Yemen Driving Advice and Car Hire Info
Driving in Yemen
You should check the leatest information on your Goverment’s website before travelling to Yemen as most countries currently have ‘No Travel’ red flags in place covering the whole country. The already unstable situation in the country has worsened since 2015 and few, if any, travellers have visited the country since then. The information below is therefore based on intelligence gathered before the civil war and may now be out of date.
Officially Yemen drives on the right hand side of the road and you need an International Driving permit plus your own licence to drive here. The speed limit for cars in 100kmh, with lower limits in place in urban areas, but speed limits are rarely enforced and the state of roads is more likely to limit speed than the law.
Yemen has 71,000km of roads with less than 10% being paved and 4900km classed as main roads. Raods are in poor condition, especially in the South of the country. The best roads are Sana’a to Hajjah and Haradh in the North and to Taizz in the South. The only sections of dual carriageway are from Aden Port to Sheikh Othman along the casueway and a small ring road around Sana’a .
Even before the civial war, there was a significant risk of kidnap in Yemen. Kidnappings occurred in the capital Sana’a as well as in the Governorates of al-Jawf, Abyan, Sa’ada, Dhamar, ‘Amran, Ma’rib, Shabwah and Abyan. Caution was needed when travelling outside urban areas and you should not travel outside cities at night. Ideally travel outside the major cities is only undertaken when accompanied by a military escort. Roads away from main routes will require 4WD and mountain roads are hazardous at all times of year. Driving standards are poor and road rules are generally ignored.Yemen drives on the right but even this rule is often ignored and drivers may drive against the flow of traffic on the wrong side of the road. Traffic signals are often ignored and you should take great care at junctions. There are many under aged and poorly trained drivers on the roads. Vehicles are often in poor states of repair and many will be unlit at night though as previously mentioned night driving should be avoided anyway. The narcotic leaf khat is widely used, particularly in the afternoons, which can lead to unpredictable driving habits, and Yemen has severe fuel shortages at present, so you should carry spare fuel if embarking on a long journey.
At present, anyone embarking on an independent trip to Yemen, let alone a self drive excursion, would be extremely foolhardy. We can only hope the situation in the country improves in future years.
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.
Yemen Car Rental –
Hertz, Europcar,Avis, Budget,had branches in Sana’a and Hertz had one in Aden. Its unclear whether they are still operating currently.
Yemen Self Drive Rules
None of the big companies allow cars to be taken out of Yemen and there may also be restrictions on taking cars into certain parts of the country.