8

Of course I can technically rent a car, and I can drive it. My point is - is it secure/recommended for non-Russians? What are unexpected risks?

I have extended driving experience in Paris, Rome, Delhi, Mexico, and some other places, so I assume technically, not much would bother me.
But what about accident risk? Police? does anyone speak English? (I don't speak Russian at all).

Basically, from someone living there and having some international experience - What are the non-obvious risks, if any? What is different than other countries?

I will be in the St. Petersburg area, if that makes a difference, and in May.

  • 2
    What risks are you afraid of? It might be quite hard to list all possible unexpected risks, don't you think? – JoErNanO Apr 7 '16 at 11:59
  • If you understand European road signs and driving rules, you shouldn't have much of a problem. – Michael Hampton Apr 7 '16 at 12:57
  • Did you want to identify a season? Once you go outside the A-120 it can get dicey in the winter, and without speaking Russian you'd need a pocket translator if you were to attempt driving to say Tver. In fact I would avoid it altogether in favour of the train. – Gayot Fow Apr 7 '16 at 13:18
  • Bring a dashcam and use it. It may keep you out of jail. – xpda Apr 9 '16 at 4:35
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I've provided some answers in your other question, so here I'll try to explain the road-specific risks.

If you're going to use a rental car in Russia, you probably need this sign to be put on the car:

a road sign with a black exclamation mark on yellow background.

This is a warning sign for telling other drivers that there is a novice driver in the car.

I suggest you use this sign because the Russian driving style is quite unusual. Drivers from Rome I know about came here and said that they never seen such crazy drivers. Right now the situation has changed, but you still can meet very strange driver behavior on the roads.

As for the English, I suggest you find a Russian speaker as a partner for your trips for police interaction, as they, probably, wouldn't understand you (outside of St. Petersburg; inside the city, I think, you'll be understood by them).

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