Baku - 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?

If you are planning to never leave Baku you can use any type of car, or go without a vehicle altogether. If you want to explore the countryside then it's best to have a SUV. The roads can be a bit rough depending on where you go. - Jun 2021

Bring something with high clearance if you want to go out into the regions. - Jan 2019

For city driving, any car will do. You see everything here from big cars to old, small Ladas. If you like driving around in the countryside, I would take a 4-wheel drive. Gas is cheap here, especially if you turn in your VAT receipts. Repairs are very affordable and good here, too. Dealerships do relatively pain-free and inexpensive repairs and maintenance. - Jul 2018

Bigger cars definitely rule the road in Baku, especially expensive ones with a lot of bling. Four-wheel drive is nice if you plan to ski/hike/camp in the mountainous areas of northern and central Azerbaijan. Frankly, any car will do just fine, even to the mountains. You might have a harder time if the mountain passes are snowy, icy, or muddy, but in those situations you would be best off to change your travel plans rather than rely on 4-wheel drive to get you out of a jam. The roads in and around Baku are well paved. The Subaru dealership was helpful when we needed another key; otherwise I have had very little need of service or parts. - May 2018

I wouldn't bring a nice car. I've been in two accidents and had my van door scratched in the parking lot at the mall a couple of times. The drivers are unpredictable and inexperienced. - Mar 2017

SUV is best but a sedan is ok. - Jul 2015

Don't bring anything with low clearance because of potholes and rough roads. That said, every other car in the city is a Mercedes, so a sedan can make it. The clearance is mostly for peace of mind, and for getting out of town. Some of the villages have amazingly steep and rocky roads. I don't know much about service, except that's it's a better idea to have your driver take it in. Most people have drivers, as the embassy provides a transportation allowance for children in school which covers the cost of a driver. BP also has an allowance for drivers. Most people complain about the traffic and driving, but I get along fine without a driver. - Jan 2013

No low cars. SUV are needed for the clearance. There are an absurd amount of potholes and uneven streets. I can write a book for this section. All people who work on cars here have no clue about anything, so be sure you know your vehicle. If not, get a manual and be sure to have someone local with you to help with translation. I haven't seen any robberies/carjackings here. People leave cars running with keys in the ignition go to the store and car is still there. This is very common here. So theft is not an issue. - Dec 2011

Roads are bad and the driving is pretty crazy. Bring a sturdy car. - Sep 2010

Only SUVs. Roads here are in horrible shape, and drivers are the worst in the world. You need the size of an SUV to protect you. There are lots of expensive SUVs here (trying to run you off the road) and soviet Ladas. Repair shops are available for for Mercedes, Toyota, Hyundai, Mitsubishi. - Aug 2010

You can get by just fine with a sedan, but you really want to bring something with a little ground clearance. It doesn't need to be 4WD, but to enjoy your tour, you're going to want to get out of the city. - Oct 2009

SUV - do not bring anything with low ground clearance as it will not make it on many roads. anything with 4WD would be great. the roads are very rough here with many potholes and rough, uneven dirt roads. There are many major car dealerships here: Nissan, Toyota, Volvo. Do not bring an American made car (Ford, Chevy) as there are no parts for those. Tires are much cheaper in the states so purchase an extra set and bring with you. You will need them. We have already had 3 flats in 9 months. - Nov 2008

A vehicle with low clearance will not be your best bet here. Higher clearance vehicles or small SUV's will do just fine.4wd is not necessary but may be helpful for travels to the regions. - Sep 2008

SUV--it's great for driving in the city (streets aren't the best and drivers seem to respect big cars) and out on the country roads or dirt paths. - Sep 2008

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