Mongolia Driving Advice and Car Hire Info

Driving In Mongolia
You need an international driving permit to drive in Mongolia. Driving in Mongolia can be highly challenging. There isn’t an extensive road network and many rural roads are ill defined tracks. With few other vehciles in rural areas and the fact that many roads don’t appear on sat-navs, direction finding can be difficult. It’s a good idea to try and obtain a good map before you go. You should be able to get a Russian one from this site

Driving in Ulan Bator is challenging due to poorly maintained streets, broken traffic lights, poor street lighting, a shortage of traffic signs, and undisciplined pedestrians. The driving skills of the locals have not kept pace with the dramatic growth in the number of cars on the streets in recent years. There are few paved roads outside of the capital and no street lights, and you should avoid driving outside Ulan Bator after dark. 2WD drive vehicles will generally be Ok for driving in UB or between major cities such as Khara Khorum town, Erdenet town, Terelj National park , Darkhan town and Zuunmod town. Other than these routes you’ll need a 4WD.

Only around 20% of the country’s 50,000km of roads are paved and many roads will quickly turn to mud after rain and routes in desert regions have thick sand- ask the rental company if they can provide sand ladders. There have been robberies in the Lake Baikal region so you should exercise caution if travelling there. The weather can be highly unpredictable and it can snow anytime from mid September, and this will make travel treacherous and very time consuming. A challenging self drive location but a rewarding one -please let me know if you have undertaken a self drive trip to Mongolia.

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.

Mongolia Car Rental –
Sixt and Avis have offices in Ulan Bator and both now seem to offer self drive vehicles.

We currently have no local car rental partners in Mongolia. If you are a local car rental company who would like to feature on please check details on our Partnering page or contact us on

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