Nicolas Bouliane

Driving in Armenia Posted on

I spent a few days driving in Armenia during my motorcycle trip from Germany to Kazakhstan. I learned a few things along the way that might help fellow travellers. Most of what I learned while driving in Georgia also applies to Armenia. I will only cover things that I didn’t cover before.


Every vehicle in Armenia must have liability insurance. You should always keep the proof of insurance with you in the vehicle. If the police stops you, they will want to see it.

Your car insurance probably doesn’t cover you in Armenia, so you must get insurance after you cross the border. You should pay around 3000 dram for 10 days. The insurance sellers near the border will try to charge up to 3 times more. They do not accept credit cards, but they accept other currencies.

You do not need a Carnet de Passage or an International Driving Permit to drive in Armenia. My German driving licence was enough.

Road conditions

You can travel everywhere in Armenia with a regular car. The roads between cities and the roads to other countries are all paved. In small villages, the roads are often rough and unpaved.

The M6 between the Georgian border and Alaverdi is under construction. The last few kilometres before Alaverdi are not paved. You can drive on it with a car, but you will have to avoid lots of potholes. It rained hard when I drove there, but mud was not a problem.

The road on the West bank of Lake Seban is in good condition. There are many patches on the pavement, but no deep potholes. You can safely drive fast on it.

The M4 highway from Jerevan to Lake Seban is in excellent condition. There are two lanes in each direction and the pavement is very smooth.

The E117 road from Jerevan to Tatev is paved, but the pavement is very bumpy. You will have to swerve to avoid bumps in the road.


The fuel in Armenia is very good, and very cheap. Gas stations are easy to find if you stay on the main roads. They are usually less than 100 kilometres apart. You can choose between regular (92 octane) and premium (95 octane) fuel. Almost half of the gas stations only have LPG (natural gas).

Armenian fuel stations are not self-service. You park in front of the pump and an employee will come. Point at the type of fuel you want, and tell them how much fuel you want. You give money to the employee after fuelling up. Some gas stations accept credit cards, but not all of them.

Scenic routes

The best route to take is along Lake Seban, down Vardenyats Pass, then on the E117 towards the Tatev monastery. The E117 has 50 kilometres of breathtaking sights. The road from Lake Seban to the Georgian border is also full of nice sights. You can either take the M6 and see the Debed canyon, or the M4 with its gorgeous wheat-draped hills.

Police and photo radars

The photo radars in Armenia look like this. They are always announced with a sign. There is always a flash when they take a photo of you. We were flashed a few times along the way, but did not receive any fines.