Thinking about exploring Russia by car? This can be quite a feat, but not impossible.
Travelling around Russia
Russian roads outside of cities are in very poor conditions. On the other hand, there are a lot of traffic jams in big cities, like Moscow and St Petersburg. Russians are notorious for their reckless driving style and accidents are not a rare sight. Arm yourself with information before taking your trip.
Another thing that can turn you back from trying this out is that gas stations, restaurants and hotels on the roadsides are only present in well-developed parts of the country. As soon as you move into the Russian “great unknown”, you will find yourself literally in the middle of nowhere.
While we are on this topic, you will also need maps, either physical ones or Google Maps since you will quickly get lost without a reception.
There is, of course, a whole list of needed documents. Here it is:
– your driving licence;
– international driving permit;
– insurance – do check if your country’s insurance is enough or if you need the Russian one as well;
– car documents;
– temporary vehicle permit;
– your passport with a Russian visa.
In order to undertake this trip, it is mandatory that you have the first-aid kit and fire extinguisher in your car.
The temporary permit for your vehicle will be given to you on the border when you are travelling in your own car from another country to Russia. This permit is valid for 10 days, but you can extend it at the local customs office. However, before you are allowed to extend it, you will need to register your visa.
In case you are crossing the border from Estonia, you can book your border passing online at estonianborder.eu. The system is called GoSwift and it efficiently saves time.
Camping car or motorhome
In case you are in the possession of a camping car or motorhome and you wish to travel with it, this may not be the best option. There are no facilities along many highways. There are only facilities for truck drivers, which aren’t exactly in mint condition.
There are regular police controls, so don’t worry if you get stopped, you probably didn’t do anything wrong. However, you can sometimes talk your way out of a fine in case your traffic violation isn’t that serious (you didn’t read this here).