published by Rentalcars1.com on Apr 27, 2020
Renting a car in Morocco and driving yourself is a great way to experience this beautiful country. But there are a few things you should know before you embark on a road trip.
When Anna and I were planning our first trip to Morocco together, we were initially hesitant about renting a car to explore the country by ourselves.
Morocco has a bit of a reputation for crazy driving (and drivers!).
But the more we researched, the more we realized renting a car in Morocco wouldn’t be as difficult as we thought, plus it would save us a lot of money.
We love the freedom of road trips and planning our own travel itineraries. Morocco is such a diverse country that it made sense to rent a car so we could stop anywhere exploring local villages, mountains, and deserts at our own pace.
Here are some important tips we learned from our experience renting a car in Morocco, to help you save money and stay safe while driving around the country!
Table of Contents
What To Know Before Renting A Car In Morocco
Should You Rent A Car In Morocco?
Hey, if you’re a fan of bus tours, by all means, go book one. It’s a decent way to see Morocco if you don’t have a lot of time.
No planning, no driving, just sit back and let someone else do all the work!
But if you’re like me, you prefer the challenge of independent travel.
True adventure, with no set schedule or timetable. Driving around Morocco with the freedom to stop anywhere fun you happen to find along the way.
If that’s the kind of traveler you are, renting a car in Morocco is the way to go!
Just keep in mind that driving times in Morocco can be longer then Google tells you. It helps if you have someone else to split the driving with.
Another nice thing about having a car was the ability to store things in the trunk, so you can explore cities with small daypacks rather than lugging around a giant backpack or suitcase.
Where To Rent Your Car In Morocco
The best site to book your car is rentalcars1.com. They search both local and international car rental companies to help you find the best possible price. This is the easiest way to rent a car in Morocco.
We rented our car from the popular city of Marrakech, taking a Southern road trip route towards Ouarzazate before heading on to Merzouga and the Sahara desert.
From the desert we drove North to the blue city of Chefchaouen for a few days, finally ending in Fez where we dropped off the car and flew out of the country. However, there are many different types of routes you can take.
Car Rental Insurance In Morocco
Some of the rumors about driving in Morocco are true, and people can drive crazy here. That’s why I highly recommend getting full insurance coverage.
Typically, rental cars in Morocco come with a basic Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), but this isn’t exactly insurance, and only covers the car for up to 10,000 dirhams ($1000 USD) worth of damage.
While you can often save money if you book your car with a credit card that includes car rental insurance, you REALLY need to read the fine print, because many people wrongly assume their card covers them in Morocco.
If you get in a wreck driving in Morocco, declined full coverage, and you suddenly learn your credit card doesn’t actually cover the damage — you’re screwed. I can’t tell you how many travel horror stories I’ve heard like this…
It’s why I usually pre-book full coverage online for about $9 a day. It’s cheaper than at the counter — and then you won’t have to worry about accidents at all!
How Much Does It Cost To Rent A Car In Morocco?
Renting a car in Morocco is going to cost you around $25-$40 USD a day, depending on the type of car you get. Our 4 door sedan was about $30 per day.
I recommend renting a car with an actual trunk (no hatchbacks) to hide your luggage from prying eyes. It helps prevent break-ins if thieves can’t see your stuff.
Gas (petrol) prices in Morocco might seem cheap to Americans, but remember that the rest of the world quotes gas in Liters, not Gallons (1 Gallon = 3.78 Liters).
Currently, gas costs about $4 per gallon in Morocco. Remember that diesel cars are often cheaper in gas consumption than regular gasoline too.
Age Requirements For Renting A Car
The minimum age for driving in Morocco is 18 years old, however most car rental companies enforce their own age limit of 21 years old to rent a car.
Moroccan Driving Laws Tourists Should Know
The speed limits in Morocco are generally 60 kph in urban areas and 120 kph on highways. Police speed traps are very common, so pay attention to your speed.
I was actually pulled over for speeding during our road trip outside Ouarzazate, but they let me go after paying a small “fine” (bribe?) of 150 dirhams (about $15 USD).
You might also encounter the occasional police roadblock, but often they just wave tourists through. Or they’ll simply ask you where you’re headed.
Moroccans drive on the right side of the road, just like in the United States. So you shouldn’t have any issues there (unless you’re British!).
International Driver’s License
No, you do not need an international driver’s license to drive in Morocco or rent a car there. Just bring your passport, credit card, and your driver’s license from your home country.
Tips For Driving In Morocco
Learn how to navigate the roundabout! Morocco is full of roundabouts rather than stoplights, and if you’re new to them, you might piss off the locals or get in a fender-bender.
Road traffic in Morocco comes in all types, sizes, and species! Be prepared to dodge scooters, over-filled trucks, buses, bicycles, donkeys, sheep, camels, pedestrians, and more. It can be mayhem at times, especially in the cities.
Honking your horn in Morocco is a form of everyday communication. It means all sorts of things, not just “get out of my way!” Honk to thank people for letting you pass, or to encourage camels to cross the road. Don’t be afraid of your horn!
Avoid driving your rental car at night in Morocco. Street lighting is minimal, and road markings can be too. Not to mention people or animals suddenly appearing in the middle of the road.
Many Moroccans will use their turn signals to let you know when it’s safe to pass them. For example, a big slow moving truck going uphill. They’ll hit their blinkers when the road is clear ahead, so you don’t have to guess.
Advice For Renting A Car In Morocco
- Don’t book a car without reading the company reviews. You’ll find plenty of bad reviews for every company (people love to complain online), but try to pick one with the LEAST bad reviews.
- You may not always get the make/model/type of car you booked. If they give you a smaller car, or a manual when you asked for an automatic, be pushy and ask for an upgrade.
- Beware of mysterious “cleaning fee” hidden charges. If it’s not in your contract, you don’t have to pay it.
- English is not spoken widely. You’ll have an easier time if you speak some French or Arabic. Communication isn’t impossible, but be patient.
- Inspect your car thoroughly and record video on your smartphone pointing out damage before you leave. This is a backup if they try to charge you for damage that was already there.
- Pay special attention to the interior too. A common rental car scam is getting charged for “cigarette burns” on the seats — that they conveniently “forget” to mark on the original damage form.
- Make sure your tank is full before you leave. Some car rental companies in Morocco will start you with an empty gas tank, forcing you to fill up immediately.
- Use Google Maps on your smartphone for directions. Bring your own hands-free adapter and buy a Moroccan SIM card at the airport.
Enjoy Your Moroccan Road Trip!
Exploring the small villages, hidden canyons, colorful mountains, and vast deserts of Morocco in a rental car was definitely the right choice for us.
Self-drive road trips get off the beaten track to see things most people miss! ★