Egypt Driving Advice and Car Hire Info
Driving In Egypt
Check your government’s website for the most up to date information before driving abroad in Egypt as there may be travel advisories in place covering some areas.
Egypt drives on the right and you need an International Driving permit plus your own licence to drive here for up to 6 months. For longer peiods you will need to apply for an Egyptian licence. Speed limits are 100kmh on highways, 90km on rural roads and 50kmh in urban areas
Egypt has 65,000km of roads, 80% of which are paved, inclduing a highway network of around 18,000km. Main roads with sections of multi-lane motorway are-
Cairo – Alexandria Desert Road: 220km highway is the main route in Egypt running from Giza, at the northwest corner of Cairo’s regional ring road to Alexandria.
International Coastal Road: Runs for 280km from Alexandria to Port Said, along the Northern Nile Delta.
Geish Road: It runs along the Nile connecting Helwan, Beni Suef, Minya and Asyut. Its length is 306 km.
Cairo to Sharm-el-Sheikh Highway – New (opened 2019) 450km motorway reducing travel time from Cairo to Sharm to 4 hours.
Cairo Ring Road: Cairo Inner Ring Road. It has a length of 103 km.
Cairo Regional Ring Road: 130km outer ring road for Cairo 130 km.
Main highways and roads in the main cities are usually in reasonable condition but on multi-lane roads such as Cairo’s Ring Roads, its not unusual for vehicles and street vendors to use the inside lane for parking. In rural areas, unsealed roads may have deteriorated and be in a poor condition. There are a number of toll roads in the country including the Cairo to Alexandria highway. Tolls are paid at toll gates on the highway.
Driving in Cairo and Alexandria is not for the faint hearted, especially on multi-lane highways. Cairo Ring Road has four lanes in either direction but without any visible road markings in many places, lane discipline is non-existent. Vehicles, including overloaded trucks and motorbikes, will pass on either side and squeeze into gaps in the traffic without indicating. If the route is free of congestion, these manouevres will also often be carried out at high speed. Cars will also travel very close to the vehicle in front, making rear-end shunts common. Absoloute concentration is required at all times, so having two in the vehicle is preferable so one person can naviagte while the driver focuses 100% on the road. Driving ona road filled with vehicles jostling for position can seem like anarchy but the basic rule is to maintain your position- the onus is on the the driver changing lanes or direction to ensure it’s safe to do so. If you have to change lanes, a horn blast is useful to alert those around you that you’re making a move. Driving ina n Egyptian city is a real test of your driving nerve and shouldn’t be attempted by an inexperienced driver abroad.
Egypt has a high rate of road fatalities and in terms of risk of serious accidents the main roads outside the cities represent a much greater risk due to the poor state of the roads, bad driving and higher speeds. Drive confidently but ultra defensivelyalways expect the unexpected .Driving in Sharm El Sheikh area and the Sinai peninsula is more manageable with less traffic and roads in a satisfactory condition, but check on restrictions on leaving the Sharm perimeter boundary which includes the airport and the areas of Sharm el Maya, Hadaba, Naama Bay, Sharks Bay and Nabqa, as travel advisories are sometimes in force covering this area.
Although I try and keep the information in the site updated as much as possible, in a rapidly moving world, situations can change daily. Therefore please use the site as an approximate guide, and in conjunction with other resources in order to form your view on driving conditions, roads, safety etc.
Egypt Car Rental –
Sixt, Hertz, Europcar, Avis, Budget, have branches in most major cities.
We currently have no local car rental partners in Egypt. If you are a local car rental company who would like to feature on DriverAbroad.com please check details on our Partnering page or contact us on ADriverAbroad@Outlook.com
Egypt Self Driving Rules
There seems to be wide variation between companies on minimum rental age. Sixt seems lowest at 20. None of the big companies allow vehicles to be taken outside Egypt. in some areas outside of Cairo and main cities, tourists may be required to drive in a security convoy which leave several times a day. Your rental company should be able to advise of this.