Are there any special requirements for driving or hiring a car in Bahrain?
Seat Belt Laws
Seat belts are compulsory for the driver and must also be worn by the front seat passenger. However it is good practice to ensure all vehicle passengers wear a seat belt when travelling in Bahrain.
Drinking and Driving
It is against the law to drink and drive in Bahrain. The alcohol permitted in the blood stream is 0.0%. The advice really needs to be – not to drink at all when driving.
Must Have Documents
The following documents are compulsory and should be carried with you at all times when driving in Bahrain:
- A full UK driving licence
- International driving permit
||Type of Road
||On open roads
Minimum Driving Age
The minimum driving age for Bahrain is 18 years of age.
Safety Camera Warning Devices
On the Spot Fines
It is illegal to do the following in Bahrain and may result in on the spot fines:
- Transporting passengers in the boot/exterior part of the vehicle
- Driving a bike without a helmet
- Driving a vehicle without lights
- Careless Driving
- Using Dazzling lights
- Parking at night in dark places without lights on
- Driving a vehicle that makes excessive sounds or exhaust smoke
- Parking in designated disabled bays
Bahrain also imposes fines for any inappropriate stickers or advertisements placed on the vehicle that could be classes as going against public morals.
Child Safety Rules
Children under the age of 10 are not allowed to sit in the front seats and this can result in on the spot fines. Children also need to be in a child seat and must wear the safety belts.
Rules of the Road
- Drivers drive on the right hand side of the road
- Eating, drinking and smoking are prohibited when driving in Bahrain.
- If a driver flashes their lights, they will usually want to pass you in their vehicle.
- There are arrows painted on the lanes indicating possible ways to turn.
- At roundabouts drivers need to give way to any cars inside the roundabout.
There are many police radar speed checkpoints and set speed cameras in various locations throughout Bahrain. Therefore please be careful to follow the speed limit guidelines. Fines and prison sentences are given if speed limits are broken.
Using Mobile Phones when driving
It is illegal to use your phone when driving in Bahrain and according to the newest law any one who is caught using a mobile phone will pay a fine of 20 BD to 200 dinars. It is possible to use a hands-free set if you have one attached to your car.
It is not permitted to park on the road unless there is a marked bay
Motor Way Signs
Bahrain has a good motorway (highway) system and all signs are written in both Arabic and English.
A driver should always stop behind the white line at a red light. The majority of traffic lights are on main roads and highways. The highways have sensors behind the white line. Drivers should always stop at red traffic lights.
Be mindful of yellow markings on the road, as even on a green light the markings should not be crossed if the turn is blocked due to traffic.
The 26km King Fahd Causeway is a major road connecting Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The toll from Bahrain is 2 BD and 20 SAR from Saudi. The tolls are only for entering, not leaving the causeway.
What to do in an emergency
In the event of an emergency, drivers should dial 999. The number for the traffic police is 199.
If you are involved in an accident, drivers should try to get their vehicle off of the road and call the police. You will then be given directions to a place where you can report the details of the accident. This has to take place within 24 hours of the accident. If the matter was to involve legal proceedings, drivers should not leave Bahrain until the matter is resolved.
It is common practice in Bahrain for drivers to use a danger signal if there is the need for drivers to stop immediately or if there is a hazard ahead.
There are plenty of petrol stations located through out Bahrain. They have different opening hours dependent on their location, but you shouldn’t have too much difficulty finding a station and filling up your vehicle. The stations accept international credit cards.