How to Drive in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

If you ever visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), here is a guide to help you to drive properly.

Steps

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    Drive on the right side of the road. The steering wheel is on the left side like in the US and most countries.
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    Get a license. You will need to pass a reverse or parallel parking test. It doesn't matter which type of car you get, manual or automatic transmission.
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    Don't drive over the speed limit. Although very common, it is being enforced; there are cops with speed cameras almost everywhere. Undercover cops are also very common on highways, usually a white lumina, crown Victoria, or corolla with flashers hid behind the tinted glass, and sometimes they have police bumpers.
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    Drive in the extreme right lane if you are traveling slower than other traffic; be alert for traffic exiting and entering the road, particularly if the right side is not curbed. Pass on the left.
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    Use turn signal/indicators in the direction you want to go when changing lanes, turning, and waiting at signals, etc.
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    Don't be female. It's illegal and/or culturally unacceptable for women to drive a car in Saudi Arabia.

Tips

  • Carry an emergency kit in your car, including a spare tyre, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, warning triangle, etc.
  • If you have a Saudi driver's license, you can visit other Middle Eastern countries and drive there with your license.
  • There are roads of different sizes here. Some roads have up to 4-5 lanes on each side. The most common size road has 3 lanes in each direction.
  • If you are driving on the main highways then you might need to cover your car's lights and front bumper with some protectors so that their color doesn't fade away due to the sand.
  • Don't panic while driving.
  • Some very important numbers are:
    • Traffic police 993
    • Fire dept. 998
    • Police 999
    • Ambulance 997
  • Customize your car. If you find a good dealer, you can get whatever you want, from Nitrous cylinders to body kits and more. You can get almost anything for cars here.
  • If you travel outside city limits carry enough drinking water and an umbrella to shield you from the sun.

Warnings

  • Maintain your car properly. If you can't afford to maintain a car then please don't buy a car at all. It's better to keep in mind the safety of others.
  • Accidents are common mainly due to over-speeding and law breaking. Please drive carefully.
  • Driving can be dangerous. If you cannot drive in another country or are not capable of driving normally, do not attempt to drive in the KSA.
  • At some places roads are in bad conditions ,so drive slowly while warning others with your hazard lights.
  • Some people don't follow rules so before crossing a signal at green light check both sides for any incoming cars.
  • Unfortunately women are not permitted to drive in the KSA.It is the law.
  • If the police catches you driving on a red light, over speeding(9-25 KM over), the fine is 300 Riyals ($80) if you are speeding above 25 kilometers (16 mi) of the speed limit the fine is 500 Riyals (~$133).

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Categories: Country Specific