Driving in Egypt

Peter Mitry

Peter Mitry

<B>Egypt Forum Founder Member</B>
Some people who are planning to spend more time in Egypt may find this guide useful....

Driving in Egypt

Driving in Egypt is an adventure to say the least, and requires your complete attention. There is no logic to Cairo traffic. In fact, it defies explanation, and does take some understanding. Traffic is terrible, drivers are undisciplined and the roads are in bad condition. Traffic lights and regulations are ignored, and accidents are frequent. Drivers drive with their horns, contributing to a cacophony of irritating sounds. There aren’t that many signs out there; some are in Arabic and some in English. Road signs are similar to those used throughout Europe. Driving is on the right-hand side.

A Driver:
To make your life easy in Cairo, get yourself a driver. One reason it makes sense to get a driver is parking, or lack thereof. With a driver, you’re deposited where you want to go, and you let the driver worry about parking. When you want to go home, ring the driver on your mobile, and he’ll collect you right where he left you!

Speed Limits:
If you do go it alone watch out for speed limits which are enforced by radar. Note that the speed limit on the Autostrad is 60 km/h, on the Alexandria Desert Road 100 km/h. and the Ayn Sukhna road, 120 km/h. Speeding tickets start at LE 100 and you can loose your driver’s license from one month onwards if caught several times.
If your driver’s license is confiscated for a traffic infraction, you must retrieve it; pay your fine and a penalty at Dar Al Salam in Abbassiya. It is best to take an expediter or someone fluent in Arabic. The cost will be about LE 50 plus the fine. You must do this in person. Always carry your driver’s license and car registration in your car. These documents are required by the traffic police and at checkpoints.

Car Rental:
In view of the traffic congestion and the scarcity of parking spaces, renting a car with a driver is recommended. Be aware that the cheaper the company, the less likely it will be registered. Your best bet is to rely on international rental agencies like Avis, Hertz or Budget, etc. Prices are higher, but for the sake of safety and less aggravation, it’s well worth it. If contemplating driving a rental yourself, you will need your passport, a valid international driver’s license and be at least 25 years of age. Car rental agencies are at most major hotels and elsewhere. Be sure to check the contract carefully and check that all dents and scratches are listed and therefore are not your responsibility. All major credit cards are accepted.

Car Rentals:
Hertz 3539-1380
Avis 2527-5400

Driving your own Car:
If you’re living here on a long term tourist visa, you can legally drive on a valid international driver’s license for (1) month. If you intend to live here for an extended period of time or have a resident visa, you need an Egyptian driver’s license. To obtain this, you must go to a license office and bring:

 Your passport and a valid visa
 Your (4) photos – passport size.
 A note from both a medical and eye doctor certifying your good health.
 A lab report stating your blood type.
 A statement from your Embassy confirming your place of residence in Egypt (with Arabic translation).

That said, we’ve been told that there are many other ways to get your driver’s license and they apparently all work. You will have to take a driving and a theory test. Be prepared to dedicate several hours at the driving department. If possible, take an Egyptian staff member or an Arabic-speaking friend to facilitate and translate. Remember that Third-party liability insurance is obligatory.

In case of a Minor Accident:
Take all possible precautions to prevent additional accidents by stationing people to direct traffic and clear the road.
 Give your name and company address only to appropriate officials.
 Do not sign your name on a card or piece of paper for anyone.
 Do not remove the vehicle from the scene of the accident until police arrives.
 Do not give statements or express opinions except to the appropriate officials.
 Do not admit fault or liability!
 Get the necessary data concerning the other vehicle involved. Be sure to include all the necessary information, including the name and address of the other driver, driver license number, car description and license.
 Ask for the telephone number of the owner if he is not the driver.
 Contact your insurance company and your Embassy.
 If situation becomes inflammatory, leave the site and go immediately to the nearest police station.

Vehicle Maintenance:There are petrol stations throughout the country, offering full service and mini-markets. Fuel, inexpensive (1 LE/per Liter) is available in 90 octane and 80. Spare parts for imported vehicles are scarce and expensive. On the other hand, parts and service for European models that are assembled locally is more accessible. If you import a car, bring extra spark plugs, wiper blades, gas caps, air and oil filters, and belts. Imported cars must have their engines adjusted to the local octane rating which is low.


