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See: Why hire a car in Bahrain ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

Hiring a car in any of the Gulf states is never for the fainthearted. Although the roads in this part of the world tend to be on the wider side of life, and many of them are brand spanking new, this region is also notorious for its astonishingly high accident rate, and naturally this puts off many visitors from wanting to drive at all.

Please note that is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Bahrain car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Bahrain is in car rental price band: 4/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Bahrain? 

Sometimes. Car rental is slightly cheaper than global averages.


Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Bahrain between the peak and the off peak season?

3/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 2/10

Non car score:3/10

Balance: 2

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -


Why? Visiting Bahrain using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Bahrain ?

Generally, we don’t advise any particularly strong reasons for wanting to hire a car in Bahrain.

Why not? Visiting Bahrain without a car

Why don't you need a car in Bahrain ?

In some other Gulf cities, it’s easier just to bite the bullet and get a rental car anyway, because trusting your faith in local taxi drivers might not be that much better either. However, in Manama we really don’t think there’s any need to get a hire car at all, because tiny Bahrain is also one most densely populated countries on the planet, and there really are very few places to drive to, unless you want to venture across the King Faisal Causeway into neighbouring Saudi Arabia, which is another matter altogether (and not easily done without going through a long visa process)!

For transfers to and from the main hotels in Manama, local buses and taxis are more than sufficient, and the same applies to travelling within the city.

Do you need a car in Bahrain? Therefore our Manama/Bahrain car advice is a strong no.

Ratings: How does Bahrain compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Bahrain? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Bahrain, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.

How does this compare if:

You are travelling:

Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc

Does car rental make sense on different budgets?



Do you need to hire a car in Bahrain? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Bahrain (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".

Should you rent a car in Bahrain? TBC

This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good. 

See global comparisons

Hiring | Driving | Parking

Trains | Buses | Local travel


Car hire basics:


Public transportation basics:


Regular bus services: YES

Coach (inter-city): YES

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):


As you start ....

Does Bahrain airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No






Has our advice for Bahrain car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 2

2019 - 3

2021 - 2

Average score - 2




Do you or don't you need a car in Bahrain ?