View Full Version : Which car to buy in Russia ?

16-04-2008, 14:28
Hi all,

I am moving to Moscow and will be leaving near the center around the bielaruskaya metro. I will get the double Russian Nationnality in a year time.

I would like your advice on buying a car in Moscow from peoples that are using the their car often to moscow and to travel "around" Russia.

What car seem to be the more suitable for russian roads in and outside of the city (appart from the lada or other russian car) ?

What is the real danger/issues that we can encounter with the militsia ?

Thank Alex

16-04-2008, 21:27
Now, for the legal and militsia stuff: get the car papers in order, have an international driver's license or a translated copy of your original one, or (even better) a Russian one.

I've been driving with my International license here for three years. Sure, if I made a mistake, the cops tried to take it. Threw money at the problem and it was solved. If that wouldn't have been successful: they never, ever, actually asked for my ORIGINAL driver's license, so in the worst case it would be the damage of 15 Euro for an Int. Drivers License and the cost for making a notarial copy of my real one.

Recently, throwing money at the problem, i.e. bribing, has become a lot more risky. Some police cars have hidden cams and if YOU try to bribe, they may actually catch you for the traffic offense and (much more serious) a bribing attempt.

Normally, if you get pulled over, you need to sit inside the police car. DON'T make any bribing attempts. Wait for the Police officer to start acting really slowly with filling in the papers that are used to take your license. Then, act like a tourist and ask where and when you can pay the fine. Ask him if there is any way to pay a fine in order for him not to take your license. Tell him that you are willing to pay a LEGAL fine, if there is a possibility.

If there is no possibility, stick with it, bad luck. You don't want to be jailed for corruption charges, right?

If he asks you what amount you had in mind, you're either up for a pay-off or a set-up. Move out of the car and negotiate. But NEVER inside.

As for cars: if you only drive within the city, I strongly recommend you to get the smallest car you can find. It is really convenient in traffic jams. Where the big boys try to boast their HP and compensation complexes, you'll be quicker if your car is smaller. Nevermind crash zones, you're most likely to stand still in Moscow traffic anyway.

For local and regional travel, don't dismiss the Russian brands too easily. The Chevrolet Niva, certainly with the 1.8 GM (Opel) engine is a fair deal, assuming that you have a budget to mind to.

Ground clearance isn't too much of an issue, as the main issue with rural Russian roads is potholes rather than hills. Big, sturdy tyres are more important. And reliability.

If the sky is the limit, I'd recommend you to go for one of the Japanese off-road vehicles, like Toyota Landcruiser. Japanese build quality is still levels above any European or American standard.

If the market is middle cl**** go for a Subaru, a Toyota RAV4, Mitsubishi Outlander, that sort of stuff.

Below that, the Niva, as said, is an OK deal. But you might as well consider a Ford Fusion instead.

18-04-2008, 17:25
Hi Ezik,

You confirm what I though.

I was thinked about the Niva but following an unfortunate attack that we encountered on the road from Tcheliabinsk to Ekaterinburg, where a car tried several time to send us off the road. I was heading for something big like an very secure SUV.

I have heard lots of stories regarding car been easilly stollen. Is that an urban legend or something classical in Russia ?



22-04-2008, 21:04
Hi Ezik,

I have heard lots of stories regarding car been easilly stollen. Is that an urban legend or something classical in Russia ?



it depends on what car do u have