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.