Iran Driving Advice and Car Hire Info

Driving In Iran

You should check your government’s wbsite before driving abroad in Iran, particularly if planning to travel anywhere near the Afghan or Iraqi borders with Iran; the province of Sistan-Baluchistan; and to the area to the east of Bam and Jaskas. Travel advisories are likely to be in place for some areas.

Iran drives on the right and officially, you can use the photo licence of most countries to drive here for up to 6 months. However, it is recommended to also bring an International Driving permit. Speed limits are 120kmh on highways, 80-100km on rural roads and 50kmh in urban areas.

Iran has around 180,000km of roads, with 80% being paved and an extensive network of motorways and expressways. Motorways include –

Freeway 1 Qazvin-Rasht

Freeway 2 Tehran -Tabriz and Turkey border

Freeway 3 Tehran to Marzan Abad, Mazandaran Province (some sections still under construction)

Freeway 5 Tehran to Bandar Imam

Freeway 6 Saveh to Hamedan

Freeway 7 Tehran to North East of Zarrinshahr

A number of Freeways and major roads in Iran are toll roads. Most are payable by cash at toll gates but an electronic payment system has recently been introduced on the following routes – Tehran-Saveh, Tehran-Qom, Qazvin-Rasht, and Qazvin-Zanjan. Check if your rental car is registered for electronic payment if travelling in these areas.

Main roads and roads in cities are generally in good condition. Minor rural roads are likely to be in a worse condition, expecially unpaved roads. Expect some pot-holes on all routes though. Speed bumps are often unmarked and can cause damage if you hit them at speed. Roads outside urban areas will be unlit and there is a danger of wandering livestock,and camels in desert areas.

Iran has a high road fatality rate and driving style is often fast and aggressive with little adherence to road rules. Tehran and other cities are particularly chaotic and are renowned for gridlock traffic jams. If you must drive in Tehran, I’d advise meeting asking the rental car company to drive you to/from the outskirts. Most road accidents are due to the low quality of driving standards, dilapidated vehicles, poor road conditions and/or reckless driving. If you are involved in an accident, no matter how minor, do not leave the scene. You should wait until the police arrive to make their report.Tahran has implemented a colour coded congestion/pollution reduction scheme. If you rent a car in the city, ask them to explain any restrictions on where you can drive and when.

The Iranian police or army often set up roadblocks both in cities and on main highways. They are often suspicious of foreigners, and are often manned by young and inexperienced officers. You should always carry your identification with you in case of such encounters, and avoid getting into disputes. Many western governments advise their citizens against driving in Iran and in Tehran in particular.

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.

Iran Car Rental-
Europcar are the only multinational company operating in Iran.They have branches in Tehran and Shiraz and only used to offer chauffeur drive. However, I believe they may now offer self drive.

We currently have no local car rental partners in Iran. If you are a local car rental company who would like to feature on please check details on our Partnering page or contact us on


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