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Car Rental in Kuwait: desert lands and oil fields at the top of the Persian Gulf
Kuwait, nestled at the top of the Persian Gulf, is a country rich on oil like many of the other Gulf countries, but it doesn’t advertise this wealth in the same way. Head to Kuwait for a less fairy-tale-like - or more inexpensive - excursion to the Arab Peninsula, and make sure you experience more than just Kuwait City! Book your rental car today to see Kuwait’s desert lands and oil fields as well.
Summers are fiercely hot in Kuwait, so the best time to visit is between November and April, when temperatures are more comfortable.
Arabic is the official language of Kuwait, with Modern Standard Arabic being the primary language for governmental operations and the Kuwait dialect dominating the rest of all linguistic interactions. However, English is also widely spoken, as many Kuwaitis received English instruction throughout their schooling. Road signs are in Arabic and English.
Kuwait is in the Arabia Time Zone, UTC+3.
Kuwait’s currency is the Kuwaiti dinar, the world’s highest valued currency, typically worth three times that of the American dollar. Only high-end restaurants and stores will accept credit cards, so take advantage of ubiquitous ATMs to keep cash on hand for all other transactions.
Automobile hire is available at multiple locations throughout Kuwait City, such as at numerous hotels and the Kuwait International Airport. You can also pick up a car at the Sheraton Hotel near Safat Square.
Kuwait International Airport is located about 20 km (12 mi) south of downtown Kuwait City. Bubyan Island is located 100 km (62 mi) northwest of Kuwait City, and the border to Saudi Arabia is just 100 km south of Kuwait City.
35 nationalities can receive on-arrival visas from Kuwait valid for three months for a small fee at their point of entry. All other nationalities will have to apply for a visa in advance of their departure, as the visa requires invitation from an individual, hotel, or Kuwait Airways office, and processing can take over a week. People who arrive with Israeli passports or Israeli stamps or visas marking their passports will be refused entry. Do not carry alcohol or pork products with you to Kuwait, as both are banned in the country and you can be fined for carrying them.
Driving in Kuwait
Kuwait’s road systems are well planned and well maintained, making navigating the major city and the country generally easy and enjoyable by personal car. Regardless, you need to be alert and to drive defensively in Kuwait City in particular, as the behavior of others on the road can be quite erratic. Getting out of town typically means you have wide highways almost to yourself, making the harrowing journey out of the city quite rewarding. Book your car today to make the most of your visit and see Kuwait beyond its metropolitan areas!
- Traffic proceeds on the right-hand side of the road throughout Kuwait.
- Speed enforcement is strict throughout Kuwait. Typical speed limits are 45 km/h (27 mph) in urban areas and 120 km/h (74 mph) on major highways. It is prudent not to speed like many of the locals do.
- Expect heavy traffic in Kuwait City during morning and evening rush hours.
- Parking in Kuwait City has become increasingly challenging over the years, so be sure to book a hotel that offers complementary off-street parking!
- An international driver’s permit will be required in addition to your valid domestic driver’s license for the car rental agency to procure you a temporary Kuwaiti driver’s license. This temporary license will be marked on your visa.
- If you get into an accident, you are prohibited from moving your car until the police arrive.
- The minimum driving age in Kuwait is 18 and there are no gender restrictions to who sits behind the steering wheel. In order to rent a car, you must be 18 years old and have a minimum of one year’s driving experience. You are likely to face young-driver surcharges until the age of 25.
Cheap Car Rental in Kuwait
Automobile hire in Kuwait typically starts at around $29 a day. Here are some of the best deals in Kuwait:
- Hyundai Accent or similar (economy class) – $20/day
- Chevrolet Cruze or similar (intermediate class) – $21/day
- Toyota Yaris or similar (economy class) – $31/day
- Hyundai Elantra or similar (economy class) – $32/day
- Kia Optima or similar (standard class) – $35/day
Note that prices vary depending on the availability of each specific car and the season in which you rent. For the most accurate offers, use the search bar above.
Tips for Renting a Car Inexpensively in Kuwait
Renting your car at the Kuwait International Airport is substantially cheaper than picking up a car at most other locations throughout Kuwait City. This is largely due to the airport’s numerous rental car agency options. ICR and Sixt routinely have very inexpensive cars available for hire.
There is no significant variation in price across seasons in Kuwait, but you can save a euro or two a day if you extend your rental contact over a week.