Guide to Driving in Egypt

Egypt is not such a developed country and you can tell that judging by the quality of the roads. The main roads are well-paved but all the others are in poor condition. Traffic is rather chaotic and drivers are not paying enough attention. They’re often going in intersections without double checking if there are no cars passing. Police officers try to improve the traffic condition but often that’s impossible. Remember that you are on your own in most of the cases. Road signs are in Egyptian Arabic but in the most important areas you’ll see some English as well. Driving in desert regions is even more dangerous because wild animals may enter the road without thinking twice about it. At night you should switch your high beam on if there’s no incoming traffic. An interesting thing is related to parking. If you don’t find a suitable parking place you can actually push another driver’s car to make room for yours. The handbrakes are not pulled up, so you should do the same when parking. Especially in Cairo you shouldn’t worry about car thieves since there is a really low rate of crimes. In busy areas the horn is pressed often by local drivers, even if there’s no actual reason. When travelling between cities you should have a nice amount of water standing by because it’s extremely hot.

Police cars in Egypt are either all white or all blue. The white ones have the ‘POLICE’ word printed on them. Regardless the colors, all the police cars have light beacons. Unfortunately you need an international drivers permit when travelling to Egypt. In case that your stay will be for more than 6 months, you need to acquire an Egyptian license. You also need your identity card, the car’s third-party insurance policy and the car’s registration certificate alongside your domestic license.

Essential Driving Information

  • Although local drivers don’t have functional seatbelts in their cars, it’s mandatory to use your seatbelt at all times. In fact, all the passengers of a car are required to do so.
  • There are numerous toll roads across Egypt, including the desert highway between Cairo and Alexandria.
  • Dipped beam should be used during the day when the visibility drops due to a dust storm or rain.
  • Even if most locals don’t even have a mobile phone, it’s still illegal to use it while driving. You need to park your car and turn off the engine before using your mobile device.
Speed Limits
Town/City: 50kmh (30mph)
Main Road: 90kmh (55mph)
Motorway: 100kmh (62mph)
Emergency Phone Numbers
Police: 122
Tourist Police: 126
Ambulance: 123
Firefighters: 180
General Information (as of 2014)
Min Driving Age: 25
Alcohol Limit: 0.05%
Petrol Price: €0.90/litre
Diesel Price: €0.22/litre
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