If, like me, you are among those who love traveling by car and on the other hand do not want to go through the hassles of taking your own car through the borders, car rentals can be the best option for you. If your next stop is Iran and you are thinking about driving through Iran and renting a car in Iran, keep reading. For sure there are lots of questions wandering in your mind whose answers we are going to find out in a few minutes.
Is It Possible to Rent a Car in Iran at All?
Due to lots of wrong notions about this exciting country that might refer to its lack of development and being deserted, many might come up with this question. But the answer is, HEll YAH! I can assure you, despite what the media forces to project, what you will experience in this country is way beyond underdevelopment. So renting a car is an available option, FOR SURE.
Not only you can rent a car but also you will be provided with a wide range of options to choose from. There are lots of Iranian domestic cars to rent if you wish to try one. If not, there are many other international models you can drive through your travel. Multiple brands such as Hyundai, Toyota, KIA, Suzuki, Peugeot, and Renault are widely available. All cars are fully insured with unlimited mileage.
Skeptical About Renting a Car in Iran?
Before proceeding with more detailed car rental questions, let's see why you should put your doubt aside and go for car hire in Iran. If you like to be the BOSS, having a car through your travel can give you that. Just wait a minute and compare it to taking a flight, train, or bus. Indeed, to speak from experience, I can assure you there are lots of heavenly landscapes and awesome spots in every corner in Iran that you would miss if you are on board.
Sometimes you see a scene and need a minute or two to digest the jaw-dropping beauty you face on your way. But the flight, train or even the bus is not stopping to give you the chance.
Enjoying the scenery along the way is not the only thing. With your own car on the road, you can take a break whenever you want to, and as long as you wish. Moreover, you could drive at your own pace.
Above all, if you are looking forward to lowering your expenses, renting a car, and splitting the fare with your friends who are traveling with you, would be much more economical.
Is It Safe to Drive in Iran?
You might not find the streets as peaceful as the eastern European countries but definitely, Iran has become one of the safest and driver-friendliest countries in the middle east. As time goes on, the locals tend to be more patient and follow the rules. Of course, the extensive use of traffic cameras, well-maintained roads, and strict law enforcement play a significant role in this. That's why you can let your worries go and forget all about the terrible reputation for aggressiveness or anything you might have heard of. So if you are into driving, just go for the car rental.
Driving on major routes between the cities is a great experience due to their good condition. About driving in the cities such as Tehran or any big city, let me tell you, it might come with some traffic in the high season or even low season!! Anyway, they are big cities for god sake!! :)
What About the Signs? I Don't Know Persian?
Calm down! If you are asking this it means you are underestimating Iran and believing the false notions about it. Almost all major road signs and signals, especially those regarding major destinations, throughways, and cities all have English translations on the signs. Since English is the second most common language in Iran, you will easily be able to find your way no matter where you go.
How do I navigate Iran?
The following applications are the most widely used options for navigation throughout Iran: Google Maps iOS Android Free Waze (VPN Required) iOS Android Free Sygic Iran: GPS Navigation iOS Android $29.99 – $39.99 Google Maps is the most accessible and easy to use option. Waze will give you the best updates on traffic and road conditions. Sygic will give you the most up-to-date maps, even in rural and out of hand areas, and also provide excellent multi-lingual turn-by-turn navigation.
Is It Necessary to Have an International Driving Permit (IDP)?
If you are not planning on staying in Iran for more than 6 months An International Driving Permit is NOT required.
What Happens If the Police Pull Me Over?
The chances of you being pulled over by the police are as small as it is in your own country. Try to obey the regulations and everything will be fine. And in case the police pulled you over, all you need to do is hand over your driver’s license, passport, rental lease agreement, vehicle specifications.
In addition, Iranians are most known for their hospitality which is famous. It is true about Iranian police officers also.
What happens if I have an emergency?
I used TAP Persia's Car Rental and fortunately, I had no emergency. But they have 24 Hour Roadside Assistance that you can call in case of emergency. And they will have a tow truck sent to anywhere in Iran within 1-2 hours. And in case the car doesn't run, they will send a new car to you within 24 hours. Respective charges and rates do apply, of course.
