Overland Ukraine Travel
Currency to display:
- 1 Visiting Ukraine
- 2 Entering Ukraine with a Car or Motorbike
- 3 Driving in Ukraine
- 4 Gas and Diesel price in Ukraine
- 5 Safety and Security Considerations
- 6 Camping in Ukraine
- 7 Navigation
- 8 Special Overland Travel interests
- 9 Vehicle Maintenance
- 10 Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Ukraine
- 11 References
- 12 Helpful External links
Give a brief overview of what it's like to visit. How easy is the border, how safe is the country, are there great things to see and do, etc.
Entering Ukraine with a Car or Motorbike
Correct as of: (date last confirmed correct)
(To check if you need a travel Visa for Ukraine, application instructions and fees see: Ukraine Visa online application at VisaHQ.com)
- Passport of each person.
- Drivers license of registered owner.
- Original vehicle registration.
- Proof of vehicle insurance may be required.
(no copies are required)
Process at border
There are likely to be multiple hour long queues from EU countries. The customs will check the vehicle on both sides of the border. The passports will be registered at a separate passport office.
Cost of entry
There are no fees for EU Registered Vehicles
Permitted length of stay
State the permitted length of entry for the vehicle
Extension of stay
Describe the process to extend the permitted length of entry for the vehicle, if possible.
Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country
Describe if/how a vehicle can be stored, and for how long.
Also mention if the owner / temporary importer can leave the country while the vehicle is in storage.
Exiting with a vehicle
Describe the paperwork requirements and process at the border to exit.
Driving in Ukraine
Recommended books for Overlanding in Ukraine
Travel insurance for Ukraine
Vehicle insurance requirements
Yes or No if insurance is mandatory, and what kind is acceptable.
Cost of vehicle insurance
State the price of insurance and a time period.
Where to purchase vehicle insurance
Describe where insurance can be purchased.
An International Driving Permit is technically required, but it is unlikely you will be asked to show it.
Driving side of road
Vehicles are driven on the right side of the road.
Right hand drive vehicles allowed.
Mandatory items in vehicle
State any mandatory items that must be carried in the vehicle. (i.e. safety triangle, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, etc.)
General Road quality
In rural areas, the majority of roads are in very poor condition. Potholes abound excessively, i.e. In the Western mountainous regions, average speed was about 20km/hr. Road quality may improve near cities or villages. Around or even between some Major cities, excellent paved highways exist. Use caution when driving, as pavement may suddenly stop.
In rural areas, numbered road signs are almost non-existent. There are occasional signs toward other towns at some intersections. Signs in urban areas are more commonplace.
There are no toll roads in Ukraine.
Bribery in Ukraine
Police often stop people to extort bribes from them. However, bribery is illegal, and they must justify the bribe as a "fine". Make sure to carry all required paperwork; outside major highways, watch out for hidden makeshift signs (e.g. Do not enter), which are often placed in the morning to fine people, and removed in the evening to be placed elsewhere.
Many Ukrainian policemen know they can get away with bribes in the Ukrainian court system, but are afraid to bribe people they perceive as native foreigners, because they are afraid that they might be sued from that country-- so pretending you don't speak Ukrainian well often helps avoid a bribe. However, if you are getting a legitimate fine, then not speaking English will not help. Instead, they will summon a translator, and you will have to pay a hefty translator fee. So if it looks like you might have truly broken the law-- don't push it, just pay the fine.
One additional warning. The police are often backed by mafia. So if you do not pay-- in the best case scenario, your tires might be shot flat up to an hour later. If it looks like the policeman is not afraid-- keep in mind, he might have "backup".
Before their civil war started, checkpoints were uncommon. Most were an attempt to get some bribe out of you. This likely changed because of the war.
Traveling with pets
List the entry requirements and anything else required to travel with a pet.
Gas and Diesel price in Ukraine
Last updated: October 2012
Currency and unit to display:
|Unleaded||€1.06 EUR per Liter|
|Diesel||€0.95 EUR per Liter|
Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency
Briefly describe if gas shortages are known to occur.
Also state the approximate average distance between gas stations. This is a very rough estimate.
Gas and Diesel Quality
Discuss if gasoline / diesel considered "clean" or "dirty", and generally high or low quality.
State the sulfur content of diesel, if known.
Safety and Security Considerations
Driving at night
Driving at night is safe. However, potholes (which are very very common) are hard to see. So unless you have very good suspension, I recommend avoid driving at night in order to prolong the life of your vehicle.
Vehicles typically are not safe to be parked on the street. In fact, vehicles are typically not very safe at night, period. Thieves are typically very good at disabling alarm systems, and bypassing the electronic mechanism which prevents one from starting a car without its key. Some thieves own a crane, and can lift garages at night, looking for expensive vehicles. Hiring a cadet to watch the car at night is fairly cheap, but a lot of thieves go to work as cadets, so that they can steal the more expensive cars. If your car is stolen, just report it, and go on. Cars which are reported stolen are often caught if they try to cross the border.
As far as where a car is safe-- there is good security at some of the top hotels. Try not to leave your car unattended outside a place with good security. Cameras exist many places, but seeing the video of how your car was stolen typically doesn't help in finding the thief. Parking the car in a remote village also means it likely won't get stolen, because thieves typically stay in bigger cities. The worst thing that might happen is, your vehicle might get vandalized if someone (e.g. across whose house you parked) doesn't like you parking there.
Special driving considerations
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
- Country Specific Information - U.S. Department of State
- Travel Reports and Warnings - Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
- Travel advice by country - Foreign and Commonwealth office (U.K.)
- Travel Advice for Ukraine - Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Camping in Ukraine
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
List and link to books specifically for camping.
Tap water is generally not safe to drink because there are no standards of purity. For example, in Kiev region, there tend to be excessive levels of iron in the water. There exist wells, from which local people draw their water; and then, they let it stand for three days, pour the bottom 80% into a different jar, and repeat the process before drinking it. (iron tends to settle into the bottom 20% of the water over the course of three days).
One very good thing is, they have very cheap (healty) mineral water for sale, in most places that sell food, including at stands. Exact price depends on where you buy, and how much at a time. Borjomi is one brand which is particularly healthy (and typically costs double the price of regular mineral water).
Reise Know-How are amoung the best paper maps. Purchase paper maps before arriving in Ukraine
GPS Maps of Ukraine
Review different GPS companies, quality and coverage (Tomtom, Garmin, OSM, Tracks4Africa). (with links to each).
GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in Ukraine
- 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
List any special items / places that are popular with Overlanders
4x4s / Trucks
- Toyota Global Dealer Locator
- Land Rover International Dealer Locator
- Mercedes Benz International (select country on bottom right)
- Jeep International site locator
Add known good mechanics here.
Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Ukraine
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.
Add any helpful external links here.