Female drivers in Saudi Arabia face much more restrictions than men
7 May 2018| Last updated on 8 May 2018
As the deadline for the ban on women drivers being lifted is slowly but surely coming closer, more laws and regulations are being announced in the Kingdom. The latest of these are the laws on female drivers in the Kingdom.
Firstly, if you have a female driver picking you up, you can be sure that she will be a Saudi national. The Kingdom has previously banned taxi companies from employing non-Saudis as drivers and the same will apply to women drivers. If a non-Saudi woman is caught acting as a driver they could face a fine of SAR 5,000!
The Public Transport Ministry has further also announced that female drivers are not allowed to transport single or groups of men. If they are transporting a family, the man and children are not allowed to sit in the front seat of the car.
Vehicles are also only allowed to be used for family transport if they meet specific criteria.
Criteria to use vehicles as a family car:
- Have at least seven seats
- Air conditioning
- Meet colour and appearance requirements
- Are not more than 5 years old
- Have a GPS tracker
- Have an ID screen and electronic payment machine
The last bylaw that female drivers need to be aware of is that they are not allowed to work in any other city than in the city in which their licence was issued. Companies such as Careem and Uber have promised to employ thousands of female drivers after the ban on female drivers have been lifted. They will however not be able to fulfil these promises if the necessary requirements aren’t met.
Fines for non-compliant cars:
- Female non-Saudi driver: SAR 5,000
- Providing transport to a group who does not include a female adult passenger: SAR 5,000
- Driving in a city other than the one in which their license was issued: SAR 5,00
- Having a male passenger or child sit in the front seat: SAR 2,000
The ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia will be lifted on July 24.