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Car rental locations in Sochi
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Car Rental in Sochi: the “summer capital” of Russia
Russian tourists often consider Sochi to be the “summer capital” of Russia, with long boardwalks, palm trees, and comfortable Black Sea weather. But it is ironically perhaps best known outside of Russia as the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Regardless of your country of origin, Sochi is an excellent base for both outdoor and indoor adventures. You will definitely want a car to take advantage of everything Sochi offers, including excellent nightclubs and the outdoor beauty of the nearby Agura Valley. Book your rental car today!
Swimming season spans from May through October in Sochi. Most tourists arrive in July and August, but the climate is very enjoyable in September and October as well, when the streets are a little less packed.
Russian is the most commonly spoken language of Sochi, though it is one of the most multicultural cities in the country.
Sochi is in the Moscow Time Zone, UTC+3.
The currency of Russia is the ruble. Some large stores may accept credit cards, but restaurants and smaller stores will only accept cash. Make use of numerous ATMs throughout the city to keep some cash on hand.
Car hire is available in 14 locations throughout Sochi, including at Sochi International Airport (AER), the railway station, at the port, and downtown.
As a Russian seaport, Sochi grants visa-free access to cruise and ferry passengers for up to 72 hours. Otherwise, Russia’s typical country-wide visa regulations apply to all visitors: Citizens of around 30 countries, such as Brazil and Turkey, can visit Russia visa-free for a period of 14 to 90 days depending on their nationality. Citizens of all other countries, such as EU and North American countries, must apply for a visa at a Russian embassy or consulate before they arrive. To apply for a visa, you’ll need an invitation from a private or business entity in Russia in addition to your application. You can expect to pay an invitation fee, an application fee, and a visa fee. Within 7 days of your arrival, your host is responsible for registering you, which can be done at a post office.
Driving in Sochi
Although central Sochi is fairly walkable, you’ll likely want to explore the city more thoroughly, and you may find that some walking paths are uncomfortable to navigate by foot. However, parking in the city is limited, so take advantage of your rental car by getting out of the city and exploring Sochi’s surroundings as well.
- Traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road throughout continental Europe.
- In the city: 20 to 60 km/h
- On expressways: 110 km/h
- On other roads: 90-110 km/h
- If you have held your license for less than 2 years, do not exceed 70 km/h throughout your travels in Russia.
- The roads can often be fast-paced in Sochi, so keep an eye out for quickly changing conditions.
- Parking in Sochi is limited, so booking a hotel with complementary parking is highly recommended.
- To defend your driving behavior in any legal cases, video record all of your time on the road.
- If you get into an accident, don’t move your car until the police have sketched an accident plan and you have signed it.
- An international driver’s permit is recommended in addition to your valid driver’s license for your travels throughout Russia. A certified Russian translation of your license is also an excellent document to carry with you whenever driving.
- While the minimum driving age in Russia is 18, you will have to be at least 21 years old with a full year’s driving experience to rent a car. Drivers under the age of 25 are likely to face young-driver surcharges.
Cheap Car Rental in Sochi
Car hire in Sochi typically starts at around $19 a day. Here are some of the best deals in Sochi:
- Volkswagen Polo or similar (economy class) – $19/day
- Chevrolet Spark or similar (mini class) – $24/day
- Nissan Sentra or similar (intermediate class) – $30/day
- Chevrolet Cruze or similar (compact class) – $34/day
- Hyundai Solaris or similar (standard class) – $37/day
Note that prices vary depending on the availability of each specific car and the season in which you rent. For the most accurate offers, use the search bar above.
Tips for Renting a Car Inexpensively in Sochi
For the most variety in cars and pick-up locations, book your rental car in Sochi less than 3 months in advance of your arrival. Rental companies such as Arenda Avto in downtown Sochi can often beat the prices of other locations by around $1 a day, but the availability of their cars becomes increasingly difficult to book farther in advance.
Otherwise, rental companies such as Beta Rent, located at the airport and the railway station, offer constant prices year round. Keep an eye out for frequent discounts of around 15% to keep your rental prices from Beta Rent low.
The longer you rent your car, the lower your rental prices fall. For instance, a rental booked for only two days is likely to cost around $20 a day. A rental booked for longer than two weeks can fall to around $15 a day.