Whether you want to get around the huge city of Cairo, make a trip to the Pyramids or go driving through the desert, hiring a car is good idea. Having your own car protects from the dust and searing heat of Egypt and save you from having to tip at every opportunity.
Special requirements for driving in Egypt
Cairo is one of the biggest and busiest cities in the world with more than 25 million inhabitants. Roads in the Centre of the city can have up to 8 ‘lanes’, although the lack of actual marked lanes is what makes driving here quite difficult.
Not only do you have to deal with unruly cars but you can often see livestock and donkeys in the middle of the road. That said, driving in Egypt is an unforgettable experience. You may also refer to be in control of your own trip as local taxi drivers take a lot of risks, and while most of their cars are very old with no working seatbelts.
Travelling to Egypt the sound that will stay with you is that of the car horn. Drivers use their horn ubiquitously and often honk just to greet each other. Because of the chaotic traffic, traffic police are often working at busy intersections.
But if you get out of the big cities like Cairo and Alexandria then driving is a much more peaceful experience along the attractive country roads. Due to the heat, water should be carried with you at all times. You should also have anti-dehydration medication.
If you get stuck in the sand don’t spin the wheels as this will make a car sink deeper. You should avoid driving at night at all costs as there are many hazards in the form of pedestrians and carts.
While on self drive in Egypt, You will definitely need a good map here, even locals get lost!
Accidents are very common in Egypt. Stay with the vehicle and alert the police. If you are given any documentation make sure that don’t sign it unless you understand it. If your vehicle breaks down in the desert do not abandon it but wait for another vehicle to pass.
By law you must wear a seatbelt at all times, front and back. You should wear your seatbelt at all times, both for safety and for legal reasons.
Expect the same motorway signs that you would see in Europe which have a green background.
Petrol stations are positioned at frequent intervals and you will see all the big-name brands such as Esso, Mobil and Shell. Fuel is quite cheap in Egypt and it is sold by the liter. You can get both super 9o octane and regular fuel. If you are planning on driving through the desert then fill up whenever you see a petrol station and consider bringing a spare can.
As this is a Muslim country there is a low tolerance of any alcohol in the blood system while driving. The level is 0.05.
You will need your passport, driver’s license, and some sort of pre-payment method in the form of a credit card or bank card. You must have proof of third party insurance. If you stay in Egypt for longer than six months then you need to get an Egyptian driving licence.
You need an international driving licence along with your home licence.
There are toll roads in Egypt, the Cairo-Alexandria Road is a toll road and there are a handful of other toll roads in the country.
The speed limit is 90 kilometers per hour on motorways.
In the desert high way between Cairo and Alexandria, it is 100 kilometers per hour.
There are substantial fines for speeding so do not risk it. It takes three hours to drive from Cairo to Alexandria.
The conversion from kilometers to miles per hour is one kilometer = 0.62 miles per hour. Therefore 90 kilometers is 56 miles per hour.
To drive in Egypt you need to be 25 years old.
The emergency services number is 122 for police, 123 for medical attention and 180 for five. The tourist Police are on 126 and the Traffic Police are on 128.