Umrah in the most favourite month of the year aka Ramadan is starting and with it all the questions about how to do a DIY Umrah and whether you can rent a car. I had never covered this topic before so I thought I might as well do a post on it for you guys.
Transport options unless you are with a group can seem daunting to many pilgrims. It would be much easier just to rent a car and drive from Jeddah.
First I would like to say that it is not as difficult to transport yourself from Jeddah to Makkah and Medinah, make sure you read the post on how to plan this when you are on a DIY Umrah.
Now if you still want to travel by car, let me take a moment to try and convince you otherwise. Saudi drivers expats or locals drive crazy! I have driven in several “crazy” cities, but honestly, I don’t think I would like to drive there. Seriously, think twice.
Back to the question…
Can you rent a car while on Umrah?
The short answer is no! People on Umrah and Hajj visas cannot rent a car as well as women since they are not allowed to drive in the country.
Here is a copy of what it says on the Budget rental for Saudi Arabia
This makes sense, Saudi has approximately 5-8 million pilgrims every year for Umrah and Hajj, the roads are already congested, there is no way you can accommodate so many people. Also, it comes down to a safety issue and managing crowds. You cannot hand a car to every one of them, no matter how good of a driver you believe you are/
So, although it would be much easier to rent a car and drive yourself I totally agree with this not being an option for pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.