Cars in Russia

Buying, selling and renting

Cars in Russia

Buying or selling a car is sure to acquaint you with Russia’s extensive bureaucracy. It’s important to note that registration of vehicles is done exclusively in Russian, so if you don’t speak the language and don’t have access to the help of someone who can, you’ll have no choice but to use an agency which specialises in helping foreigners with these matters.

However, this is fortunately where the complications of being an expat should end, as the process is largely the same as it is for Russian nationals. Although, it’s important to note that when you renew a visa or residence permit, you’ll also have to renew your vehicle registration.

The process of purchasing a used car is very similar to buying a new one. Some helpful sites which offer services in English for the purchase of both new and used cars are:

Once you’ve chosen your vehicle, you’ll be ready to undergo the registration process. This will allow you to take ownership of it before concluding the purchase and making payment. The registration should pan out roughly as follows:

  • First of all, the previous owner of the vehicle will have to unregister it in a State Road Traffic Safety Inspectorate. You must ensure this happens before you begin any further proceedings in the purchasing process.
  • Once this is done, you can begin registering it in your own name. In order to do this you’ll need to take appropriate ID, proof of address and your visa or resident permit, along with proof of ownership, liability insurance and the history record of the vehicle to a vehicle registration application office. Processing of these documents can take up to two days and carries a fee of 2,000 Rubles.
  • Once this is sorted, the vehicle will be checked to ensure all of its numbers correspond correctly as they should do. Assuming this is a success, you’ll then be given your new registration, at which point you’re obliged to alert your insurance provider of the change in registration number.

Once this is all satisfactorily concluded, you’re ready to actually take ownership of the vehicle. When you’ve agreed on a price with the other party involved, the record card of the car is updated to reflect the details of the new owner. It’s when this is done that the money can finally change hands.

Further reading

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