Can I rent a car while on Umrah? Best Tips for Driving in Saudi

Can I rent a car while on Umrah? Best Tips for Driving in Saudi

When arriving in Makkah with all-inclusive Umrah packages transportation needs to be efficiently managed by a pilgrim. Prebooking your transportation will not only save you time and money but also ensure peace of mind as you’ve everything arranged beforehand.

If your Umrah travel plans primarily involve traveling between Jeddah, Makkah, and Medinah, it is advisable to rely on public transportation and taxi services in the kingdom. Renting a car for your pilgrimage not only is expensive but also causes hassles for you let it be in terms of driving rules and traffic there or limited parking in the holy cities. 

So, here’s everything you need to know about renting a car while on Umrah.

Renting a Car during Umrah.

Renting a car in Makkah for your daily commute and exploring places outside the city (if your visa allows for it) might not be worth the hassles caused by potential parking issues and traffic. Yet, if you want, you can easily rent a car if you fulfil the eligibility criteria for it.  

It offers you the ability to create your itinerary and navigate less congested areas.

Car Rental Tips for Umrah in Saudi Arabia.

  • Get car hire excess insurance: Secure insurance from a third party for better rates.
  • Use navigation apps: Utilize navigation tools like Google Maps to navigate routes effectively.
  • Stay calm and follow rules: Maintain a positive and calm attitude when driving in the region. Avoid chaotic/rash driving by adhering to the speed limits and driving rules.
  • Possess your travel documents: When driving a car during your Umrah visit to the region, you must possess all of your travel documents to verify your identity. In addition, carry your valid international driver’s license and car registration to avoid any inconveniences. 

Can Women Rent a Car and Drive in Saudi Arabia?

Yes, women can now rent a car and drive in Saudi Arabia during Umrah following changes in rules under the Saudi Vision 2030 plan. The Kingdom now allows women to drive, offering them the flexibility to rent cars. 

Popular car rental companies.

The popular car rental companies in Saudia Arabia that you can utilize include;

  • Hertz.
  • Final rentals.
  • Skyscanner Rental.
  • Avis.
  • Europcar Saudi Arabia.
  • Lumi.
  • Budget Rent a Car.
  • Key car rental.
  • In addition, you can hire local rental agents for your needs.

Best tips for driving in Saudi.

Get Proper Documentation.

Before you start driving in Saudi Arabia with a rental car during Umrah, you must gather all of the necessary paperwork required for it. Such as;

  • Your travel documents i.e. passport, visa, etc.
  • A valid international driver’s license. 
  • Car registration and/or the documentation provided to you by the rental company.

If you don’t possess any one of these things, don’t drive there.

Follow the Speed Limits.

  • The speed limit observed in the urban areas is nearly 45 km/h while the highway speeds can range from 80 km/h to 120 km/h. 
  • Be mindful of the surveillance tools installed by the authorities there including cameras and radar sensors.
  • Anyone violating the speed limits can get fined with an amount of 300 SAR to 900 SAR while repeated offences lead to imprisonment and legal prosecutions.  

Choose the Right Lane.

  • While driving in Saudi Arabia, drivers must stick to the right lane on a two-way road. 
  • Slower drivers should use the extreme right lane for driving. 
  • Be careful whenever entering or exiting the road and use indicators as required. 

Obery the Traffic Rule.

  • Wear seat belts while driving.
  • Avoid using a cell phone.
  • Don’t eat or drink anything while driving.
  • Adjust your mirrors before you begin driving.
  • Give Right of Way.
  • Respect Pedestrians.
  • Keep a Safe Following Distance.
  • Use Headlights at Night and avoid turning on high beams unless really necessary.
  • If you have a weak eyesight, wear anti-glare glasses while driving at night.

In short, it is permissible for the pilgrims to rent a car and drive during their pilgrimage travel to the region hired through an Umrah travel agency.