With breathtaking mountain roads, coastline sceneries, and epic viewpoints, renting a car in Morocco is a perfect way to explore beautiful Morocco. However, the hectic traffic and unwritten driving rules can be challenging for many drivers. So, the question is, shall you rent a car in Morocco? Or shall you consider hiring a private driver/using public transport?
In general, I always encourage travellers to rent a car in Morocco and discover the country independently. Your own vehicle offers comfort that most public transportation alternatives don’t provide. However, before advising rent a car in Morocco, I always ask these questions:
- are you an experienced driver and have driven in hectic traffic before?
- because of the long distances between cities, do you want to spend your holidays driving?
- are you confident enough driver ready to risk in traffic full of scooters, donkeys, horse carriages and pedestrians walking anywhere on the road like it’s their home?
Is it safe to rent a car in Morocco?
In general, driving rules in Morocco remain the same as everywhere else in the world – stop at the red light, let pedestrians pass the street, etc.; it’s just that in Morocco, these rules are rarely followed. The most hectic traffic in Morocco is in Marrakech and Casablanca cities. In Marrakech, you will encounter many scooters and bikes that don’t follow the rules and jump in front of you anywhere.
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In Casablanca, you will probably be stuck in never-ending traffic jams and rude drivers. Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco, with a total population of 4 mln people, as well as one of the largest and most important cities in Africa, both economically and demographically. Therefore, in Casa, people are always in a rush for work and commute daily. Opposite Morocco’s capital, Rabat are the north Tangier and the south coast towns Agadir and Essaouira, where driving is considerably easier and people tend to follow driving rules.
Regarding general driving and car safety, almost every Moroccan city street has its own guard (instead of on-street parking payment machines). He not only assists in parking your vehicle but also makes sure of the car’s safety. In Casablanca and Rabat, instead of the parking guys in many places, they implemented on-street parking payment machines. Most of the roads in Morocco are in good condition; only be aware of some mountain roads. I received some questions about robberies on the road, but in Morocco, it is not common; I have never heard of any accident like this.
You can read more about driving in Morocco culture in my article Driving in Morocco – a detailed guide for a safe road trip.
Driving license in Morocco
Most travellers can drive in Morocco with a driving license issued in Europe or elsewhere (it is not required to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) for Morocco.). No matter how long you stay in Morocco, as long as you are here legally as a tourist and leave every 3 months, you can always drive with your foreign driving license.
Renting a car in Morocco depends a lot on your driving experience. If you have only recently acquired your license, car rental outlets in Morocco will make it harder for you to rent a car or will ask you for a higher deposit.
How do you rent a car in Morocco?
Renting a car in Morocco is a simple process, like anywhere else. First, make sure you choose a good car rental company. You either rent a car in Morocco from an online international or a small local rental company.
The advantage of booking online in advance through international car rental websites is that you might have a better deal. International online rental companies have more vehicle rental deals and selections in various towns. However, local car rental companies can provide you with better rental deals and often better customer support, and it’s easier to reach representatives.
Each car rental company has its own policy, which is not always mentioned on the website. So I would suggest before deciding on what company to choose, ask these 2 important questions:
1. What kind of insurance is the company offering, and what to do in case of an accident
(very important while dealing with international online companies; also ask if their representative in Morocco speaks English; with local rental companies, best choose the English-speaking (if you don’t speak French) one and pay attention to how efficient the local car rental company in Morocco is replying to your questions).
2. What is the deposit policy, the amount and how long it takes to be released from your card; if it’s a local rental company and you don’t own a credit card, ask if they accept other forms of deposits.
3. Most important, pay attention how the rental car company representative is communicating, how fast he replies and how clear are the rental conditions.
When renting a car, take photos & videos of the vehicle at pickup and dropoff. Take the time to capture any pre-existing damage and nominate those in your rental agreement to avoid excessive charges. You can even inspect damages with your phone camera and have a video record of any scratch or other damage. Show these photos and videos to your rental agent and include them in the contract. Or, better, send it to a representative’s Whatsapp so that no one will accuse you of leaving scratches when you return the car.
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Car rental insurance in Morocco
When renting a car in Morocco, the car rental supplier provides basic insurance limited to covering liability, damage, and theft. Depending on the insurance conditions and the vehicle type, the insurance deductible can be up to even 1500 euros, which will be frozen (or held) on your credit card (as a deposit). If you need better insurance protection, I recommend purchasing additional insurance coverage from international insurance companies.
Car rental deposit
The deposit part is often confusing, so let me explain better. Like everywhere else, renting a car in Morocco requires a car insurance deposit that would be frozen on your credit card to rent a car. The rental agents consider the insurance deposit as a safeguard by the rental supplier in case of damage.
Car rental suppliers mainly use pre-authorisation to hold a security deposit from a card. Sometimes, the rental company can freeze a deposit of up to €1,000-2,000 on your bank card. When renting a car on location with a local company, it is often possible to arrange a smaller or cash deposit.
ROADS IN MOROCCO
The road infrastructure in Morocco is well-developed, and you can always choose toll highways when driving to the major cities. Going from Marrakech to Essaouira, you can take the ordinary road, which will be much slower, or the highway, which has a speed limit of 120km/h.
You can calculate the cost of the Moroccan sections of the toll motorways on this page adm.co.ma/fr/. For example, from Marrakech to Agadir, the highway costs 72 DH; from Tangier to Marrakech 217 DH, etc. You must pay for highway roads in the special toll booths at the entrance in cash or by card (accepts only Moroccan bank cards, otherwise, have cash).
SPEED LIMITS IN MOROCCO
The general speed limits in Morocco are:
60 km/h within urban areas.
100 km/h outside urban areas, including expressways (voie express).
120 km/h on highways (Autoroute).
Are you ready to drive a car in Morocco for your one-of-a-kind travel adventure? Let me know if this post was useful, and contact me if you need help planning your Morocco adventure.