s not particularly well maintained and consists mainly of two-lane roads. Once you get out of urban areas, the roads get worse and you’re likely to encounter animals and agricultural vehicles. Avoid driving at night as roads are poorly lit – that’s if they’re lit at all.

    Be careful if you’re travelling to the breakaway region of Transnistria. There are many checkpoints along the border, and you could be detained if you’re seen taking photos of checkpoints, military facilities and other sites of strategic importance.

  • Can you drive in Moldova with a UK licence?

    Yes. You can legally drive in Moldova with a full and valid UK driving licence. In addition to this, International Driving Permits are recognised but not required.

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

    While you don’t need to carry a Green Card to drive in Moldova, it could be useful as it proves you’ve got the minimum legal level of insurance cover.

    A minimum of third-party insurance is required for driving in Moldova, but it’s recommended you have fully comprehensive cover. You should check your policy will cover you in all countries you plan to visit before setting off.

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

    As in most European countries, motorists drive on the right-hand side of the road in Moldova.

  • Can I drive my car in Moldova?

    Yes, so long as you have all your essential documents, including a valid UK licence, V5 document and at least third-party insurance for your trip.

    You should also familiarise yourself with the laws around driving in Moldova and ensure you have all the required items needed for your journey (such as a warning triangle and a first-aid kit). That applies to any other country you’re planning to drive through too.

  • How do I drive to Moldova?

    Getting to Moldova by car from the UK is an epic European adventure that takes you from west to east. The quickest option is to take your car on the Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais.

    Once you’re in Calais, drive eastwards through Belgium, Germany, Poland and Ukraine before crossing the border into Moldova. The drive from Calais to Moldovan capital Chisinau takes around 27 hours non-stop.

    Alternatively, you can take your car on a ferry from the UK to Calais or various ports in the Netherlands.

  • What age can you start driving in Moldova?

    To legally drive in Moldova, you must be 18 years or older and in possession of a full valid driving licence.

  • Do I need winter tyres to drive in Moldova?

    Yes, from 1 December to 1 March vehicles must be fitted with winter tyres on all wheels, even those of foreign-registered cars. Snow chains and spiked tyres may also be used during the winter period.

  • Do I need a vignette for Moldova?

    Yes, on entry into Moldova, a road tax (vignette) is levied on foreign-registered vehicles. How much you pay depends on the number of days you’ll be spending in Moldova, but for visits of up to 7 days it’s €4. You can pay online through the MPay system, as well as at customs offices and banks.

European Breakdown Cover

Get covered when driving in Europe from just £7. Plus, get a full refund if Covid-19 restrictions prevent travel.†

UK Government travel advice

See up-to-date travel advice


Information in this guide is subject to change

British Embassy Chisinau

18 Nicolae Iorga Str.
Chisinau
MD-2012
Moldova

Telephone: (+373) (22) 225 902

Fax: (+373) (22) 251 859

Telephone Consular section: (+373) (22) 225 902

† Price for 1 day cover for up to 9 people travelling in a vehicle up to 1 year old in Zone 1. For more information visit rac.co.uk/breakdown-cover/european-breakdown-cover