Overland Russia Travel

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Visiting Russia[edit]

Russia is the world’s largest country, and it stretches far from north to south and east to west. There are some well-known bodies of water in Russia; in particular, the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea,

The capital is Moscow, on the western side of the country. The central and eastern, particularly northeastern, parts of the country are not densely populated and are known for extremely cold weather.

Entering Russia with a Car or Motorbike[edit]

Correct as of: Late 2014

Required Paperwork[edit]

(To check if you need a travel Visa for Russia, application instructions and fees see: Russia Visa online application at VisaHQ.com)

As of late 2014, Russia does not require a Carnet de Passage to enter with a vehicle.

Process at border[edit]

Briefly describe the process at the border to enter with a vehicle

We recently (mid 2016) shipped our car San Francisco -> Vladivostok for $US3100 in a 20' container + $US200 for insurance. We used West Coast Shipping on the USA side who were on to it and very helpful. We used Yuri from Links Ltd in Vladivostok to do all the paperwork Russia side. Also really on to it and helpful. Yuri charges $US250 for his services. Port and customs are about $US800. (A Customs inspection can add an extra $US250 but random). Also, if you have entered the USA by land and did not do a Temporary Import then expect big issues. To export a car from the USA it must be Temporary Imported. We have direct information of cars being sent back to Mexico to get Imported before an export can be done. One simply shipped from Mexico (with issues). Hope it helps someone.

Cost of entry[edit]


Permitted length of stay[edit]

State the permitted length of entry for the vehicle

In between you have to register yourself at the authorities. Make it a practice to ask for that once a week if you moved around, or more frequent if you tend to travel far distances. Any hotel, campground or equivalent will help you out. Just ask the staff for "registration" and they´ll know what you are asking for. They do charge you a minor fee.

Extension of stay[edit]

Describe the process to extend the permitted length of entry for the vehicle, if possible.

Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country[edit]

It's possible without any charges to temporary import of private vehicle up to 1 year. You have to specify at the border the duration of import and take a document signed by the official. It's possible to leave by plane the country, nobody asked me the documentation at the airport. Nobody could drive the vehicle stored, only the owner.

Exiting with a vehicle[edit]

Describe the paperwork requirements and process at the border to exit.

Driving in Russia[edit]

Recommended books for Overlanding in Russia[edit]

Lonely Planet Russia (travel Guide)
Lonely Planet Russia (travel Guide)
by Lonely Planet, Simon Richmond, Marc Bennetts, Marc...
From $15.19 on Amazon
Work Less To Live Your Dreams: A Practical Guide To Sa...
Work Less To Live Your Dreams: A Practical Guide To Sa...
by Dan Grec
From $click on Amazon
Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide Route And Planning Gu...
Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide Route And Planning Gu...
by Chris Scott
From $22.49 on Amazon
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook: A Route & Planning Gu...
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook: A Route & Planning Gu...
by Chris Scott
From $click on Amazon
Languedoc-rousillon: Full-color Travel Guide To Langue...
Languedoc-rousillon: Full-color Travel Guide To Langue...
by Dana Facaros, Michael Pauls
From $24.95 on Amazon

Travel insurance for Russia[edit]

World Nomads offer the most flexible Travel Insurance at the best prices for multi-country / multi-year trips. You can buy, extend and claim online, even after you've left home.

Vehicle insurance requirements[edit]

Insurance is mandatory. Russia is a member of Green Card System insurance, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Motor_Insurance_Card_System.

Cost of vehicle insurance[edit]

State the price of insurance and a time period.

Where to purchase vehicle insurance[edit]

Describe where insurance can be purchased.

Driving license[edit]

State the kind of driving licenses required. i.e. International Driving Permit.

Driving side of road[edit]

RHD vehicles can be driven in Russia.

Mandatory items in vehicle[edit]

Safety triangle, first aid kit and fire extinguisher are mandatory items in each vehicle.


General Road quality[edit]

Road quality varies. Major roads are medium quality, but usually it is possible to maintain speed around 100 km/h. Most of the roads has 1 lane for each direction, so be careful when overtaking.
Non-major roads between willages usually unpaved and hard to drive in winter.

Road signs[edit]

Briefly describe the overall quality & existence of road signs for directions and hazards.

