Kazakhstan Driving Advice and Car Hire Info
Driving In Kazakhstan
You need a 1968 International Driving Permit and your own licence to drive in Kazakhstan. If you’re travelling overland between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan make sure your customs declaration and temporary import licence covers the period you’ll be in all three countries are they are covered by the same customs agreement.
90% of the country’s 95,000km of roads are paved but many roads in Kazakhstan are in poor repair, especially in rural areas with pot holes which may be dangerously deep, and accidents are common, especially in winter when snow and ice can be a problem. Road signs are few away from cities and many that exist will be in Cyrillic script. Street lighting may be turned off at night so avoid driving after dark if possible.
Main roads in the country which are multi lane highways are –
A1 – Runs from Nur-Sultan to Shchuchinsk. It further continues as the A1 two-lane highway to Kokshetau. Motorway length: 250 km
A2 – Runs from Almaty to a point past Uzynagash. It further continues as the A2 two-lane highway to Shymkent. Motorway length: 58 km
A2 – Other four-lane portion runs from Shymkent to Zhibek Zholy, on the border with Uzbekistan. Length: 100 km
A3 – Runs from Almaty to Kapshagay. It further continues as the A3 two-lane highway to Oskemen. Motorway length: 82 km
Driving styles can be fast and aggressive especially in and around Almaty, and beware of livestock on rural roads, particularly after dark. Traffic police have reportedly stopped cars to extort bribes on main city streets and at periodic checkpoints on major highways. Locals often advise recording interactions with the police using a dashcam to deter corrupt behaviour. The road between Almaty and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, is especially treacherous at night or during poor weather so you should take extreme care if driving this route and avoid doing so at night. On highways keep an eye out for cars driving the wrong way against the traffic flow. This can happen if there is no turning point for a number of miles so the driver opts to take the shortest route to avoid a lengthy drive and a U-turn.
Although I try and keep the information in the site updated as much as possible, in a rapidly moving world, situations can change daily. Therefore please use the site as an approximate guide, and in conjunction with other resources in order to form your view on driving conditions, roads, safety etc.
Kazakhstan Car Rental –
Hertz and Avis have outlets in Kazakhstan.
We currently have no local car rental partners in Kazakhstan. If you are a local car rental company who would like to feature on DriverAbroad.com please check details on our Partnering page or contact us on ADriverAbroad@Outlook.com.