The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in the Ukraine

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The Ukraine is an interesting country, and it has some fantastic architecture. In recent years, it has become more popular with tourists who want to see some of the historic sites and museums. Some of the most impressive places to visit include the Caves Monastery in Kiev, the Odessa National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater, Saint Sophia Cathedral, St. Andrew’s Church, and the Great Patriotic War Museum. Having a rental vehicle can make it easier to reach your destinations.

Renting a vehicle in the Ukraine

In order to rent and drive a vehicle in the Ukraine, you need to have a driver’s license and an international driving permit. You also need to have proof of insurance, your passport, and the rental papers for the vehicle to prove that you are allowed to have access to it. All vehicles in the country, including the rental cars, are required to have a warning triangle, headlamp beam reflectors, a fire extinguisher and a first aid kid. The police like to do spot checks on vehicles to see if they are carrying these items. If you do not have them, they will issue you a fine. Make sure you also get the emergency contact information from the rental agency.

Road conditions and safety

While the Ukraine may have some interesting things to see and do, you will immediately notice that the road conditions in the country are lacking. Many of the roads, both in the cities and in the rural areas, are in disrepair. There are a number of potholes, as well as cracks and breaks in the road you will have to contend with when you are driving. There are often no names on the street signs, or even on the intersections. Having a GPS could be very helpful, but even then, you may not want to rely on it entirely.

In addition, the police in the country make frequent stops of drivers, and this could very well happen to you. Make sure you have your license, insurance, and rental documents readily available. Driving at night can also be dangerous, as the lighting on the streets tends to be poor. People also walk alongside the road and can be difficult to see. This is especially true in the rural areas.

The drivers in the Ukraine tend to be very reckless, which can make the roads dangerous. They will speed, not signal when turning or changing lanes, and they do not pay attention to other drivers. There is an illegal business in the country of selling driver’s licenses, so many of the people bought their licenses rather than earning them.

The speed limits

As mentioned, the police are always on the lookout to stop people, so make sure you are following the posted speed limits. The typical speed limits for different roads in the country are as follows.

  • In Towns – 60 km/h
  • Residential Areas – 20 km/h
  • Outside of Towns – 90 km/h
  • Dual Carriageways – 110 km/h
  • Motorways – 130 km/h

While driving in the country can be a hassle, it will help you get to the places you want to visit and experience.


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20 years of experience
Subaru Outback - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Jose, California
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14 years of experience
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