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Should You Rent a Car in Morocco? A Guide to Help You Decide

  • Post last modified:October 24, 2023
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  • Post category:Africa

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You may be wondering- should I rent a car in Morocco, or use public transportation? Well, we rented a car, and can tell you all of the ups and downs of what it's like to rent a car in Morocco.

There is no right or wrong choice here, but a matter of what kind of trip you are trying to have. We're going to let you know everything to expect, and the pros and cons of moving around with a car.

So without further ado, here is everything you need to know to rent a car in Morocco.

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How to Rent a Car in Morocco

When we made our reservation to rent a car in Morocco, it was super quick and easy. We flew into Tangier, and picked up our car with no issues. We paid exactly what was quoted on the website, without having a run around with extra charges. Now we can't say this is typical of all places in Morocco, but this was our experience.

We did read about stories of people trying to get ripped off with their rental, so we suggest going with a larger reputable company inside the airport.

Do I need an international driving permit to rent a car in Morocco?

In order to rent a car in Morocco you just need a valid drivers license, and credit card for a deposit (it doesn't need to be international). We suggest keeping the credit card the same as the driver to avoid any possible complications with the booking.

Here's a site that we use to book most of our rentals:

Is it Easy to Drive in Morocco?

In Morocco we had a true love-hate relationship with having a car. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to rent a car in Morocco.

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Road Conditions in Morocco

Road conditions were surprisingly good in Morocco. While we needed a 4x4 in many other countries that we've driven in, we were completely comfortable getting a small sudan here.

rent a car in Morocco

The road conditions in Morocco are great, so you won't need a 4x4.

Traffic in Morocco

The traffic in Morocco is pretty unpredictable, and can make drive times vary a ton. We would check during one time during the day and the drive time would be a couple of hours. Then we'd check later and it would double!

We would suggest putting this into consideration if you decide to rent a car in Morocco, as drive times can vary greatly.

The real problem with traffic though is when you get inside the cities. It can be a nightmare to try and drive once your'e inside any city center. This is due to a few different reasons really, which we'll explain next.

Pedestrian Only Areas

There is a special area of the city center that you will find in all cities in Morocco that are called "medinas". These are the cultural and historical centers that are made up completely of alleys. This means that the major highlights are rarely ever accessible by car.

Moroccan Medina

The medinas area large portion of the city centers, and are pedestrian only.

Careless Pedestrians

This was hands down the thing that drove us the most insane when we decided to rent a car in Morocco

There is zero regard for keeping basic pedestrian-vehicle rules in place. You will need to constantly keep your eyes peeled in all directions, as Moroccans simply walk wherever they want, whenever they want.

It's actually the craziest concept. They won't even acknowledge the existence of your car, as if cars didn't even exist! If you rent a car in Morocco make sure you are extra careful while driving in congested areas.

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Parking in Morocco

Parking in Morocco can be rather difficult, as any touristic point will likely have limited parking spots. It can be pretty unclear where you can and you can't park, and there are always people trying to get money from you to "watch your car".

We suggest putting your car in a paid lot at night to keep it safe. The expenses may add up, but it'll be well worth your peace of mind.

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Police Check Points

In Morocco there are random check points. They usually pop up along the highway coming up to larger cities. 

Being a foreigner, there are many police that will try to get money out of you. When we were in Mexico, this happened with every officer that stopped us. In Morocco, it happened with every other one pretty much. We suggest trying to brush up on your French so that they treat you better.

Also having rented a car in Senegal and driving in The Gambia, we can now look back and say it wasn't as bad as we thought. (This is because it was far worse in some of the other African countries). However, it is still an annoyance when you rent a car in Morocco and are a target for bribery.

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Is it Worth it to Rent a Car in Morocco? Pros & Cons for Renting a Car in Morocco

Now we want to let you know- despite everything we've written, there are definitely some perks to having a car! As well, there are some further things to keep in mind if you want to rent in Morocco. Here are some of the pros and cons.

Pros of Renting a Car in Morocco

Now let's focus on the good things that renting a car in Morocco brought us:

You Can Explore More

Morocco is a stunning country! There is such a wide variety of landscapes, and having a car really lets you see appreciate the diversity of the country.

There are also some really cool spots that we saw in Morocco that would've been a huge pain to get to if we didn't have a car.

landscapes in Morocco
canyon in Morocco
rent a car in Morocco- explore more

Having a car in Morocco allows you to explore the various landscapes.

It's More Comfortable to Rent a Car in Morocco

Temperatures can get pretty high in Morocco, and the look of the crowded buses definitely didn't seem very appealing. Having a car we were able to have the AC high, while not having to worry about holding tight to our belongings.

Additionally, if you are a woman you can dress however you want in the car without having people stare at you.

You Don't Have to Bargain with Taxis

Bargaining is an art in Morocco, and while it may be fun while shopping, it's definitely not when you want to get somewhere.

We didn't have to take any taxis since we decided to rent a car in Morocco. However, we did hear that a lot of taxi drivers try to take advantage of tourists.

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Cons of Renting a Car in Morocco

Here are the things that we didn't like so much about renting a car in Morocco.

You Become a Target

It's pretty obvious to Moroccans who is and who isn't a tourist. As soon as people see you have a car, they automatically assume you are rich (which of course isn't our case). 

Having a car makes you a target for locals trying to extort money from you. They will tell you that you need to pay them to park in public places, and if you ask directions they will insist you pay them.

We don't like to be rude, but we learned that if people run up to your car then it's best to smile and keep walking rather than engaging in conversation.

It Can Be More Expensive to Rent a Car in Morocco

Getting around Morocco can be pretty cheap. However, if you rent a car you will need to add the price of the rental, insurance, gas, parking, and potential bribery scams. This can add up to being quite a bit more than taking public transportation.

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It Can Be Frustrating to Drive in Morocco

Driving on the highways is a breeze. However, dodging pedestrians in the cities, and struggling to look for parking can add a bit of time and stress to your travels.

Other Things to Know If You Rent a Car in Morocco

We've got almost everything covered, but here are a few other things to keep in mind if you rent a car in Morocco.

Is Morocco Left or Right Driving?

Knowing the side that people drive in is super important! In Morocco they drive on the right side of the road. For us, this was super helpful! (We are from the Americas).

Most Cars in Morocco are Manual

Just like many countries in Europe, it is much more common to see manual cars than automatic cars. If you can't drive manual then we suggest filtering your search online, and following up with the company via email before arrival.

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Conclusion: Should You Rent a Car in Morocco?

We really think that there is no right or wrong answer here, but depending what kind of trip you are going to have! As well, it depends how well you can handle stress and chaos. 

If you don't perform well in chaotic situations, we don't think renting a car in Morocco is for you. As well, if you are planning to base yourself in just one or two cities, then this is probably not the best option for you.

However, if you are adventurous, and like to pack a lot of different places in your schedule, then it is definitely worth it to rent a car in Morocco.

rent a car in Morocco

Ready to rent a car in Morocco? Here is a site that we use to book our car rentals:

We hope this helped you decide whether or not you want to rent a car in Morocco! We also have plenty of other guides about what to expect in Morocco, how to stay safe, and unique destinations throughout the country.

Do you need help planning your trip to Morocco? We have our very own Travel Planning Services to save you money, time, and stress along at the way! Want to learn more? Take a look at the different travel planning services that we have.

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