Renting a Car in Morocco
Rental cars are available at most, if not all, international airports in Morocco. The secret is that those big international rental companies are more expensive than local rental companies. You can pay up to twice as much for the same car.
Wherever you trip begins, try and find local companies that will rent to you. You can do this by searching on the Internet for local companies in the city of your origin. It is quite easy to find a list of companies, but some may not have a website or do answer inquiries very fast. All will have a telephone number, and that would be the fastest way to speak with someone about renting a car. Almost all will have a representative that speaks French, but English may be harder to find. However, it will save you a good amount of money if you put in the effort to find one of these.
The easiest way to rent a car
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Tips for renting car in Morocco
A few things to be mindful of (these are things that happened to me when I last rented a car):
- Even though you have a reservation, make sure the price is settled before hand and they know where you are going with the car. Some companies will add an extra 100 DH per day if you are taking it out of the city where it is being rented. This may be normal practice, but comes as a surprise when you show up to get the car.
- They will need a credit card to have on hold as security in case anything happens with the car. They usually put a hold or block on the card for a certain amount, which is sometimes upwards of 250,000-500,000 DM. Each company has their own policy, and they do not always mention it on the website or on the phone. Another option they may mention is to hold one person’s passport until the car is returned. Not a copy, but the actual passport. I do not recommend this, but it is an option.
- The amount of gas in the car when you leave the company is the amount of gas you should leave in the car when returned, but verify that before leaving.
- Most cars take diesel, very important to verify as well.
- Check the condition of the vehicle before signing the lease contract, do not hesitate to take pictures if necessary.
- Most of cars in Morocco are with manual transmission, particularly the small ones.
- Insurance contracts do not cover you if you leave the main roads (eg off road or in the desert).
- Request a blank copy of accident statement sheet in advance (called in french 'Constat à l'amiable').
- Make sure the company gives you insurance for the exact number of people that are in your party. Some companies will only insure up to five (5) people. This can be an issue if you want to travel with six people, and get pulled over. You will receive a ticket. Just speak with the company and verify your policy includes insurance for your total number of people.
- There are police checkpoints set up all over the country, don’t be intimidated by them. Just pull up slow, and smile. They usually let foreigners just drive through, or will ask where you are going and say have a good trip.
- Speed radars are used ALL over the country. They are not joking when a sign says, “Speed radar in use for the next 60KM.” They will pull you over and give you a ticket. Usually about 150 DM for speeding up to 14km over the limit.
- You must respect Moroccan speed limits : 60 Km/h in urban areas and 120 Km/h is the maximum speed limit on the motorway.
Requirements to drive in Morocco
The minimum age for driving in Morocco is 18 years, you can drive with your national driver licence for a maximum of one year, if you stay longer you must apply for a Moroccan driving licence.
In Morocco it is forbidden to drink and drive, also be careful when driving, traffic regulations are not always strictly observed.