Gov’t plans to ban registration of right-hand drive vehicles

The Government of Georgia says the number of right-hand drive vehicles imported into the country was increasing “alarmingly”. Photo by, 03 Dec 2015 - 13:52, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Government of Georgia is taking drastic steps to ensure safety on the country’s roads and reduce the effects of vehicle emissions created by unroadworthy cars.

Authorities today announced it planned to ban registration of future imported right-hand drive vehicles, impose restrictions on older vehicles and enforce higher quality fuel, meaning cars will operate more efficiently and create less vehicle emissions.

Georgia’s Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia Giorgi Mgebrishvili said road safety was a major concern and the number of right-hand drive vehicles in Georgia had "alarmingly increased”. This reason and more led him to believe changes were needed to the country’s road rules.

Fifty percent of vehicles imported this year were right-hand drive vehicles, when the permitted number of cars in any European state is only 10 percent out of the whole number of vehicles on the road,” Mgebrishvili said.

Georgia’s Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia Giorgi Mgebrishvili said road safety was a major concern. 

He provided detailed figures of the past two years that proved growing numbers of right-hand drive vehicles were imported each year.

  • In 2013: 71,182 left-hand drive vehicles and 12, 542 right-hand drive vehicles were registered;
  • In 2014: 67,515 left-hand drive vehicles and 34,000 right-hand drive vehicles were registered; and
  • In 2015: 47,672 left-hand drive vehicles and 32,025 right-hand drive vehicles were registered (January-November). 

The Government has not yet specified when the registration ban will be imposed.

On this note, the Government stressed no other restrictions but registration would be introduced for right-hand drive vehicles, and owners who have already registered and drive their right-hand drive vehicle in Georgia will not face any problems.

On another note, Georgia’s Minister of Environment Gigla Agulashvili said a major factor that contributed to air pollution in capital Tbilisi were vehicle emissions. The Minister stressed that a large percentage of cars in Georgia were extremely old, operated ineffectively and failed to appropriately recycle fuel. 

For changes to be effective we need all cars in Georgia to be gradually renewed. Thus we need some amendments in this regard,” Agulashvili said. 

Ensuring cars used high quality fuel was also a focus of the Government, and action would be taken to control the quality of fuel imported into Georgia. Minister Agulashvili said several importers had already met the Government’s requirements and only imported top quality oil and fuel into Georgia.