Georgia is a beautiful country where everybody will find their favorite pastime. If you like ancient architecture, you’ll see Neo-Gothic monasteries and castles, as well as old structures dating back to the 5-6th centuries. If you like nature, scenic areas such as Metekhi, Telavi, Kakheti, and Stepantsminda (formerly Kazbegi) are waiting for you.
From ski resorts to wine and mineral spring tours — you’ll find it all in this small but one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
Do you need a hire car? Yes. Without it, you will not see anything, or you will spend a lot of money on taxi fares. Georgia is the country where you need freedom of travel. Rent a car on our website and go on an exciting journey.
The average cost of a one-day car rental. The number is calculated based on the bookings of the previous three years. It takes into account the rental of cars across all classes.
Only two documents are required to hire a car on our website:
- Driver’s license
- ID or passport.
You must be over 23 years old and have at least 3 years of driving experience.
Car rental is well developed in the country. You can quickly and safely book a car online on our website.
Insurance is included in rental plans by default. There are three types of insurance:
Third-party liability insurance (TPL)
This is compulsory vehicle insurance that covers damages to third-party vehicles in an accident.
Collision damage waiver (CDW)
This is optional insurance that covers damages to your vehicle, except for damages to tyres, windows, and undercarriage.
Super collision damage waiver (SCDW)
This is full-coverage insurance that includes damages to tyres, windows, and undercarriage.
Price depends on vehicle class, rental period, insurance, and options, such as a child safety seat, navigation system, etc. On our website, you see the final and detailed calculation of car rental cost at once. No hidden extra charges and payments. No need to look for deposit amount and insurance cost in rental terms for a long time.
In Georgia, you can rent almost any vehicle type: compact, sedan, or SUV.
The occupancy rate of the car rental fleets by month. For example, most cars are being rented in August, which means that this month has the smallest amount of available vehicles. The higher the percentage of the car fleet workload, the earlier it is worth booking a car to choosing the best option at the best price.
When signing a rental agreement, you need to make a deposit. This is the maximum liability amount that you leave at the rental counter. When you book a vehicle on our website, your deposit will be from $100 to $200 (international rental companies will charge up to $1,000).
If you return your hire car on time, in good and clean condition, and with the specified level of fuel, you will get your deposit back in full. If you paid in cash, your rental agent will return it in cash; if the deposit amount was blocked on your card, then it will be released by the bank within a few days. If your hire car is damaged, you pay the amount that does not exceed your deposit. For example, if a vehicle with a $100 deposit has damage of $1,000, then you will pay only $100, and the remaining amount of $900 will be covered by insurers.
You can buy a “no deposit” paid service for some rental vehicles.
There are places in Georgia where you should not go, even if you rent an SUV:
- You must not drive your hire car to South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
- Driveway to «Mestia – Ushguli – Lentekhi – Kutaisi» on rental car is strictly prohibited! Driveway to Tusheti, Omalo, Shatili regions is prohibited too.
You must know and observe the rules of the road if you are going to get behind the wheel in Georgia. Ignorance of the law will not excuse anyone. Even tourists.
Local road rules
Speed limits. Local drivers may be knowns as “dashing daredevils”, but there are speed limits in the country. Up to 37 mph (60 km/h) within towns, 56 mph (90 km/h) outside towns, 68 mph (110 km/h) on expressways. Only one stretch of road is an official expressway: Tbilisi — Batumi, only 70km. All other stretches are regular roads.
There are speed limit signs along the road and radar speed guns measuring the speed of moving vehicles. Speeding ticket is one of the most common penalties in Georgia. That said, the police tend to make concessions to local “daredevils” and forgive their speeding violations up to 14 km/h above the limit.
Low beam. Low beam lights are mandatory only at night time and in bad weather.
Seat belts. All front seat passengers must ride buckled up. Wearing rear seat belts is not compulsory.
Mobile phone. Drivers are not allowed to hold a phone while driving. They may use a phone only with a hands-free set-up.
Alcohol. The blood alcohol limit for a driver is 0.3 permille.
Travelling by car with kids. Children under 12 must ride only in the rear seats. Kids under the age of 3 must travel in a child safety seat or may be seated on an adult’s lap (adult must be at least 16 years of age).
The most common fines
- Non-use of seat belts – €13
- Speeding – €18
- Illegal parking – €9
- Use of mobile phone without the hands-free system – €4
- Crossing double lines – €40
- Drink driving – over €350
- Throwing litter from a moving vehicle – €105.
If you did not let a pedestrian cross on a zebra crossing or did not stop before a STOP sign, you are likely to get away with it. But you had better not tempt fate.