Well to be honest I wouldn't drive in Egypt unless I really had to,it's certainly not for the faint hearted.Once you get out of the towns it's ok,mostly all desert and quiet long roads.
The likes of sekalla are frightening in a taxi let alone driving LOL.


Senior Member
Hi found this

Your international license is good for one year, your home country license for 3 months from your arrival. Thereafter you're required to obtain an Egyptian license. You will need: medical and eye examination certificates (which a facilitator may be able to obtain for you without your presence),a passport showing a resident visa stamp, 2 up-to-date color passport-type photos, and, of all things, copies of your educational degrees.


New Member
Great info - thanks

Some people who are planning to spend more time in Egypt may find this guide useful....

Driving in Egypt

Driving in Egypt is an adventure to say the least, and requires your complete attention. There is no logic to Cairo traffic. In fact, it defies explanation, and does take some understanding. Traffic is terrible, drivers are undisciplined and the roads are in bad condition. Traffic lights and regulations are ignored, and accidents are frequent. Drivers drive with their horns, contributing to a cacophony of irritating sounds. There aren’t that many signs out there; some are in Arabic and some in English. Road signs are similar to those used throughout Europe. Driving is on the right-hand side.

Great info - thanks


New Member
ive been here for five years and have never had a problem with my uk licence! and ive been stopped by the police for checking licences or for speeding etc...


But if you use an international or a foreign driving licence, and you are speeding, the police will take the licence of the car and not your driving licence. When you have an Egyptian driving licence they will take this licence.
So if more people use the car (or the licence of the car is from another place in Egypt than where you are located now) than it is better to have an Egyptian driving licence! When they take the licence you will get a paper which allows you to drive another week and with the paper you will have to get your licence back in the place where it was issued. As you can imagine, the sending back can take a while!


Traffic rules in Egypt

Rule # 1: Side flashes expose your intentions to the enemies. Don’t use them so they will be surprised by your moves or in our case attacks.

Rule # 2: When the roads cross, the priority of passage is given as an award to whoever wins the race of getting his car front to the intersection point.

Note: This rule doesn’t apply if the other participant is a truck or a bus due to safety reasons.

Rule # 3: Never allow any safety distance between your car and the car in front of you as it is a risk you can’t afford to take due to:

If you left space, another car will immediately fill it. So you will be just retreated a bit behind and there will also be no safety space.
People will just close their eyes and cross the street from that space.

You will hear 1000 beeps per second if the person in the car behind you is polite, or you will be called some nice animal names if he was less polite. You might also find your self being bumped and pushed if the one behind you is a micro-bus as there are no polite ones of those.

Rule # 4: Traffic lights are note made for organizing traffic as usual. They are made to try to convince people that we are a civilized people. Don’t pay attention to it.

Rule # 5: Most accidents happen at crosses as soon as the traffic light turns red. The sooner you cross during a red light, the safer you are.

Rule # 6: The street is a disgusting place. Drive as fast as you can in order to reach as soon as possible. People who drive slowly are psychos who enjoy torturing themselves so they deserve what they get.

Rule # 7: One of your rights as an Egyptian citizen is that you can park in front of the shop you want to buy something from. If some one was already parking in your place, you have the right to double or triple park him even if you’re going to block the road. 10 minutes late won’t make a difference.

Rule # 8: You have the right to leave your parking space anytime you want and without consideration of those cars in the street. Just turn the wheel and go on. They should wait until you go on your way.

Rule # 9: Be aware of 3 kinds of drivers who think they can’t die:

Cool guys who are used to play videogames and think that going faster will only gain them an extra life.
Delivery motor cycles.
micro-bus drivers
Note: never try to prove to them that they are ever wrong.

Rule # 10: when there is an accident on the road slow down and watch. It is much more realistic and amusing than what you see on the news. In addition to that, you are doing a favor to people by blocking the road preventing any more accidents from occurring.

Rule # 11: If you were stuck in traffic keep beeping continually as people in cars at the front have probably been there too long that they might have slept. So keep them alert.

Rule # 12: If your car is old and big, drive with the concept of “whoever wants nothing to happen to his car step aside”.

Source: Traffic rules - Egypt’s special edition | Progressive U

This is absolutely true in Cairo!


New Member
You have to see it to believe it !!!

Not quite this bad in Hurghada but it's getting there.


