Driving in Doha
- General Information
- Purchasing Vehicles
- Leasing Vehicles
- Hiring a Driver
- Driver's Licenses
- Driving Guide
For most people in Qatar, cars are a necessity. Taxis and car services exist, but service can't keep up with demand, particularly at peak travel times during the day. For this reason, most people opt to get a car or a driver of their own.
That being said, driving in Doha can be challenging; it requires skill, patience, and self-control. Driving standards and road maintenance are not what many expatriate residents may be accustomed to. Traffic congestion and road rage incidents have increased as the population has grown.
The good news is that most people adjust to Doha driving conditions, and gasoline - sold by the liter - is very inexpensive compared to other countries, roughly US $.85 per gallon
If you plan on staying for more than a year, purchasing a car may be a good option, as the per-month cost is generally much cheaper than leasing the same vehicle, and the resale value of well-maintained cars in Doha is high.
Both new and used internationally known cars are available for sale from individuals and dealerships. Many models are not exactly the same but similar to those available in other countries, and depending on the model, prices can be higher compared to U.S. prices.
One source for used cars advertised by the Education City/expatriate community is a list serve called PAL. Please note that you will not be able to purchase a car until your residence permit is issued. This will give you some time to look around, talk to people, and decide which option is best for you.
If you choose to lease a car, insurance, regular maintenance, and repair are included in the leasing price. In addition, some leasing agents will come to the scene of an accident and handle relations with the police. They will also provide with a loaner vehicle if your car needs repair.
Some leasing companies allow you to lease by the month, so you may turn in your car over winter or summer breaks. Leasing prices generally begin at QR1800 and up. The FM Housing & Immigration services can supply you with contact information and price lists for several leasing agents around Doha.
An alternative to driving is to hire a personal driver to transport you around Doha. You may choose to use your own vehicle, or have the driver use their own. In some cases, Education City employees have hired personal drivers that they share with a fellow employee.
Transportation services are also widely available. These include Karwa Taxi (4458-8888) and Fox Limo (4462-2777).
Qatari driver's licenses are required of all drivers. You can get a temporary Qatari driver's license while waiting for you permanent residence permit. However, you are required to get a permanent driver's license as soon as your residence permit has been issued. You may find more information on obtaining a license here.