Armenia To Ban Import And Sales Of Right-Hand Drive Vehicles After JDM Import Surge

The Armenian government will ban the import and sales of right-hand drive cars from April 1 this year due to concerns with the increasing number of RHD vehicles hitting local streets.

Xinhua Net reports that roughly 13,000 right-hand drive vehicles were imported into the country last year, bringing the total number of right-hand drive cars on local streets up to 36,000. This comes despite the fact that Armenia drives on the right side of the road and traditionally uses left-hand drive vehicles.

Authorities have expressed fears that if the current trend towards right-hand drive vehicles continues, the country could be forced to shift to driving on the left side, a change which would be very costly and difficult to achieve. Additionally, the Ministry of Transport, Communication, and Information Technologies (MTCIT) claims that right-hand drive vehicles are dangerous.

Most of the right-hand drive vehicles hitting local streets are being imported from Japan due to their cheap prices and good looks.

Shortly after the announcement was made in December, protestors gathered outside the MTCIT claiming that right-hand drive vehicles are no less safe than their left-hand drive counterparts and are in fact responsible for very few road accidents.

The ban will affect vehicles imported after April 1. Those brought into the country before then will still be allowed on local roads.

  • Bo Hanan

    Why not make better looking-cheaper cars in Armenia. This seems like something Trump might do. LOL.

    • Research Janitor

      Living rent free in your head…

      • Bo Hanan

        Or you could kiss my ass- that’s free too.

        • LeStori

          How many Equus africanus asinus (Ass) do you have at your place. An Ass is also called a Donkey. . Now whether an Ass wants to be kissed is another thing. Whether you have the right to allow someone to kiss even an Ass you own without it’s consent , is something else.

  • MonkeyRider

    ‘Country could be forced to shift to driving on the left side.’

    Are you kidding? Because of those 36,000 RHD cars?
    It’s total BS.

    • europeon

      Yeah, it’s ridiculous, but I guess 40k cars is quite a lot in a small country with only a couple million citizens, and surely it causes problems.

  • john1168

    Unlike what that bone head leader is doing in Turkmenistan, this isn’t a bad idea. I saw this a lot when I lived briefly in Kazakhstan. I’m sure the drivers get used to it after a while but it’s not a good idea to allow this in the first place. And the fact that it may cause the country to change to the other side of the road is insane.

  • CarbonPhiber

    I think they should compromise and only ban GREEN RHD cars.. Everybody ok with that?

  • Randy Terpstra

    Armenia, the new Quebec. 😀

  • brn

    That interior looks very nice for the late 70’s.

    In some ways, it’s a compliment. In more ways, it’s not.

    • dumblikeyou2

      I love the genuine faux stitching along the bottom of the dashboard. tre chique

      • KareKakk

        A japanese speciality for decades.

  • The photo use is the dash of what car?

    • Vassilis

      I think it’s the Toyota Century.

  • nauticalone

    A more likely reason is pressure from local dealers who import / sell LHD vehicles. I live in the Caribbean and many islands here allow both LHD and RHD with no difficulty.

    • Yeah, and they cited the reason for cheap Japanese cars. I’m sure those ex-EU LHD car dealer in Armenia is having hard time to compete.

  • In some ways, the ban could saved people by stopping dangerous practice of using wrong car on wrong road.

    In the other hand, when I heard news like this is in third world country, I always suspect either competing businessman aren’t happy. Or the local officials didn’t get enough kickback from the operation.

  • Benjamin B.

    No British cars either… 🙁