Every country has its own driving rules and different vehicle maintenance costs. In some countries, it is easier to manage driving and maintenance costs while in some, owning a vehicle and maintaining it can be counted as a luxury. Whether you are new to Saudi Arabia or whether you are new to driving in the kingdom, this article will help you with a lot of basic information to let you drive safely and cost effectively in the country. So, let’s get started.
Who can drive in Saudi Arabia?
The first and foremost condition to drive in Saudi Arabia is that you must be 18 or above in age. Initially women were not allowed to drive in the country but since 2018, they are also eligible to be drivers. The second condition is to have a driving license. Now you must be thinking that there would be conditions for driving license as well, you are partially right. Here is a list to the things you need to have a driving license in Saudi Arabia
- Pay a fee of SR400 in the bank for driving license
- Visit a driving school with required documents (Original residence permit “iqama”, photocopy of iqama, passport photocopy, four passport size photos)
- Complete the application form at the driving school in Arabic
- Take an eye test
- Submit a medical report with your blood group
- 3 hour driving learning class
- A computer test
- Finally the driving test (make sure you know how to drive)
You can use your previous driving license for three months if you carry a driving license issued in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, EU, USA, Bahrain, Oman and UAE.
Driving conditions in Saudi Arabia
One out of five people in Saudi Arabia owns a car which makes it obvious that embarking on a road with your own vehicle is going to be fun with a lot of traffic. But there are always good things and bad things. On one side there are traffic rules which are followed and the road curriculum is maintained but there is also the other side of it as well. A system containing digital cameras connected to the National Information Center of the Ministry of the Interior has been implemented on the roads recently to monitor and handle road accidents. But you must be thinking that these are the common facts and what’s so different about driving in Saudi Arabia? Well, here is a list of things that you should know before getting on the driving seat.
Driving hazards in Saudi Arabia
According to the 2009 Global Status Report on Road Safety from the World Health Organization (WHO), Saudi Arabia has one of the highest rates of road accidents worldwide. The majority of drivers have terrible driving practices, and accidents involving vehicles operated by children happen often.
Saudi roadways may be dangerous, with chasing and high-speed driving commonplace—even in the emergency lane. You could be blindly sent into the wilderness by a road reroute. Then there are also the dangers posed by nature, such as glaring sandstorms, flash floods, camels that prowl the dark roadways at night, and obviously, the sweltering hot weather. So, make sure you are ready for all of this before you take a start as a driver in the country. Do not forget to choose the right tires for the roadways in Saudi Arabia.