How to talk to police
If an officer requests that you stop, you must do so, but you do not need to get out. Stay in the car and keep your hands on the steering wheel. If you are a guest to the country driving a rental vehicle, show the following documents to the police officer:
- Driver’s license
- Vehicle registration certificate.
Where and how to pay the fine
Police-issued penalty notices can be paid at any bank. You had better pay the penalty within 30 days because the amount will increase in 30 days.
What if you don’t pay the fine?
If you commit a driving offence in a hire car, the penalty will be deducted from your deposit when you drop off the vehicle.
If you violate the local road traffic regulations while driving your own vehicle, you can leave the country without paying the fine. There won’t be any trouble. But your next visit to Georgia may be less pleasant. Your penalty will remain effective and increase 8 to 10 times. When you enter Georgia next time, your licence will be suspended for six months due to unpaid penalty notice debts. You will need to go to Mtskheta (as a passenger only) to get your driver’s license back where you will have to pay the penalty and the driver’s license restoration fee (500 lari).
Parking is simple in Georgia — you can park your vehicle wherever you find a vacant spot. Don’t worry that your car will be unattended in a dark yard, nobody will steal it.
Parking is allowed at any place where the vehicle does not obstruct road traffic. While local drivers may disregard this rule, you should not follow suit. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay the fine.
You can park your vehicle free of charge at any place where parking is allowed, and there is no paid parking signage. By the way, there are paid parking facilities only in Tbilisi, Kutaisi, and Batumi. However, you can find free parking spaces in those cities, too:
- Tbilisi: near the Bridge of Peace (opposite Rike Park) and near the Gabriadze Theater
- Batumi: walking around the “tourist” centre takes no more than 15 minutes. If you like, you can leave your car in any yard outside the city centre.
- Kutaisi: park your vehicle in the yards outside the city centre.
To avoid such troubles, please confirm with the hotel in advance whether or not you will need to pay for parking. Some hotels with a fenced area or hotels outside the city have their own parking space where guests can park their vehicles free of charge.
Paid parking areas can be found can be found in Tbilisi, Batumi, and Kutaisi. They are designated by a “P” sign with the parking company logo:
- Tbilisi — City Parking
- Batumi — Batumi Parking
- Kutaisi — Parking Service
There’s only one parking company in each city, and it sets the same parking rates for all its car parks. So, you can pay conveniently for a day or week and park your vehicle at any car park in the city without the risk of getting a parking ticket. The same parking fee throughout the city means that you do not need to look for a “more affordable” price.
Parking rates in Georgia
- Day — 4 lari ($1.6)
- Week — 10 lari ($4)
- 6 months — 25 lari ($10.5)
- Year — 50 lari ($21).
Where and how to pay for parking
The minimum chargeable period is one day. It means that you will not be able to pay for an hour or half-hour.
You can pay the parking fee:
- At a bank: Tell a bank teller that you are paying for parking, e.g. for two days, and the teller will take your money and print a receipt. The teller will need your car documents. Bank names are Kor Standard Bank (KSB), TBC Bank, Liberty Bank, and Bank of Georgia.
- From your phone or laptop: Search for the parking company website and follow the instructions. The only inconvenience is that you will need to enter your data using English letters.
- At a terminal: To make a transaction, you will have to enter the vehicle’s license plate number and registration certificate number.
You can’t pay for parking for the whole duration of your stay and use the same payment receipt in Tbilisi, Kutaisi, and Batumi because different companies have different bank accounts.
Do not pay to “parking attendants” wearing reflective vests. They can take your money, but your parking will not be actually paid.
At a car park, you can be approached by people in reflective vests with traffic wands (parking attendants). They are volunteers who help drivers park their cars and “supervise” from 3 to 10 parking bays.
An adequate tip for the parking service is 1-2 lari. If the “parking attendant” really helped you and was polite, why not reward him with a few lari? But if he behaves offhand, demands something and knocks on your car window, you don’t have to pay him. You are not obliged to pay to “parking attendants”.
Car parks with boom barriers
Imagine that you purchased a day parking ticket and when you enter a parking facility with a toll gate (e.g. at a market place, bus station, train station, airport or parking garage), you are asked to pay for parking again. Is it right? In fact, you will have to pay for such parking separately (about $0.5 per hour).
There are three parking lots at Tbilisi Airport. They are not free of charge. However, you don’t have to pay if you stop for 5 minutes near the airport or for 10 minutes near the train station. Please note that the parking space to the left of the airport does not offer free minutes.
The parking rate at the Kutaisi Airport is $0.41 per hour.
