(Last updated on: 24/01/2022)
Are you planning a road trip around Jordan? Then this is the blog post for you. Driving in Jordan is one of the best ways to explore this beautiful country. There are incredible sites up and down the lands, from churches to castles to famous archaeological sites that demand attention as you pass through the area. So a road trip around the country is a fantastic way to travel. Here are 10 things you need to know before driving in Jordan!
The minimum age to drive in Jordan is 18
However, the minimum age to rent a car in Jordan is 25. So if you’re not a local – which is probably the case if you’re reading this blog post for advice about driving in the Jordan – then make sure you’re over 25 before you even think about trying to hire a car. Jordan is an incredible country and driving through it is a great way to see the sites. But you need to make sure you do it safely!
GOOD TO KNOW: to rent a car you need your passport, home country driving license and a credit card.
Use GPS while driving in Jordan
This goes for driving in any foreign country, really, but if you’re unfamiliar with the roads then you’ll need to use GPS. If you can get mobile internet on your smartphone then Google Maps will work just fine. If not, something like Maps.Me (which is free to download) offers offline maps as long as you plan your journey beforehand. Hopefully when renting a car in Jordan you will get one with built-in GPS, but this definitely isn’t a definite.
Every drive will take longer than expected
Whether you have planned your route beforehand or you’re going off the “arrival time” on your GPS system, bear in mind that the driving in Jordan always takes a lot longer than you think it will. This is for many reasons! The main one is that the country is so breathtakingly beautiful – and so full of hidden gems – that you are going to want to pull over constantly. A picnic by the side of the road in a desert? Of course! Stopping for that classic road trip shot in front of your car bonnet on an entirely empty road? Why not! There is so much incredible scenery in Jordan, that you’re bound to make plenty of stops and detours.
Not only will you be pulling over regularly, traffic and road conditions vary too. Some days it might just be really busy. There are potholes and poorly maintained roads while driving in Jordan, so you may find yourself going a little slower than you generally would. Safety first!
Police checks are common when driving in Jordan
So if it happens, don’t panic! They generally just want to check your papers, and sometimes they won’t even bother doing that. Have your passport, license and rental agreement/car registration to hand at all times when driving in Jordan and you’ll be absolutely fine.
The roads in Jordan aren’t lit at night
When driving in Jordan you should aim to be off the road before sunset. Once you’re outside of city areas, roads don’t have lighting. They do have sharp turns, potholes, and loose stones, however. These roads can be hard enough to navigate during the day, especially if it’s your first time driving in Jordan, so it’s worth finishing your day’s driving before it gets dark.
You don’t fill your own petrol tank
When stopping at a petrol (gas) station while driving in Jordan, don’t expect to fill your own tank. All of the petrol stations in Jordan – which can be few and far between in the south – have attendants. It’s always worth asking for a full tank. This saves confusion and, especially if you’re taking the King’s Highway, saves you running out of petrol before you reach the next station.
Beware of other drivers
You may be a cautious driver, but the locals probably won’t be. They don’t tend to indicate, and u-turns are common because of the way the roads are laid out. And the lanes don’t really mean anything. While there might be two official traffic lanes, you’ll have three or four lanes of cars winding in and out of each other as they try to get to where they need to be. Just keep your wits about you and concentrate on what’s going on outside your car windows.
Seatbelts are required at all times
When driving in Jordan, make sure you wear your seatbelt. And if you have passengers in your car, make sure they are wearing their’s too. Not only is it the law, it also ensures your (and their) safety while driving in a foreign country where the roads are likely different to those back home.
They drive on the right side of the road
This can be confusing. It’s good to know in advance that while driving in Jordan, you need to be on the right hand side of the road. If you currently live in a country that drives on the right (such as Canada, Brazil, Poland or the USA for example) then you’ll be used to it already. However, for those of you from the UK, Malaysia, the Isle of Man or Cyprus to name a few – it can take some getting used to!
Know your speed limits when driving in Jordan
There are different speed limits for different areas. These are as follows:
- Urban speed limit: 60 kph
- Rural speed limit: 80 kph
- Highway (motorway) speed limit: 120 kph
Don’t get caught out. Speed cameras and speed bumps are used across Jordan to control speeding.
So there are 10 things you need to know about driving in Jordan! It really is a brilliant way to spend time in the country, as you can really see SO much.