Driving in Georgia
Traveling around Georgia by car is a pleasant experience for any vacationer, as you can visit both major cities and sights, as well as the most hard-to-reach places in the country. This article will share all the information and tips you need to know to drive in Georgia.
What do you need to be able to drive a car in Georgia?
To be able to officially drive a car, you need to have a driving license, which is divided into subcategories. It is also possible to drive a car based on an international driving license. As for age, there are different categories of driving licenses for different ages. For example, Georgian citizens aged 17 or older can obtain a category B driving license. For more information, you can check the website of the Service Agency: https://www.sa.gov.ge/s/driver-license
Roads in Georgia
The total length of roads in the country reaches 7,000 km, some of which are roads of international importance. Georgia is a country of transit and is part of the Europe-Caucasus-Asia transport corridor. Here is the list of 13 roads of international importance that cross the territory of Georgia:
S1 - Tbilisi - Senaki - Leselidze (552 km); S2 - Senaki - Poti - Sarpi (119 km); S3 - Mtskheta - Stepantsminda - Larsi (139 km); S4 - Tbilisi - Red Bridge (57 km); S5 - Tbilisi - Bakurtsikhe - Lagodekhi (160 km); S6 - Tbilisi - Marneuli - Geguti (97 km); S7 - Marneuli - Sadakhlo (34 km); S8 - Khashuri - Akhaltsikhe - Vale (97 km); S9 - Tbilisi bypass road (49 km); S10 - Gori - Tskhinvali - Gupta - Java - Rock (94 km); S 11 - Akhaltsikhe - Ninotsminda (110 km); S 12 - Samtredia - Lanchkhuti - Grigoleti (57 km); S 13 - Akhalkalaki - Kartsakhi (36 km).
Georgia is a member of all official international agreements and organizations that regulate the movement of vehicles. Like most European countries, except the United Kingdom, the moving direction in Georgia is from left to right. Road signs are placed on the roads, which are provided by the Convention of Road Signs and Signals, Georgia is part of which. Road signs operating in Georgia can be found at the following link: https://www.sa.gov.ge/road-signs
When moving on roads it is important to consider the speed limits. In particular, in city-type settlements, a speed of 60 km/h is generally allowed, although there may be signs in some types of cities that allow the driver to develop a relatively high speed. The maximum speed limit outside the city is 90 km/h, while on the highway it is 110 km/h. The radars are installed on the roads, which detect the speed violation, take a photo and display the fine at the police station, after which the driver receives a fine receipt.
Parking in Georgia
Parking rules are also regulated based on international experience, however, unorganized parking spaces and payment systems in Georgian cities cause inconvenience to many Georgian citizens. Essential steps have been taken by the local authorities in this regard to eliminating parking problems as much as possible. For example, in Georgia, not the police are responsible for a parking violation, but a special parking service is created in all cities. This service can transport your car to a parking lot without warning in case of a parking violation.
The introduction of zonal parking in Tbilisi was a novelty. Its purpose was to clear the streets of traffic jams. Car owners can use it through a special application. Additional information and payment methods can be found on the official website of Tbilisi Parking: https://parking.tbilisi.gov.ge/
When parking the car, you will remember the so-called "Stayanshik" profession same as a parking officer, which acts as a parking lot. They are still very common in the cities of Georgia, so when parking the car it is necessary to have cash with you because payment with them is made only by cash.
Fuel filling and service centers on roads
There are many local and foreign companies in Georgia that own gas stations. When driving in the city, you will never have a problem with fuel filling, because you will find many on the road. Although keep in mind that on small roads you are less likely to run into a gas station than on international roads, so always make sure your car tank is full before traveling.
If you own an electric car, you might know that not long ago the first stations for charging electric cars appeared in Tbilisi. It is planned that similar stations will soon appear in the regions too.
There are not many service centers in Georgia, which are located along the road and combine both supermarkets and food outlets. The most famous supermarket is located near the Gori tunnel.
Vehicle technical inspection
Mandatory technical inspection of vehicles has been introduced in Georgia since 2018, to increase road safety, introduce European standards in the Georgian reality, and reduce the damage to the environment. Shortly after the adoption of the law, relevant services were launched to offer technical inspection services to citizens. Different types of transport need a technical inspection with different intensities. You can check the dates at the following link: https://matsne.gov.ge/ka/document/view/3877026?publication=0
General tips for drivers
• Always carry the necessary documents with you proving that you have the right to drive a given type of car. In the event of an incident, the police will ask you to present it.
• Follow traffic rules - often drivers don't obey the existing traffic rules, which irritates other drivers and violates the rights of others. Always give way to pedestrians when crossing the zebra crossing, never park in the parking lot for people with disabilities, do not stop the car on the sidewalk and do not obstruct the movement of pedestrians, etc. Protecting them raises our civic self-awareness.
• Do not drive while intoxicated - this increases the risk of a car accident, endangering you, passengers, and other citizens.
• Always check the weather if you are traveling in a mountainous region or hazardous area. You can also find information on the official website of the Transportation Department or Facebook page about which type of vehicles are allowed to drive on the specific road sections.