The dangers of driving, mixed with the sights of donkeys and cattle in the middle of the road make getting behind the wheel in Egypt an unforgettable experience. If you’re up for it, you’ll need to know the following regulations.
The minimum age for driving is 18. Expats need a passport, driver's license and proof of insurance, and if staying longer than 6 months then you need to get an Egyptian driver's license.
It is essential that you remember that driving is on the right side and that the rightmost lane is for loading, unloading and stops, whilst the left lane is mainly for U-turns.
Even though the seatbelt law isn't controlled regularly, it is important to abide by it for your own safety. The speed limit on the motorways is 90 kilometres per hour and the desert highway between Cairo and Alexandria is 100 kilometres per hour. As Egypt is a Muslim country, there is low tolerance for alcohol in the blood system at level 0.05.
When travelling, many of us inevitably compare where we are with our home country. However, Egypt doesn't play by the same rules as most countries. Driving in the country with one of the world's highest rates of road fatalities per mile driven is quite difficult. As traffic rules are not heavily enforced, some Egyptian drivers break every traffic rule possible so they can navigate the hectic streets of Cairo.
It’s vital to pay attention to bikers, speeding vehicles, vehicles going the wrong way on one-way streets, pedestrians running into traffic, divided highways and connected ramps, non-functional traffic lights and the traffic police. The traffic police help to enforce the traffic rules that are otherwise ignored. Motorists should be aware that the winter brings rain, making the roads slippery and causing flooding.
The intercity roads are in good condition. But the major issue with the roads are the stray animals, unmarked surfaces, or vehicles that stop or turn without warning.
If you find yourself needing emergency assistance, this list of useful information will help you in this situation. For more information on road safety in Egypt, contact the website of Egypt's national tourist office.
Parking is also different in the big cities of Egypt. Because of the lack of parking spaces, people leave the handbrake down and door open so that it can be moved for more people to fit into a parking space. There are also people working at restaurants and shops that offer valet parking for a small tip.