Tips for Expats Driving in Alexandria

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Alexandria.
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1. Understanding the Driving Culture

Driving in Alexandria, can be quite chaotic and challenging for foreigners. The traffic rules are not strictly adhered to, and the roads are often congested. It’s common to see drivers ignoring traffic lights, not using indicators, and overtaking from any side. Therefore, it’s essential to be extremely cautious and patient while driving.

2. Recommended Car Type

Given the road conditions and traffic congestion, a small, compact car is recommended for driving in Alexandria. It’s easier to navigate through the traffic and find parking spaces. However, if you plan to travel outside the city, an SUV might be a better option due to the rough terrains.

3. Parking Situation

Finding parking in Alexandria can be difficult, especially in the city center and during peak hours. While there are some paid parking lots, they are often full. Street parking is common, but it can be challenging to find a spot. Parking is not overly expensive, but it’s advisable to always have some change handy for parking fees.

4. Driving with an International License

Foreigners can drive in Egypt with an international driving license for up to six months. After that, they are required to obtain an Egyptian driving license. It’s important to always carry your driving license, passport, and car registration documents while driving.

5. Obtaining an Egyptian Driving License

To get an Egyptian driving license, you need to apply at the Traffic Department. The process involves submitting the required documents, including your passport, residence permit, and a health certificate proving you are fit to drive. You will also need to pass a driving test. It’s advisable to hire a local translator or guide to help you with the process as it can be quite complicated and time-consuming.

6. Safety Measures

Always wear your seatbelt and ensure all passengers do the same. Avoid driving at night if possible, as many roads are not well-lit. Keep your doors locked and windows up, especially in congested areas. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid confrontations with aggressive drivers.

7. Car Insurance

Ensure you have comprehensive car insurance that covers all potential risks. This is not only a legal requirement but also a necessity given the driving conditions in Alexandria.

8. Roadside Assistance

It’s advisable to have a contact for roadside assistance in case of emergencies. Many insurance companies offer this service as part of their packages.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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