Driving in Saudi Arabia

Driving in Saudi Arabia

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Saudi has a quite advanced public transport system yet many locals and expats prefer to drive around in their own vehicle. As a foreign expat you may experience a significant contrast between the road conditions of the kingdom and that of your home country. Driving in Saudi Arabia can be very intimidating. And navigating through the newfangled road signs may take you a while. 

The roads of the kingdom are often found with a huge number of speed bumps, some marked and the others not so much. It is always wise to drive mindfully to avoid crashes caused due to these unexpected bumps spread throughout the kingdom’s road maps. While Saudi’s main roads are very well paved when on off-road trips through the deserts, driving on the kingdom’s sand can be pretty hazardous. This is because there is a possibility of your vehicle getting stuck in loose sand. In such circumstances, it will be very difficult to get your vehicle back on track without the aid of a shovel, rope or external help from an individual. 

Family Compound in Riyadh
General Road Rules of the Kingdom
  • The legal driving age of the kingdom is 18.
  • It is made mandatory for the driver and the front-seat passenger to wear seat belts.
  • Overtaking should always take place from the left side.
  • Overtaking is prohibited in road areas with two solid lines.
  • When in a roundabout, it is necessary to give way to vehicles already on the roundabout.
Family Compound in Riyadh
Violations that might result in fine or penalty
  • Driving a non-registered vehicle on Saudi roads
  • Driving without driving permits
  • Driving vehicles without number plates
  • Reversing vehicle on a main road of the kingdom
  • Illegal parking or undesignated parking
  • Driving under the influence of intoxicants
  • Using mobile phones while driving
Family Compound in Riyadh
Useful tips driving around in Saudi Arabia
  • Police and army checkpoints are frequent on Saudi roads, so always have your license and necessary documents in hand 
  • There are speed cameras all over the roads, it is best to drive to the kingdom-regulated speed limits. 45km/h on urban freeways and roads, 80km/h on rural and 120-125km/h on Highways
  • Always choose the right lane when driving in the kingdom, this will help you drive at your own pace away from the fast-tracked drivers
  • It’s essential good practice to make use of your indicator lights. This will help in avoiding unexpected crashes while letting your fellow drivers know what your vehicle is about to do next.
  • Be attentive to road signs
  • Keep an eye out for tailgaters and undertakers on your rear-view mirrors

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