Members who wish to have rental cars while on AT/ADT must have authorization for a rental car on their orders. A reservation number for the rental car should be listed on the travel itinerary.
Check to make sure the vehicle insurance coverage ID card for your rental vehicle is not expired (the insurance coverage ID card is normally in the glove compartment). If its expired, tell the rental car agent you need a vehicle with a current, un-expired ID card. All service members renting a car will need an un-expired ID card in order to obtain a base vehicle pass. Also, if a member is apprehended by Bahrain Police and the rental car insurance coverage is expired, then the service member will have to pay 40 Bahrain Dinar summons (approx $107.00) which is not reimbursable.
Members will need a credit card to secure a rental car in Bahrain.
Carpooling is required if a group of Reservists from the same unit are on AT/ADT at the same time. Additional drivers may be added for a small fee.
Make sure you get the right size car (usually a compact). The expense for unauthorized upgrades is not reimbursable.
Obtain a pass for your rental car before driving into the base. Until you have the pass, the vehicle must be parked outside the base.
To get a pass, provide the security office inside the front walk-in gate with your military ID, rental agreement, vehicle insurance ID card (usually kept in the glove box) and your driver's license.
Speed limit in the base parking lot is 10 mph. At night, always approach the gate with parking lights only. Stop at the stop sign approx. 100 feet from gate and wait for the guard to motion you forward. Present vehicle pass and ID cards for all occupants.
Driving in Bahrain
Generally, driving is the same as in the US, but traffic signs are in both Arabic and English.
Gas is inexpensive and comes in two grades with Arabic names. Ask the rental car agent about the correct fuel for your rental car.
Driving is no more difficult than in any US medium size city. The only real difference is getting used to roundabouts. Always drive defensively and be extremely alert. Don't become aggressive if you encounter erratic driving behaviors.
If there is an altercation or accident, be courteous and patient. Call the local polic and report to the nearest police station ---- however, if there are any significant injuries or any undrivable vehicles, let the police know and be prepared to wait for a few hours for them to respond to the scene. An accident report will be filled out, and you may be required to pay up to 16 BD (Bahrain Dinar) immediately. Always carry this 16 BD on you while driving.
There is no right turn on red.
Never drink and drive. There is no legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level in Bahrain. Any evidence a driver has been drinking will result in charges for driving under the influence. This includes the smell of alcohol on your breath.
You will not be reimbursed for taxi fares.
Taxicabs are readily available throughout the island.
There is a radio dispatched taxi service that can be reached at 17-682-999. This service does use the meter, and appointments can be made.
If you choose to use a taxi service other than the Radio Meter Taxi service, be sure to negotiate a price before getting into the taxi. But beware because many drivers do not use their meters. Politely insist on the use of the meter unless you already agree to the proper fare.