Can I have a second or third driver?
As long as the original person whose name is on the contract is present, the driver is a trusted companion and has a valid driver’s license in their possession, your car insurance will allow a second or even third driver to operate the vehicle with no additional fees.
How many kilometers/miles can I travel?
Unlimited for our economy cars. As long as you stay within the borders of Iran, you are free to explore as much as possible. For non-economy cars it depends, some have a 300KM/day limit & some are unlimited.
How Can I Rent a Car in Iran?
The Official Documents
If you are older than 19 years old and you have a driving license, the rest would be a piece of cake. As I said, having an international driving license is not necessary. Your local driving license would do up to six months. Aside from your own driving license, you need to have a copy of your valid visa, passport, flight ticket, the specifications, and a copy of the valid lease agreement.
You Need to Pay Deposit
To rent a car in Iran you need to pay some deposit in advance. But it is refundable after you bring back the car. The deposit varies depending on the car you are renting. The amount might even differ from one car rental agency to another. To give you an approximate amount for car rental in Tehran, it's 250€ for economy cars and 500-900€ for luxury cars. Remember you need to pay in cash and after you return the car, they will give you back your money.
Of course, if you prefer not to pay in cash you can go for a Tourist Card which is the alternative to Visa and Mastercard in Iran. For swift, cashless transactions, the Iran Tourist Card is a prepaid Iran debit card under your name, accepted all across Iran, and instantly charged using competitive exchange rates. TAP Persia's Iran debit card made it easy for me. Even before I left for my trip to Iran I paid them with my Visa Card and then they delivered my tourist card to my hotel room with the exchanged amount of money (In Rials) I asked for.
Car Rental Fees
Exactly like deposit, Car rental fees might differ from agency to agency and sometimes from city to city. But what makes the big difference is the model of the car you are picking up. Depending on the agency you can have different options to choose from, economy cars and luxury cars. The fee is calculated per day.
A Total Look at the Pros and Cons of Car Rental in Iran
Although there are lots of good reasons to go for car hire in Iran, any decision comes with its pros and cons. So to make the final decision let's review what we talked about and add some more tips:
The Pros of Car Rental in Iran
- The Best thing about car rental is that you are in control. You start your car and hit the road any time you desire. And you can have as many stops as you want and go at your own pace.
- You can visit the sights on the road between the big cities.
- If you are traveling in a group of 2-4 rental cars it would be more economical since you can share the expenses.
- In case you are traveling with children, for sure you know having your own car would ease the process way more than traveling with public transportations.
- You need not worry about gas prices which are much lower than what it is in your own country. Gas prices in Iran are currently fixed at around 15 cents per Liter.
- The roads in Iran are well-maintained and you will enjoy your driving experience there.
- There are no mileage limitations in Iran. You can drive from south to north, west to east, and explore this mesmerizing country at your pace. And experience things that will always be part of you afterward.
- The car you rent in Iran comes with insurance that will calm your nerves and minimize any probable damage.
- Renting a car in Iran is easy. You do not even need an international license for up to six months.
- If you love driving and adventure, with the freedom that having a car gives you and the splendid spots in Iran to discover, you will not be able to take enough of the bliss you are in.
- The Iranian police are friendly and love to help you out if you need any.
The Cons Of Car Rental In Iran
- The driving culture is not as peaceful as the East European Countries. At first, you might find it a bit challenging but there is nothing to worry about. You just need to follow the rules and watch the road! :)
- The traffic in big cities can be the second downside that only requires your patience, especially on holidays and rush hours which are 7-9 Am and 5-9 PM.
To cut the long story short Car Rental in Iran would be a great option since it gives you the freedom and the chance to explore this amazing country on your own if you are that type of person!! If you are traveling with children it will be more comfortable. And if you are traveling with friends it would be more economical. In case you are going to rent a car, don't forget to ask the Iranian adventurers for the unique landscapes and sights to explore on your way between the big cities you are planning to visit.
There are different agencies you can rent your desired car from. I went with Tap Persia. And it was an amazingly simple process with these amazing people. Moreover, their 24/7 roadside assistance was really heartwarming and helpful.