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Adapting for Special Needs Overseas - Call for Essays

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Moscow



What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Any vehicle. Snow removal in Moscow is very, very good. - Oct 31, 2017
Any car is fine. They keep the snow off the roads in the winter. Outside of Moscow is another deal. - Sep 26, 2016
You will see any and every type of car here. Traffic and parking is difficult, so a small car is nice for that. But having a 4WD or AWD is helpful with the many potholes and wet weather. There are no hills in Moscow but if you plan to go outside of the city at all, you might want something that can handle rough roads. - May 17, 2016
You can easily survive without a car in Moscow, where the metro system is second to none in efficiency, but I would recommend an SUV if you want to be respected by rowdy Russian drivers and navigate countryside roads with ease. - Sep 11, 2015
Most people bring a car but you can live without it. Public transportation is really great and easy. - Jun 30, 2015
The great thing about Moscow is that if you don't need to, don't bring a car. If we had to bring a car, I would suggest an SUV. The drivers are craaaaazy! - Oct 14, 2014
People bring all sorts of cars. - Feb 17, 2014
Anything works although something with high clearance is easier for parking in the snow. We don't have an SUV and were still able to drive all winter with snow tires. - Nov 13, 2013
I barely used my car here - driving is a bit chaotic. - Jul 28, 2013
No need for four-wheel-drive if you live in the city center. Parking is usually a challenge, so a smaller vehicle might serve better than an SUV. However, Russians are very agressive drivers and there are many many accidents daily, so bring something large enough that you will be protected in a crash. We didn't bring a car to post and have been fine using the excellent public transportation system here. A lot will depend on where your housing is. - Jul 18, 2013
I was worried that we'd need a big SUV, but just about every car you can imagine is here. They really do an excellent job of clearing the roads, and I have seen all types of cars do just fine on the roads. - Jan 13, 2013
Front-wheel drive for the snow. Tires are available locally. Tires can't be shipped in by pouch. You can hire association drivers to go out and buy whatever car parts you need. Ship the make/model specific ones in via the pouch. - Mar 14, 2012
We don't have a car, but most of my friends who have them have either a small beater car or a small-ish SUV. Traffic is bad, finding parking is bad, there are lots of wrecks. So don't bring anything you'll be heartbroken to ding up. - May 29, 2011
A reliable vehicle is helpful. The mud and grime will ruin the car's body, so frequent car-washes are necessary especially in the winter. Driving here is a nightmare. - Jan 1, 2011
Local roads vary. Most foreign brands are available in Moscow. As a major metro area, almost any car can be driven here. - Jul 31, 2010
We felt safe with our large SUV. Any kind would be appropriate, though, as they keep the streets well cleaned. - May 22, 2010
Bring something you don't mind getting dirty, and possibly dented. Most people go without a car or buy one from someone who is leaving. Bring replacement supplies, like windshield wipers, spare tires, and oil filters. The embassy GSO garage will do repairs for you - if you have the parts. Driving is something else, and many drivers do illegal moves on a regular basis. If you are pulled over, don't give the guy a money bribe. Instead, pretend that you don't understand him and he will wave you off. There are hardly any left turns, so be prepared for some very creative driving. - May 5, 2010
Some brands dominate (Ford, Audi, Mercedes), while others are seen less often (Jaguar, Cadillac), so check your specific make to be sure that parts and service will be available. The real thing to watch out for though in import duties; they can be very high (more than 10,000 USD).Your car registration is also only as long as your visa's, which is a pain. - Feb 13, 2010
If you absolutely must bring a car, don't bring a nice one - winter ice and salt will strip the gloss right off. Bring a beater, or better yet, wait and buy a hand-me-down here. We didn't bring one and have few regrets. - Jan 23, 2010
We have a van. It's okay. Hard to park, but not a big deal. - Nov 6, 2009
We brought a car and haven't used it in a year. The metro is phenomenal. A little intimidating to use trying to read everything in Russian, but that's me not them. It's cheap-- 50 cents!-- to go anywhere in the city. The cars come every 90 seconds, and race from one end of the city to the other. Amazing. - Oct 24, 2009
It's nice to have a 4x4 in the winter, but we manage with our compact car in the winter just by driving carefully. - Aug 29, 2009
I think any kind of car is fine. Moscow is really good at clearing out the snow and ice, so you don't need an SUV or 4w drive. Just know that your car will get extremely dirty in the winter, and it's kind of hard to wash it, especially when you don't live on the embassy compound. People drive crazy here and it's a hard town to learn how to get around. - Aug 22, 2009
You wont drive much, as traffic is a nightmare. Bring extra window-washer fluid. No need for special tires. - Jul 12, 2009
The roads are horrible, constantly under construction and very crowded. Driving can be dangerous and accidents are frequent. You should not bring a brand new vehicle and an AWD or 4X4 is best in the winter months. - Aug 25, 2008