I wanted to share my experience hiring a car in Uzbekistan. As things seem to change quickly over the past two years in Uzbekistan, it now is possible to hire a car in Tashkent.
Here are some tips:
The only rental company we could find is Autoprokat/Avtouzbegim (http://autoprokat.uz/en/).
Online you can find an application form, but better call to confirm your reservation (As owner Mirfayoz isn't to keen on emails etc.)
We hired a Chevrolet Lacetti, which is what 50% of Uzbeki's drive around with.
Contrary to almost every car in Uzbekistan, ours was black, a huge disadvantage when you're driving around at +40°C. So ask for a white one (luckily our car had AC).
We hired our car for about 3 weeks, at $30 a day. To be paid in cash (along with the $400 deposit). Our contract and insurance papers however were in Russian.
Our car wasn't exactly new and along our roadtrip we did need the occasional garage visit. But car service in Uzbekistan is excellent, quick and cheap.
Ranging from bumpy pistes into the mountains, to perfectly flat highways, Uzbekistan has all kinds of roads. Sometimes you'll be driving 10kmh on a 6 lane highway because the heat has had it's way with it. Sometimes you'll hobble on through narrow gorges or over sandy dunes. But our Lacetti never failed to deliver!
Be aware that for some parts of the country, driving in Uzbekistan can be quiet boring, it being mostly a flat and barren land. Especially the roads between Tashkent/Samarkand and between Shakrizabz/Qarshi are very bleak. Yet if you want to explore the country to the fullest, reach private beaches on the Aydar coast, find tucked away mountain villages and feel really free, it is the ideal way to travel. Just take along your favorite playlist!
Traffic is more or less relaxed, 70kmh being the official speed limit (and 50kmh for towns). Big cities like Tashkent and Jizzax do have their traffic buzz but in general the Uzbeki driver is a chill one. Although there are some basic police checkpoints along the way, they are nothing to be afraid off. A smile or simple nod will do the trick.
Self-driving the Silk Road.
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