What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

If you have the money, you do as the Qataris do and buy a Lotus or a Ferrari. Otherwise, bring or buy an SUV, though a standard sedan is fine for Doha commuting. And you're going to want a V6, as the smaller V4 engines have a tough time with the sweltering heat. The roads are pretty close what you'd find in the U.S., though they use an oil-based blacktop, so when it rains they get extremely slick.

Understand that it is essential to have a car here. You can't get around without one. Period. - May 2017

Whatever you want. SUVs rule the road here, but that's just because they're huge and it makes the drivers feel powerful, not because the roads are bad. There are plenty of sedans and sports cars zooming around too.

No problems with burglary and carjackings. (In fact, crime is so rare in Qatar that you often see unlocked running cars sitting idle in parking lots because the owner would like to keep the car cabin cool while they run into a store or restaurant. I've never seen anything like it.) - May 2017

any auto will work. major roads are good standard. but locals drive the largest vehicle they can find as fast as they can. so look for something safe. - May 2015

I recommend an SUV or crossover of some sort, partly so you don't get terrorized on the roads by all the massive SUVs they drive here and partly because the roads are in surprisingly poor condition. When there is construction (which is always) you'll often end up doing a bit of off-roading just to get through it. I wouldn't recommend a huge SUV, though (even though that's what all the Qataris drive...) because despite the fact that most cars here are very large, parking spots here are made for Smart cars. You can get cars here, but they are pretty expensive, especially SUVs. If you bring a car you'll have to get a few things outfitted to meet with local regulations (like install fire extinguishers). - Feb 2015

We bought a used SUV here. The expat auto market is robust and you can find what you need. SUVs are helpful as there is a lot of construction about. - Apr 2012

Don't bring any, you can buy Hummers, and maybe even bigger gas guzzlers here. - Mar 2012

I would recommend a large SUV, which is what most of the locals drive. People drive very aggressively here, and the bigger you are the more likely you are to get respect on the road. There are a lot of accidents, so a bigger car will probably give you more protection. You could get by with a sedan, but there are some nasty speedbumps on the side roads, so you'd want to have a decent clearance (no low-riders). - Mar 2012

You can't import a car that is more than five years old. We bought our car here as there is a robust expat auto market with all the comings and goings. We opted for a used Volvo SUV. Gas is ridiculously cheap, so don't worry about MPG. Expect some aggressive drivers! Opt for a safe car with high clearance. Lots of people drive BIG cars here. You will command more respect on the road if your vehicle is big, too. - Jan 2012

SUV's seem to be most convenient because the traffic is horrible and you'll feel crushed with a small car. - Jun 2011

Most everyone drives an SUV. It's not necessary, although the driving is horrible, so most people feel safe in them. Because of traffic, speeds are never very fast, and if they are it won't matter what car you are in if you get hit by one of the crazy Qatari drivers speeding down the street. SUVs are really only necessary if you plan on going to the desert. If you are bringing a car, be sure that there is a service center for that type of car. I can tell you that Nissan, Hyundai and Toyota are all fine. - Oct 2010

Bring a four-wheel drive with working A/C. Every car dealer imaginable is in Doha. It's quite possible to purchase your car here, either from a departing expat or directly from a dealership. - Dec 2009

The terrain here is pretty much flat and rocky, small rocks, boring rocks. There are no hills, no outcroppings, no trees, no bushes, no nothing. There are good roads. You should bring a car that is sturdy and can deal with the heat.a car with an excellent air conditioner. As much as I hate to ever recommend one, an SUV would be perfect. Not so much because you need the power or the capability, but so that you will survive the accident when a Qatari forces you off the road. An accident is a rite of passage here. - Sep 2008

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More