Car rental Russia
General information and regulations
In order to rent a car (at most car rental companies) you have to be 25 years old and have held your license for 2 years. It is recommended to get an International Driver's License before going to Russia.
Traffic travels on the right and seatbelts are mandatory. The speed limits are: 38mph/60kph in the city, 56mph/90kph-69mph/110kph on regular roads and 69mph/110kph on highways.
Police officers can stop vehicles without obvious reason but always have to state their name and precinct. It is common to be pulled over in Russia, therefore there is no need to worry (too much).
Driving in Russia with a rental car
Russia has an extensive network of M-roads and A-roads. The M-roads are highways but only have 2 lanes. The M-roads connect most of the large cities and Moscow is surrounded by the MKAD Ring Road. Other important roads include the M1 ((Moscow-Smolensk), M2 (Moscow-Tula-Kursk), the M3 (Moscow-Brjansk) and M10 (Moscow-Saint Petersburg).
Russia covers an enormous area but thanks to the M-roads many places can be accessed easily. The journey from Moscow to Saint Petersburg covers 630 km and can be carried out with a pit stop in Volgograd (former Stalingrad). Russia offers beautiful scenery and numerous seaside resorts. An important seaside resort is Sochi, although the distance from Moscow is substantial: 1,360 km due South. It is worth a visit though. Past Sochi, you will enter the Western Caucasus, a 280,000 hectares UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most impressive mountain regions in the world.
Lake Ritsa on the border of Abkhazia is well worth a visit. Another beautiful part of nature lies in the Virgin Komi Forests, a natural UNESCO World Heritage site and the Bialowieza forest. This forest stimulates the imagination and is the oldest 'old growth forest' on the border of White Russia and Poland. In order to explore all of this beauty it is recommended to divide your journeys into several days.
Renting a car in Russia
The airports of Moscow and Saint Petersburg have several car rental companies at your disposal: Avis, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt. Booking a car upfront through EasyTerra is another option. This website compares the rates of local companies for your convenience.