Iran has been a pioneer in the road transport infrastructure in the Middle East, and many intra-city and intercity highways with high standards of safety have been built, and all the urban passageways have been secure with traffic signs, lighting, and curbs. But the point is that all these infrastructures did not make driving in Iran ideal. Although Iranian people are well-known for their rich culture, hospitality and kindness, these qualities are completely lost when they are behind the wheel of the car, and driving can be considered one of the negative sides of Iranians. Although in recent years the traffic culture in Iran has risen, especially in a city like Tehran, but in many cases, lawlessness and high-risk behavior can still be seen.
Another interesting point is the high number of white cars in Iran. This will make the production of cars cheaper, and if damaged they would be easier to fix. People prefer white cars more as well. Black and red cars are seen quite a lot on the streets too. Most of the cars in Iran are from Iranian companies such as Iran Khodro and Saipa, which were manufactured in collaboration with Peugeot and Renault, but the number of luxury cars in Tehran is not small at all.
Traffic in Iran
The volume of traffic and number of cars in Tehran, a city that is larger than New York, is not surprising, the likes of which can been seen in cities such as Bangkok, Istanbul, Los Angeles, Moscow, and other high traffic cities. The difference is that in Tehran the driving condition is kind of like video games and cannot really be controlled.
In some of the large cities of Iran, especially Tehran, if you go out on the street in the peak hours of traffic, you will have to stay in traffic for hours, so make sure before you exit the hotel or your residence to check the traffic via Google maps or other software.
Driving License in Iran
If you hold an international driving license then you can easily drive in Iran as well, but if you hold a driving license that was issued in a one of the 60 countries with which Iran is in agreement then you can change that into an Iranian driving license, provided you have the required documents.
- A copy of the confirmation of your driving license from the issuing country’s embassy, and then Iran’s foreign affairs ministry.
- Official translation of your driving license which has been approved by the office of approving translated documents in the judicial branch (technical office of judicature). (translation of the issuing country’s embassy with the embassy stamp and then confirmation of the foreign affairs ministry is also acceptable).
- Holding the confirmation of the residence letter (residence for at least one year) from the immigration police and passport office of the police (if the residence is mentioned in the passport) or the security and information police.
- Three 3*4 pictures full-faced (notice: the pictures should have a white background, and not be one of those urgent photos).
- Certificate of physical and mental health from the approved places by the traffic police.
Renting a Car for Driving in Iran
As we already said in earlier topics, road transportation is the best way of intercity transfer in Iran, and it would be even better if you sit behind the wheel yourself, so that you may travel to where you want to go with ease and sort of save on costs, since fuel cost is low. Especially if there are more than two people in your party. However, a couple of pointers will be touched upon in the following topics.
To rent a car you will have to have ID, equivalent driving license, or international license on you. And you will need to leave an amount of money as deposit.
Navran is one of the best Iranian companies in the field of renting cars.
Usually the time allotted for rented personal cars is 3 day, but you can find companies that rent out cars for less amount of time than that.
Car insurance is one of the things that you need to make sure of, in Iran third party insurance, vehicle insurance, passenger insurance, are among the most important things, of which you have to be sure, and have them on you while driving.
Tourists can reserve their choice car via phone car, Whatsapp, email and also online, without having to pay anything upfront.
You can receive your rented car at the airport, to do so many car rental companies will ask for your flight number, and on the exact time of your arrival will send someone with a placard that has your name on it to the airport.
When choosing your car, make sure the car is not old, and that it has been manufactured recently, so that the possibility of breaking down is minimal, but if it happened that your rented car broke down, most rental car companies have support services or have agreements with car assistance services and are ready to provide services to you in all the roads. Therefore, by choosing your car carefully you can make sure that your car doesn’t break down while driving.
Parking Situation in Iran
Parking in Iran can be divided in three categories, free parking on the side of roads and alleys, paid parking on the street, and finally public parking lots.
Free Parking: in metropolises of Iran, parking is one of the biggest issues, especially near tourist attractions that are usually in the older parts of the city and that are heavily crowded and parking space is like a rare jewel. We do not recommend that you be hopeful to find a free parking space in cities like Isfahan, Tehran, and Shiraz.
Public Parking Lots: in large cities of Iran, there are many public parking lots, and you are directed toward them especially in crowded neighborhoods with blue signs and are usually cheap. These parking lots are sometimes government owned and sometimes private which has a great effect on the price, but except in Tehran, the cost of parking is so low that it should not make you want to change your travel budget. The best city with respect to existence of such parking lots is Isfahan, which has had a very well performance regarding the number of these lots and direction toward them. After parking your car you can use bike stations to get around the neighborhood. Sometimes these stations are in the parking lots themselves.
Paid Parking on the Street: sometimes on the streets and especially main passageways of the city, there are parking meters and you can use them by paying for them digitally, but before doing so you should get a parking meter card. In some cities, cars that are parked in these areas but have not used parking meters are fined in a mechanized way.