Toll roads[edit]

Not so many Toll Roads in Russia. Cost depends on the road and can be significantly different from road to road.
List of toll roads on 2020:

  • M1 - section around Odintsovo city - about 3 USD
  • M3 - 2 sections: from 124km till 150km and 150km - 194km; About 1 USD per section
  • M4 - almost all sections are toll road; About 20 USD
  • M11 - tollway from Moscow to St.Petersburg. About 20 USD. It has parallel free of charge narrow road.
  • Also several small sections near the borders with Latvia and Belarus

Bribery in Russia[edit]

Briefly describe how common bribery is and whether it should be expected, and the best way to deal with it.


Checkpoints are located on all entrances to major cities. But they are not stop all the cars and usually you can pass them without stop.
Also on Friday nights police stays on common directions and check everyone for drunkenness.

Traveling with pets[edit]

List the entry requirements and anything else required to travel with a pet.

Gas and Diesel price in Russia[edit]

Last updated: March 2018

Currency and unit to display:

Gasoline Grade Price
Unleaded €0.49 EUR per Liter
Diesel €0.59 EUR per Liter
AI-92 gasoline €0.56 EUR per Liter
AI-95 gasoline €0.61 EUR per Liter
AI-98 gasoline €0.67 EUR per Liter

Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency[edit]

Briefly describe if gas shortages are known to occur.
Also state the approximate average distance between gas stations. This is a very rough estimate. On the European part the gas stations are usually each 20-30 km. On the East from Ural mountains range significantly increases up to 300-400km depending on your route. On the North there are no gas stations at all and you need to have at least 1000km fuel range.

Gas and Diesel Quality[edit]

Discuss if gasoline / diesel considered "clean" or "dirty", and generally high or low quality.
State the sulfur content of diesel, if known. Avoid non-Brand cheap gas stations as they sell fuel for old trucks and tractors. The known brands (shell, bp, lukoil, gaspromneft, tatneft, etc) fuel is usually OK.

Safety and Security Considerations[edit]

Driving at night[edit]

Discuss driving at night and if it should it be avoided. Mention why.

Vehicle parking[edit]

Discuss if vehicles can be parked on the street, if they are considered "safe" at night. If vehicles can not be parked on the street, list the other options that exist.

Special driving considerations[edit]

A List of special things to be careful of (i.e. Unsigned speed bumps, abnormal road rules, people or animals on the road, etc.).
List any roads that are not recommended to drive for safety or other security reasons.

Security advisories and information[edit]

Camping in Russia[edit]

Describe if organized "pay" camping is common. List the facilities commonly found at these campsites.
List the approximate average price range of camping in organized campgrounds.
Also discuss the possibility of "wild" or "roadside" camping. How common is it? Is it considered safe, or a bad idea.

Camping guide books[edit]

List and link to books specifically for camping.

Drinking water[edit]

Describe if the regular tap water is safe to drink. If not, describe where safe water can be purchased and the approximate average price range.


Paper maps[edit]

Reise Know-How are amoung the best paper maps. Purchase paper maps before arriving in Russia

Russia, Western
Russia, Western
by Reise Know-How Verlag
From $12.90 on Amazon
Europe Executive [tubed] (national Geographic Referenc...
Europe Executive [tubed] (national Geographic Referenc...
by National Geographic Maps - Reference
From $14.01 on Amazon
Russia 1:6,000,000 Travel Map 2016 (international Trav...
Russia 1:6,000,000 Travel Map 2016 (international Trav...
by ITM Canada
From $10.36 on Amazon
Russia & Belarus (lonely Planet Travel Guides)
Russia & Belarus (lonely Planet Travel Guides)
by Mark Elliott
From $6.99 on Amazon

GPS Maps of Russia[edit]

Review different GPS companies, quality and coverage (Tomtom, Garmin, OSM, Tracks4Africa). (with links to each).

openstreetmap.org has good coverage for european part of the Russia
maps.yandex.com - has good coverage for all Russia. It also has completely free app in app store and google play with the free traffic information and auto routing

GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in Russia[edit]

  • iOverlander is a website and iPhone application designed by Overlanders, for Overlanders. It contains GPS co-ordinates and reviews for camping, hotels, propane, water, mechanics, borders and much more.

Link to sites that have a list of GPS co-ordinates (or directions) for camping locations (including "wild" campsites), propane filling, gas stations, repair shops, places of interest, etc.

Special Overland Travel interests[edit]

List any special items / places that are popular with Overlanders

Vehicle Maintenance[edit]


4x4s / Trucks


Local Garages[edit]

Add known good mechanics here.

Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Russia[edit]

Describe how a foreigner can buy a vehicle. List any difficulties or limitations on where the vehicle can be driven.

Describe how a foreigner can sell a foreign-plated vehicle, or list not possible.'


Links to the source of any information - blogs or discussion forums, etc.

Helpful External links[edit]