Foreign tourists and visitors can drive their own or rental cars in Ukraine. If you are going to travel by your car, you will need to have the vehicle registration certificate from your home country and your international passport. At the border, you must buy an environmental ticket and an officer put a stamp with your license plate number in your passport; and information about your car will be entered in computer. If you leave Ukraine, you will have another stamp with your license plate number in your passport; so, you should leave the country on the same car.
For driving in Ukraine you must be at least 18 old and have:
- A valid National driving permit;
- An International driver license;
- A sticker with the distinguishing sign on the back of your car; even if your car has 'Euro-plates';
- A vehicle registration certificate and International registration certificate or hire car paperwork;
- A passport with the entry stamp;
- A visa, if it is needed;
- The third party insurance (you may buy the third party insurance in Ukraine; fully comprehensive auto insurance also is available).
In your car must be present compulsory equipment:
- A warning triangle
- A first aid kit
- A fire extinguisher
General traffic rules are:
- Have your documents (see above) with you while you are driving;
- To drive somebody else your car, you will need to give him an authorization letter that you can take at any notary office;
- Traffic flows on the right side of the road, overtaking on the left site.
- There is zero tolerance for drink and drive (even bottle of beer could be an expensive mistake being stopped or involved into an accident);
- It is illegal to drive without driver license and third party insurance;
- The minimum driving age is 18 years;
- The driver and the passenger in the front seat must wear seatbelts;
- Children under12 years or less than 1.45m tall can't travel in the front seat;
- Speed limit in cities and villages is 60 km/h. They are indicated by settlement name in black on white plates. Drivers often don’t pay attention to those plates. Driving speed limit in villages along the roads (when a village name is on a blue plate) is 90 km/h; on roads outside settlements - 110 km/h; on highways - 130 km/h. Do not exceed the speed limit; there are many police officers on the road with radar and numerous video surveillance cameras are in cities and on the highways. Breaching a speed limit is done if you have exceeded it by 10 km/h or more.
- Driving and using cell phone is prohibited;
- Right turn on the red light is prohibited;
- At unregulated intersections of equivalent roads, the rule "noise right" works.
- Parking is illegal: closer than 50 m from railway crossing, on tram lines, closer than 10 m from road crossing, closer than 30 m from bus stop, on and under bridges, closer than 10 m from crosswalks.
You also should know that:
- Ukrainian drives are quite tolerant and always flash lights if there is a road police post on your way.
- Traveling by car in winter can be particularly dangerous. During winter, it is highly recommended to use spiked tyres or snow chains;
- Traffic police can stop you and ask you to show your vehicle registration certificate, driver license (International driver license if it needed), and passport (to check for the entry stamp). They may have you get out of the car to talk. They also may ask to see a warning triangles, first-aid kits, or fire extinguisher, which every car is supposed to have. If everything is okay, they will let you go. Ukrainian traffic policemen speak Ukrainian and many of them speak Russian and are not prepared to speak English or other languages.
- To rent a car in Ukraine, you will need a valid driving license (International driver license if it needed) and a credit card. The major international brands have offices in Kiev city or at the airport as well as in major cities. Renting a car is quite expensive in Ukraine.
- If you are involved in an accident in Ukraine, call the police and do not move the vehicle from the site of the accident. You must wait until the police arrive and complete their report. On leaving Ukraine, this will be required at the border.
Ukrainian Road Vocabolary
Ukrainian Road Traffic Signs
Ukraine Road Marking
Driving Overseas - Short Information