Driving Tips, Rules & Regulations in Egypt

Whether you’re in it for the big cities like Cairo or you’re going for the desert, there’s nothing like taking a car through the land of pyramids and hieroglyphics. It’s a good way to get around really fast, or at least travel at your own pace. Plus, you’re less likely to be exposed to the sun or the desert sands too much.

Should you plan on renting a car, get one that’s designed for withstand desert travel. That won’t be a problem since most car rental sites will have those. These companies, however, provide services to clients who are at least 21 years old. Also, getting an international driver’s license is required. You can’t use your domestic license there.

That of course, is the least of your problems. Driving in Egypt is not for the faint of heart, such that if you can’t handle the busy streets of the country, you’re probably better off commuting. But if you’re ready for an adventure, then you better be prepared. There is a reason why Cairo is regarded as one of the busiest cities in the world. The roads there are so big that you shouldn’t be surprised if you see as much as eight lanes of traffic despite the lack of road markings.

Just remember that people in Egypt drive on the right side, and that the rightmost lane is for stops, loading and unloading, and the left lane leads you to U turns.

Don’t expect to see traffic lights all the time, and cross roads are only indicated by the presence of road bumps. To be safe, slow down once you see these obstacles.

You’ll also have to deal with the very aggressive driving culture there. Expect to hear horns and lights flashing, and cars making a break for whatever turn they want to make. While the law requires you to wear a seat belt, you may very well want to do that for your own safety.

The good news is that once you get out of the cities, you’ll be enjoying more peaceful drives. But because of the heat you’ll want to bring something to keep you cool and hydrated. Should you get stuck, don’t roll your wheels as they’re only going to get buried in the sand more. Also, avoid driving at night because you’re less likely to be able to spot the pedestrians and carts, which can be dangerous.

You’ll also be happy to know that fuel prices are very cheap in Egypt, thanks to the government’s subsidy on oil prices. This makes driving a car an even more attractive option for tourists.

It’s the over speeding fines, however, that can drive you bankrupt. So don’t forget to stay within the 90 km/h limit on motorways and 100 km/h on the desert highways, specifically between Cairo and Alexandria.

The upside to the aggressive driving culture, however, is that it’s actually okay for you to blast your radio while driving. Just make sure you don’t when it’s prayer hours; turn it down so you don’t disrespect the locals. Driving in Egypt might be a little different from the US or UK, but that’s the beauty of it.

Summary

Should you plan on renting a car, get one that’s designed for withstand desert travel.
An international driver’s license is required.
Driving in Egypt is not for the faint of heart. In Cairo there are eight lanes of traffic.
People in Egypt drive on the right side.
The law requires you to wear a seat belt.
Always take something to keep you cool and hydrated.
Fuel prices are very cheap, its subsidised.
90 km/h limit on motorways and 100 km/h on the desert highways.

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