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Ukraine Driving Advice and Car Hire Info

Driving in Ukraine

Check your government’s website for the latest updates before travelling to south-eastern parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and Crimea, as there are likely to be travel advisories in place covering these areas.

Ukraine drives on the right and you need an international driving permit plus your own photo licence to drive here. Speed limits range from 120kmh on motorways to 90kmh on other roads and 50kmh in urban areas.

Ukraine has around 175,000km of roads, of which 95% are paved. Multi lane motorways are rare and roads are classified into international highways (Mizhnarodni in Ukrainian) denoted by an M; National roads denoted with an H prefix and Regional roads, denoted by a ‘P’.

Major routes in the country are –

M01 – Kiev- Chernihiv- Novi Yarylovychi, Belarus border

M02 – M01 at Kipti to Bachivsk, Russian border

M03 – Kiev – Kharkiv – Dovzhansky then on to Rostov on Don, Russia

M04- Znamianka- Dnipro- Donetskto-  Krasnodon, Russian border

M05 -Kiev to Odessa

M06- Kiev to Chop, Hungary border

M07 – Kiev- Yahodyn- Poland border

M12- Striy – Ternopil – Kropyvnytskyi – Znamianka

M14 – Odessa – Melitopol – Novoazovsk -Russian border

M18 – Kharkiv – Simferopol – Alushta – Yalta

M19 Domanove – Kovel – Chernivtsi – Terebleche -Romania border

Currently the only toll road in Ukraine is a section of the M03. More detail can be found here.

Major routes and roads are in fairly good condition in and around cities but are less well maintained in the countryside and will deteriorate in bad weather. If driving in Winter tell the rental company where you intend to go and they’ll advise if you need winter tyres. Signs away from Cities are generally in Cyrillic only, and major towns often have 3 different names with a version in each of Ukrainian,Russian and Roman alphabet- a satnav would be useful to navigate. Major cities can be confusing to drive in, especially Kiev. Avoid driving in the Centre if you can and ask the rental company if they’ll drive you to/from the outskirts if your first experience of driving in the country is in a busy city. Once away from towns traffic is lighter. Driving standards are generally poor by Northern Europe/ USA standards and you should expect some drivers to flout traffic rules- expect the unexpected. Avoid driving at night in rural areas where you will encounter poorly lit/ unlit vehicles on unlit roads. Drink driving can also be a problem though the drink drive limit is zero. You may be stopped by the police and its unlikely they’ll speak English. They are able to impose a fine on the spot but you shouldn’t have to hand over cash to an officer, it generally has to be paid to a bank within 14 days.

Distances within Ukraine-

Kiev (Kyïv/ Київ) to Donetsk (Donec’k/ Донецьк)– 830km, 12 hours,

Kiev to Kharkiv (Charkiv/ Харків) -480KM, 7 hrs

Lviv (L’viv/ Львів) to Kharkiv– 1030KM, 15 hrs,

Lviv to Kiev – 540km, 8 hrs

Kiev to (Dnipropetrovs’k/ Дніпропетровськ)– 535km 8 hrs

Dnipropetrovs’k – Odessa (Odesa/Одеса), 581km ,8 hrs 30.

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.

Ukraine Car Rental –
Sixt, Hertz, Europcar, Alamo, National,Avis, Budget,  have outlets here . Also usually features on Car rental broker sites and Web discount sites such as Expedia.

We currently have no local car rental partners in Ukraine. 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

Ukraine Self Drive Rules
None of the big companies seem to allow cars to be taken out of Ukraine. Most should allow one way rentals within Ukraine and most have branches in major cities eg Hertz covers Donetsk, Dniepo, Kiev, lviv, Kharkov,Odessa, Simferopol,Zaporozhye.


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