Ulaanbaatar - Post Report Question and Answers

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?

Bring a 4-wheel drive car that you don't mind being dinged up. - Aug 2022

High-clearance is definitely recommended outside of the city, however you wouldn't know it judging by all the Priuses you see out there! We have a Rav 4 and I would recommend something with even more clearance, as we have had a few times where we bottom out in off-road tire grooves. - Jan 2022

I brought an old model, high clearance SUV. If you want to spend time in the countryside, which I highly suggest, an SUV will serve you well. Basically all the locals have Priuses and you'll be surprised where they take them! I feel much better with a reliable SUV. There is no roadside assistance or rest stops so bring something reliable with at least one full size spare tire, if not two. A very small percentage of roads in the country are paved so be prepared to do some serious off-roading. - Sep 2020

An SUV. Even city driving can be an adventure. - Aug 2020

Toyota SUV, there are plenty of Toyotas here. A dealer is behind Star Apartments for oil changes, tire changes, etc. There are a lot of Toyota Prius' here, but I would NOT advise bringing a small or low riding car. When going to the country side, you'll be glad for your SUV. - Jul 2019

Definitely SUV or something that survives off-road. Roads in UB are paved but once you leave the city, chances are you'll head off-road. Winter conditions leave terrible potholes on the few paved roads as well. Many people have Toyota's: easy maintenance for them here. Also keep in mind that diesel engines do not work in the extreme cold. - Oct 2016

This depends largely on whether one plans to travel much outside UB. For city driving a sedan or hatchback is fine, but not much use outside the capital. Mongolian roads can compete with the world's worst, and have to be seen to be believed, so a 4WD is a must if one plans countryside excursions. The Toyota Landcruiser is the most popular among Mongolians, with the similarly heavy-duty Nissan Patrol also quite prevalent. Japanese brands dominate and have official dealers with service/maintenance offered. Given the vast distances and extreme weather, reliability is a must. A 2nd gas/petrol tank comes in handy for the long distances. - Feb 2015

A rugged, high clearance four-wheel drive is a necessity if you want to gallivant about the countryside. Toyota Land Cruisers are the local vehicle of choice among the wealthy. If you stay in Ulaanbaatar, any car is fine. Our Suburu Outback has done well but we are limited by some of the river crossings and mud bogs. No experience yet on obtaining auto parts. Good snow and/or off-road tires are a must; bring extras in your household goods. Never heard of a carjacking here. - May 2012

SUV. - Feb 2012

If you are brave enough to drive here, it's best to bring a 4x4 or vehicle with a high clearance. The streets are riddled with pot holes and open unpaved roads. There are only about 1,000 miles of paved roads in this country, which is about twice the size of Texas. Car parts are not impossible to find, but can be expensive. Most car parts are imported from China or Russia. There are no local restrictions on vehicles. Actually there are no restrictions. Period. Monthly or annual vehicle inspections? haha. Good one. On the plus side, carjackings are rare in this country. - Feb 2011

A front-wheel drive car is fine for the city. If you want to drive across land in the countryside when there is not a road, bring a 4WD vehicle. There is a Ford dealer and a Chevrolet dealer, as well as Toyota. Windshield wipers/blades are frequently stolen from your car when you park on the street. Both right-hand-drive and left-hand-drive cars are used here. - Jan 2009

Mid size passenger car is ok for in the city driving, a 4 wheel drive with high ground clearance is highly recommended for out side the city. - Oct 2008

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