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Top tips for renting a car in Ukraine
The decision to rent a car in Ukraine will give adventurous travelers the chance to see parts of the country that are usually very difficult to access by public transport. Car rental is usually inexpensive, which is another advantage over using other methods of transportation. The Carpathian Mountains and the steppe regions are best visited with a car, while private transport will also allow you to visit places like Yaremche, the fortress at Kotyn, and the villages in the west that are famous for crafts and folk art.
Driving alone in winter is not generally wise in Ukraine, as extreme weather conditions can make the roads treacherous. Some rental companies can provide extras like snow chains free of charge, while others, such as Payless, offer a special winter equipment package for an extra 59 UAH (2.25 USD) per day. If possible, always travel with a towing rope, extra food, and a snow shovel during the winter months.
Children under the age of 12 must be secured in an appropriate restraint when traveling in a car in Ukraine, and all other passengers must wear seatbelts. Rental agencies typically provide a range of age-appropriate baby, child, and booster seats that can be booked in advance and rented for an additional fee. Expect to pay around 120 UAH (4.50 USD) with an agency like Hertz.
Some rental agencies do not allow their customers to rent a car in Ukraine and travel across international borders. If planning to visit any of the neighboring countries, it is best to check with your rental agency in advance. Some agencies, such as Avis, do allow cross-border travel for an additional charge. At Avis, the countries Belarus, Russia, and the territory of Transnistria are excluded, and a fee of around 2,500 UAH (95 USD) is necessary for the issuing of a special cross-border pass.
FAQs about renting a car in Ukraine
Road conditions in Ukraine are likely to be the biggest challenge drivers will face, with standards varying widely across the country. So-called "European" roads tend to be paved and in good condition, with road signs in the Roman as well as the Cyrillic alphabet. On other roads, and particularly in rural areas, expect to drive slowly, and watch out for hazards like potholes, livestock, and cobbles. Beyond this, drivers who have some experience and stick to slow speeds should have no problems renting a car in Ukraine.
To rent a car in Ukraine, drivers usually need to be at least 20 years old and have held a valid domestic driver’s license for at least one year. It is mandatory to possess an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) alongside a domestic license. Some agencies impose a daily surcharge for young drivers, such as Budget, where the fee is approx. 590 UAH (22 USD) per day for drivers age 21 to 24.
Gas stations in Ukraine are usually self-service and require payment in advance; most do not accept credit cards, so make sure to always have some local currency on hand. Gas station hours tend to be from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm, though some highway gas stations may offer a 24h service. Prices tend to hover just above 30 UAH (1.15 USD) per liter for gasoline, and just below that for diesel. You can expect around 4.35 USD per gallon.
There are three general speed limits enforced in Ukraine, although drivers may find themselves forced to travel much slower, due to the condition of the roads. In built-up areas, the maximum speed limit is 60 km/h (37 mph), while on rural roads the limit is 90 km/h (55 mph). On highways, cars may travel at a maximum speed of 130 km/h (80 mph).
The rates displayed include all taxes and fees for car rentals for the class listed and were found by KAYAK users in the last 24 hours. Offers are subject to change and may not be available on all car rentals listed or dates of travel. Some car rental providers charge additional fees for other services (GPS, infant car seats, etc.). Please check the car rental providers' sites.