Driving In Egypt

Driving in Egypt is an unforgettable experience. Below is some information that will help you avoid any possible problems and make you aware of what to expect when driving in Egypt.


For many visitors, driving in Egypt is definitely not like “back home” and you will find great congestion in and around the main cities, while Cairo, with the world’s largest population, is particularly busy and often hazardous.

Egyptian drivers use their horns much more often than in other countries and may just be greeting each other while using them. Drivers circulate according to a law unto their own and donkeys and oxen can often be seen walking along the road. Driving in Egypt is therefore not for the faint hearted but if you prefer to keep away from the wheel, many city taxis are available and you will enjoy an exciting ride from the back seat!

Driving on the out of town highways throughout the country is less stressful and, provided you keep your wits about you, it should present few problems. Most traffic going south from Cairo uses a route running along the western shore of the Nile. In recent years a new road along the east bank of the river has been under construction. Although it too is a single lane road, it is less congested and currently it is passable from Cairo to Minya and from Asyut to Luxor.

It is not advisable to drive at night. Cars sometimes just stop on the road and turn out their lights. Donkey carts move very slowly and usually not seen until it is too late, and long distance taxis and overloaded trucks travel too fast.
Petrol stations can be found throughout the country, including Mobil, Esso and Shell offering full services with mini-markets. Fuel is inexpensive and sold by the litre. It is available in 90 octane (tisa'iin) which is super, or 80 (tamaniin), regular. 90 octane is better for most purposes.

Road signs are similar to those used throughout Europe and speed limits are posted on major highways. Driving is on the right-hand side of the road.

Car Hire - Car rental agencies exist at most major hotels. Foreigners must have an International Driver's License and be at least 25 years of age to rent a car in Egypt. Some agencies offer 4x4s, with or without a driver for desert travel. You will need your passport, driver's license, and pre-payment. Credit cards are accepted.

Desert Travel – A few common sense tips:

  • Bring a compass.
  • Check your car and be sure to have a good spare tyre.
  • Drive on loose sand as you would on snow. If your wheels get stuck in soft sand, put a rag under the back tires and move out slowly. If you spin your tires, you will sink deeper in the sand.
  • If your car breaks down along the road, don't abandon your vehicle. Wait for another vehicle to pass by - even in remote areas other people do pass by. However if you are on a desert track, hike to the nearest road and wait.
  • Have ample food, water, salt tablets, a hat and sunglasses.
  • Dehydration can sneak up on you in desert travel. In an emergency one teaspoon of salt and two tablespoons of sugar in a cup of water will revive you.
  • Cover your head and the back of your neck.
  • Top up your tank at every petrol station, as the next one may be hundreds of miles away. If your tank is small, carry a jerry can on long hauls eg.Dakhla to Farafrah (390 km/243 miles).

Rental Agencies

  • Avis, 16 Maamal el Sukkar, Garden City. Tel: 354-8698.
  • Bita, 15 Mahmud Bassiouni. Tel: 774-330, 753-130.
  • Budget, 5 Sh el Maqrizik, Zamalek. Tel: 340-0070, 340-9474; 85 Road 9, Maadi. Tel: 350-2724; 1 Sh Muhammad Ebeid, Heliopolis. Tel: 291-8244.
  • Max Rent-a-Car, 27 Sh Lubnan, Mohandeseen. Tel: 347-4712/3. Fax: 341-7123. Also for four-wheel drive vehicles with or without experienced desert drivers. Branch office in Sharm el Shaykh.
  • Sunshine Tours & Services, 106 Muhammad Farid. Tel: 760-559, 393-1955.
    Limousines are available for those who want to travel in style:
  • Bita Limousine Service, Gazirah Sheraton. Tel: 341-1333, 341-1555. Marriott Hotel. Tel: 340-8888.
  • Budget Limousine Service, Semiramis Intercontinental Hotel. Tel: 355-7171 x 8991.
  • Limousine Misr, 7 Aziz Bil-Lah, Zeitoun. Tel: 259-9813/4.
  • Egyptrav, Nile Hilton. Tel: 755-029, 766-548, 393-2644.

Distances between Cairo and other cities

City

Miles

Km

Alexandria (Delta Road)

140

225

Alexandria (Desert Road)

138

221

Damietta

119

191

Barrages

15

25

Minya

151

236

Asyut

224

359

Luxor

415

664

Esna

449

719

Edfu

484

775

Kom Ombo

521

835

Aswan

550

880

Port Said

137

220

Ismailia

87

140

Fayyum

64

103

Bharia Oasis

197

316

Farafra Oasis

262

420

Dakhla Oasis

413

690

Kharga Oasis

366

586

+Read more

Featured Property


Holiday Rentals in EgyptHoliday Rentals

Owners Direct is one of the UK's leading direct from owner rental websites and the first choice for holiday home owners who want a cost effective and easy way to fully book their properties.

Find out more Go

Can't find what you're looking for?

We're here to help in any way we can. Help me find it!
Search