Driving in Russia is very cheap: the petrol costs only about 60 ¢ per liter (€2 per gallon), the infrastructure is relatively good, and there's almost no road toll charges, so it's a great way to explore the country, especially if you're two or more.
In order to rent a car in Russia you just need your driving license (the plastic card one), a credit card, and your passport — no extra paperwork is needed (you don't even need a translation).
The insurance excess and security deposits are usually limited to about €200, and the daily rent is about €20 for a standard car and €30 for an SUV. We've partnered with the two biggest car rental aggregators, so you can use the form below to find the best car rental deals for Moscow, St. Petersburg and other Russian cities from major local and international providers, such as Hertz, Europcar, Avis and others.
Option #1: RentalCars.Com
Use this option if you want full control of your deposit amount and to have access to advanced filter options (deposit, excess, etc)
Option #2: CarTrawler
Use this aggregator if you're renting a car for a longer period — two weeks and more — or if you're renting a car in Siberia.
Option #3: Car Sharing
Car sharing is developed pretty well in Russia. The major companies are Delimobil (most cities and all Moscow airports), YouDrive (Moscow + St. Petersburg), Belka Car (Moscow + Sochi), and Yandex Drive. You can install their app on your iPhone or Android smartphone and register your account online. YouDrive has the easiest registration procedure and English-language telephone support, but it's better if you also get another provider, such as Delimobil as car availability is not always the best. You can set up an account using your smartphone: all you need is to send them your driving license, your passport, and a selfie. After about 24 hours they will confirm your account and you can use the car sharing service.
Russia Car Rental FAQ
Does it really make sense to rent a car in Russia?
Renting a car when you travel to Russia can be a good option if you want to explore the country on your own. The petrol is cheap, there are no toll charges, the infrastructure is quite OK, although it's not as good as in EU.
How much is the petrol? Petrol is only about 50 cents per liter (€2 a gallon) and there are no toll charges, so you will probably even pay back the rental costs. Which means you're going to spend about €4 per 100 km (considering an average car spends about 8L per 100 km). To put this into perspective, a trip from Moscow to St. Petersburg and back, which is about 750 km one way (1500 km return), will cost you max €60 in petrol, while the train is at least €100 per person return. So if you're 2 people, you'll pay back the car rental cost with just one trip.
Do I need any extra documents? You just need your driving license and it's also recommended to take an international driving permit (but not necessary).
Are there any car-sharing solutions?
Yes, there are car sharing options available in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The major providers are Delimobil (has parking in all Moscow airports), YouDrive, Belka Car and Yandex Drive. The price is much lower than in Europe: from about €0.10 per minute of driving and €0.03 per minute of parking. Some providers, such as Delimobil, have daily deals: you can rent a car for the whole day (24 hours) for 2500 R (~€30). Most providers let you drive the car outside of Moscow (up to 200 km — depending on the provider), so it can be a good option for short trips out of town.
Regarding the insurance, providers such as YouDrive and Delimobil offer zero or lower excess if you pay extra per minute, otherwise your responsibilty is limited to €200 and €300 respectively. Other providers have higher excess (~ €400). YouDrive also has English-language support line, Delimobil has English-language email support. All the providers offer their services in Moscow. YouDrive also offers their service in St. Petersburg. Belka Car offers their service in Sochi. Delimobil has the best coverage: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ufa, Nizhny Novgorod, Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Krasnodar, Samara and Grozny.
I heard Moscow traffic is bad. Is it really worth taking a car just for Moscow?
If you drive in Moscow and St. Petersburg, we recommend to avoid the peak hours between 6.30am to 10.30am and 5.30pm to 9.00pm. Parking in the center of Moscow can also be quite expensive. Local taxi companies, such as Uber and Yandex.Taxi have very competitive prices (about €5 per every 10 minutes of driving), so if you're just going to drive around the center, don't get a rental car, it won't pay back. However, if you're thinking about taking trips out of town or if you're staying outside of the center and don't plan to drive around during peak hours, renting a car can be a good option.
What about the Russian style of driving? Driving in Russia is a bit chaotic, but if you drove in Greece, Italy or Caribbean, it's kind of the same. Lane discipline is kind of non-existent, nevertheless people watch out for each other, so in the end it's not much different from any other place full of eccentric drivers.
How expensive is it to rent a car?
Normally you should expect to pay about €20 per day (based on 1 week rental) for a standard car like VW and about €30 for an SUV. This would include third-party insurance and sometimes full collision waiver, but generally the excess and deposit amount is relatively low: about €200-€300. If you want a better quality car, like BMW or Mercedes, you'd pay about €50-€60 per day.
Can I return my car to another city? E.g. Moscow to Vladivostok?
Unfortunately, this is not very well developed and in most companies you'll have to pay a hefty fee for that, such as €400 and more, making it cheaper to drive the car back. Also, if you're driving somewhere far, like Siberia, most agencies won't have their office there, making it even more difficult.