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Driving and Public Transport

Kuwait - Driving and Public Transport

When visiting Kuwait it is necessary to ensure that you have an international driving license. If you are an American citizen it is possible to obtain a Kuwaiti drivers license but for this you will need to have your US license certified by the US embassy. This service costs 9KD and is available from the American Citizens Services department (consular section).

If you choose to drive in Kuwait you have to drive on the right hand side of the road. You must have your documents – including your license, any insurance documents and any rental agreement – with you at all times. If you are stopped by the police and you do not have them they can arrest you and you will stay at the police station until the documents are produced.

Driving is hazardous even though Kuwait has modern system of well lit and well looked after roads. Many Kuwaitis indulge in dangerous driving practices so you need to be aware of the behaviour of other drivers. There is also little control with few people paying attention to driving regulations. The high number of cars on the roads has led to accident levels being at their highest in recent years.

Public transport in Kuwait is good with three main companies servicing dozens of routes in every major city. Waiting times are very good with the least amount of time being 1 minute on the major routes. All bus services are equipped with air conditioning and you should be able to get a seat with few problems, but at peak times this is more difficult and taxis may be a better option when the buses are busiest.

Taxis in Kuwait are recognizable by the orange license plates and they can be hired by the day although it is advisable to sort out the fare before you travel. Most taxis have meters and you should tell the driver in advance that you want them to use the meter during the journey, otherwise you are leaving yourself open to unnecessarily high charges.

Car hire is available if you produce your international driving license. Car hire companies can arrange insurance for you. Companies that have a base in Kuwait include AVIS and Budget and car hire is a good way to see the country without having to worry about bus timetables or flagging down taxis. Purchasing a car in Kuwait is also possible if you are an expat who is going to be staying there for some time but it is not advised to import your own car, as the cost of this can be very high.

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