It is truly worrying everytime you get in a cab or one of those minibuses,I suppose it's not that different to private hire in the uk who are rushing back for the next fare,whilst the hackney carriages who are on metres take their time and the long way round lol.


New Member

If I am banned from driving in UK can I still get an Egyptian Licence. What is the situation regarding licences /tests for motor bikes and what sort of prices can you pick motor bikes up for



New Member
As far as driving is concerned I was told that the Egyptian rule for driving is that there is no rule!! good luck, they drive like maniacs on a suicide mission!


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New Member
I observed an Egyptian friend driving around El Gouna at night on his black motorbike wearing black without any lights on. I found him later and asked why he didn't turn his lights on. "No its fine, I can see where I am going" he replies. I asked him how everyone else will see him when he is all in black and that someone might pull out infront of him because they can't see him. "No it is not a problem" he replies. And why don't you wear a crash helmet. "Because I am only driving around El Gouna".

And there are many hundreds more stories like that..................


New Member
When our son was a toddler we were regularly chastised for strapping him ino his baby seat in the car. We were told he should be allowed to be free!!! In the Gulf the standard of driving is extremely bad but made worse because the roads are good and most of the cars are new. It is nothing to see, on a daily basis, women driving with their baby on their lap, children standing with their heads through the sunroof as their parents drive, and to see someone driving without being on their mobile is very rare. I don't really understand this mentality. It's as if people here - and in Egypt too I suppose - don't have the imagination to see what could happen. In the local paper yesterday, was the case of a mother who left her 18 month old in the charge of her 4 year old, (wheelchair bound) son. If that wasn't bad enough she left a pressure cooker on the stove. The baby was killed when he pulled it down on top of himself. His brother, who witnessed it and couldn't stop it, is traumatised. I know that's nothing to do with driving but illustrates the attitude.

I am NOT saying this is the attitude of all Arabs - my husband is more careful than I am, and believe me, that's saying something!!
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New Member
Incase you missed my post on other thread this is important....
Taken from Egyptsearch Forum

Hi , thought this may be useful , came across this on Egypt search forum

The General Manager. Gen Sherif Goma'a the assistant of the minister of Internal affairs for the police regulations, is urging all drivers to take heed of the new law terms regarding traffic before the 1st Aug 2008 the deadline of starting the execution of the new law.
He is urging all drivers to check their cars to see if they are fit to drive in regards to safety.
He said to the newspaper of the Massa'a, he indicated the importance of some of the new terms of the new law which he thinks can stop the chaos of the traffic in Egypt.

One of the most serious fines will be a fine to taxi and microbus drivers who refuse to accept to take passengers without valid excuse or driving the taxi with passengers with the meter not working or if they ask for more money than the meter says, or takes more passengers than the car was designed to take.
That fine alone will be from 300le up to 1500le according to offence
Fine of 300-1500le and 6 months prison for anyone any who makes any sexual advance in his car.

up to 6 month prison and a fine of 100-1500le for any driver who tips rubble on the road, or throws rubbish from car, cans, food etc, or causing any type of pollution or making noise which can distract the driver or drivers around.

100-300le for not using seatbelt for driver and all passenger.

6 months prison and a fine from 1500-3000le for anyone carrying a radar detecting device or affects the radar function.

100-500le fine for driving without licence present in the car.

1000-3000le for driving against traffic.

20,000 le fine and 6 month prison for anyone driving a vehicle with any prohibited ie drugs or counterfeit items in it.

6 months grace for Tok Tok drivers to allow them to register with licencing dept and to discuss routes and fares

Parking in no parking area 30le
Driving without seatbelt 50le
Using mobile phone when driving 50le
Eating drinking or smoking when driving 50le
Putting children in front seats 50le
Sitting on stop line at traffic 50le
Driving a car with foreign registration plate 150le
Driving a car with non Egyptian driving licence 150le
Not stopping at checkpoint 250le or (shot dead which ever is easiest for the policeman)
Driving through a red light 250le
Driving against the traffic 250le
Driving whilst drunk 500le
Driving without your licence in car 500le
Exceeding the speed limit by 1-10 kmph 50le
10-20 100le
20-30 150le

more than 40kmph exceeding the limit 250le

Aisha ( Kim)


congratulations queenie40something - on your 2000 post - phew!!!