Parking violation means parking in a prohibited space, parking at metered locations without paying or parking for longer than the paid time. Illegal parking can result in:
A fine of 10 lari ($4)
Towing costs including parking fee and penalty ($50).
The compliance with the parking rules is monitored by municipal employees. Unlike parking attendants, they keep a low profile and yet don’t hide. They wear a dark uniform, discreet t-shirts and trousers. Their main working tool is a tablet. They check the license plate numbers of parked vehicles against their database, check the payment receipts, take pictures of violations and issue fines.
If your car got towed
Your vehicle may be towed in Georgia:
- If you parked in a handicapped zone without an appropriate permit
- If you parked at a sign saying that parking is prohibited
- If you left your car at a paid parking space without paying for longer than 12 hours
- If your parked vehicle obstructs the traffic.
If you do not find your car where you left it, don’t panic. Cars are rarely stolen in Georgia. You will most probably find your vehicle at the tow yard. Do as follows:
- Call the local parking company. If they can’t help you (which is uncommon), call the police (112), and they will tell you where’s your car.
- Go to the tow yard by taxi.
- Receive your penalty charge notice. Pay the penalty at a bank. Return to the tow yard, show your passport, vehicle registration certificate, and payment slip.
- Get your car back.
You need to get your car back on the same day because if your car stays at the impoundment lot for longer than 24 hours, you will pay additional 10 lari per day of vehicle impoundment.
Petrol is not low-priced, it’s a fact. However, you should not be too quick to feel down when you plan travelling by car in this small yet beautiful country. On the first hand, “not low-priced” does not necessarily mean “hugely expensive”; on the second hand, you will be able to save on other things, such as taxi and time spent.
Petrol prices in Georgia
Local filling stations sell unleaded petrol and diesel. You will find leaded petrol in Georgia. Petrol prices as of October 2021:
- 98 (Super) — 3,15 lari (~1,01$)
- 95 (Premium) — 3,07 lari (~0,98$)
- 92 (Regular) — 2,81 lari (~0,90$)
- Diesel — 2,87 lari (~0,92$)
- LPG — 1,99 lari (~0,64$) (is not available at some petrol station)
Most fuel stations are open 24/7.
Please note that you should exchange your currency in advance. You can pay only with lari in Georgia.
Fuel gas and diesel
There are enough methane gas filling stations nearly everywhere across the country. They are few and far between on the Georgian Military Road, with the last gas filling station located right after the turn to Vladikavkaz when you drive from Tbilisi. There’s no methane in Tusheti, Svaneti, and Racha.
In places where gas is sold its quality is the same at both large and small fuel stations.
Propane is less frequent. So, you’d better not count on it. If propane is unavailable, fill up your vehicle with petrol.
Diesel is offered at every filling station.
Where to fill up
All drivers would like to know which petrol stations are the best. And nobody wants to be fooled into buying less or worse fuel than expected, that is why we prefer familiar network filling stations.
We advise buying petrol from Lukoil, Gulf, Socar, Wissol, and Rompetrol. Of course, there are other brands in Georgia, but their fuel is not always of high quality. Therefore, you’d better fill up your hire car at network petrol stations. We recommend that you opt for “premium” fuel.
Network filling stations are frequent in large cities like Tbilisi, Batumi or Kutaisi. You don’t need to get out of your car to fill up the tank, a filling station attendant will do the job. You can pay by a bank card.
What should you do if there are no familiar petrol stations nearby? It’s simple. Look where taxi and truck drivers fill up. They know which stations sell the best petrol.
How to act on roads in Georgia
- Tourists travelling by car find it challenging to drive on the road section with the “speaking” name — Cross Pass (between Kobi and Gudauri). Indeed, the road is of poor quality here, and low-clearance vehicles can damage the undercarriage. Please take into account if your route leads through Cross Pass.
- Serpentines are rather steep in Georgia, so you should drive on them slowly.
- You can often encounter animals on the road, and while you can scare away the sheep but cows don’t usually react to honking and drivers have to use the opposite lane to overtake the cattle or wait till the herd goes away.
- Air density decreases at an altitude of over 2,500 metres above sea level, which can cause the engine to lose power. So, drivers must control gears.
- Please note that engine braking should be used on long descents from the mountains.
- Rescue Service – 112
- Patrol Force – + 995 322 418 502
- Roads Department of Georgia – + 995 322 313 07
On the whole, the atmosphere in the country is calm, and the people are well-disposed. You can travel by car with your kids. If something goes wrong, e.g. if you run out of fuel, get a flat tyre or lose your way, feel free to turn to the police for help, it’s a common practice here, and police officers consider such requests an essential part of their job.