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An Essential Guide to Rent a Car and Driving in Morocco
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Published in Driving Tips Category.

Driving in Morocco is one of the best ways to explore its stunning landscapes, vibrant cities, and rich cultural heritage. Renting a car in Morocco is the only option that gives you the freedom to travel at your own flow, discover hidden gems, and experience the country in a unique way.

Do you also want to visit Morocco’s top destinations by rental car? This guide will walk you through everything you need about car rental and driving in Morocco, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable journey.

Why Should You Rent a Car to Explore Morocco?

Car rental in Morocco provides flexibility, comfort, and easy access to off-the-beaten-path destinations. Here's why you should consider renting a car as a tourist in Morocco:

1. Flexibility and Freedom

The rental of a vehicle allows you to explore at your tempo. The freedom to choose the location and length of your visit frees you from constraints imposed by bus or train schedules.

For instance, you are traveling from Marrakech to the coastal city of Essaouira. You can pause along the route to enjoy the breathtaking scenery, participate in a picnic, or explore the local markets. You can make spontaneous visits when you have a vehicle.

2. Access to Remote Areas

Morocco is full of hidden stunning places often inaccessible by public transport. A rental car allows you to reach remote villages, breathtaking landscapes, and less-visited attractions.

The Atlas Mountains, the Sahara Desert, and coastal towns like Asilah are more easily explored by car. For instance, the drive from Marrakech to the village of Imlil, the gateway to Toubkal National Park, takes about 1.5 hours by car but is not directly reachable by public transport.

3. Comfort and Convenience

Traveling by car can be more comfortable, especially with family or friends. You can carry your luggage without hassle and don't have to worry about crowded buses or trains.

A road trip through Morocco can be much more enjoyable in an air-conditioned car, especially during the hot summer months. You can store your gear for a day at the beach or a hike in the mountains without the inconvenience of carrying everything with you.

4. Time Efficiency

Driving can save you time, allowing you to see more during your trip. Public transport can be slow and infrequent, especially in rural areas.

The distance between Marrakech and the Sahara Desert town of Merzouga is around 560 km (about 348 miles). By car, the journey takes about 9 hours, whereas using buses or trains could take significantly longer and may require multiple transfers.

5. Scenic Routes and Spectacular Views

Morocco offers some of the most beautiful drives in the world, with breathtaking landscapes at every turn. Renting a car allows you to take scenic routes and stop whenever you want to take in the views.

A drive through the High Atlas Mountains offers stunning views of snow-capped peaks, traditional Berber villages, and lush valleys. One of the highlights is the Tizi n'Tichka Pass, at 2,260 meters (7,410 feet) above sea level.

6. Affordability

Renting a car in Morocco is often affordable, especially if you book in advance. The cost can be comparable to, or even cheaper than, buying multiple bus or train tickets for a family.

Car rental prices in Morocco can start as low as $20-30 per day, depending on the type of car and the rental company. This cost can be shared among travelers, making it a cost-effective option.

7. Exploring Off-the-Beaten-Path Destinations

Many of Morocco’s best experiences are found off the main tourist trail. With a rental car, you can visit lesser-known sites that tour buses don't reach.

The blue city of Chefchaouen, nestled in the Rif Mountains, is easier to visit by car. Public transport options to this picturesque town are limited and can be time-consuming.

8. Personalized Itinerary

With your own fleet, you can create a personalized itinerary tailored to your interests and preferences. You can focus on the places and activities that matter most to you.

If you're a fan of hiking, plan a trip that includes stops at various trails in the Atlas Mountains. You can drive along the Atlantic coast and visit multiple seaside towns if you prefer the beach.

9. Safety and Security

Traveling by car can offer excellent safety and security, especially compared to crowded public transportation. You have control over your environment and can avoid potentially risky situations.

Requirements for Renting a Car in Morocco

Before hitting the road, it’s essential to understand the requirements for renting a car in Morocco:

Driver’s License: You’ll need a valid driver’s license from your home country. An International Driving Permit (IDP) is recommended, although not mandatory for short-term rentals.

Age: Most rental companies require drivers to be at least 21 years old, with some companies setting the minimum age at 23 or 25. Drivers under 25 may incur a young driver surcharge.

Credit Card: A major credit card is usually required for the car rental deposit. Ensure that your card has sufficient funds to cover the deposit amount.

Insurance: Basic insurance is typically included in the rental price, but it’s advisable to consider additional coverage for better protection.

Choosing the Right Rental Car

Selecting the right vehicle for your Moroccan adventure depends on several factors:

Type of Trip: A compact car is ideal for city driving, while a 4x4 or SUV is recommended for desert excursions or mountainous terrain.

Group Size: Consider the number of passengers and luggage space required.

Transmission: Most rental cars in Morocco have manual transmissions. If you prefer an automatic, make sure to book in advance, as they are rare.

Major Cities to Rent a Car in Morocco?

1. Marrakech

Marrakech is a top tourist destination, and renting a car here is easy. Rental agencies are located at Marrakech Menara Airport and throughout the city. Renting a car at the airport can save you time and hassle, especially if you want to start your journey immediately.

2. Casablanca

As Morocco’s largest city and economic hub, Casablanca offers numerous car rental options. You can hire a car at Mohammed V International Airport and various locations within the city.

Renting a car in Casablanca allows you to explore the city and nearby attractions, such as Rabat and the Atlantic coast.

3. Fes

Fes, known for its historic Medina, is another city with good car rental options. You can rent a car at Fes-Saïss Airport and several spots in the city. Having a car in Fes lets you explore the surrounding countryside and other historical sites.

4. Agadir

Agadir, known for its beaches, has several rental options. You can find reputable car rentals like Finalrentals at Agadir Al Massira Airport and other city locations. Renting a car in Agadir allows you to explore nearby attractions like Paradise Valley and the Souss-Massa National Park.

5. Tangier

Tangier is a gateway between Europe and Africa at the northern tip of Morocco. Hiring a car at Tangier Ibn Battuta Airport and city spots lets you easily explore the Rif Mountains and coastal towns.

6. Essaouira

Essaouira, a coastal town with a relaxed vibe, also offers rental options. A car rental in Essaouira is perfect for exploring the coastline and nearby beaches.

Tips for Renting a Car in Morocco

Here are some essential tips to help you make the most of your car rental experience in Morocco.

Book in Advance

Booking in advance can save you money and ensure you get the vehicle you want, especially during peak tourist seasons. If you plan to visit during the summer (June to August), booking your rental car a few months ahead is best. Due to high demand, rental prices can increase significantly closer to your travel dates.

Compare Prices

Renting a compact car with an international brand might cost around $30 per day, but a local agency might offer it for $25 per day. Different rental companies offer various rates and packages. Comparing prices on Finalrentals can help you find the best deal.

Understand Insurance Options

Understanding rental car insurance coverage can help you avoid unexpected costs in case of an accident or damage. Basic insurance is usually included in the car rental cost, but this may only cover damage to third parties. For comprehensive coverage, consider additional theft, damage, and liability insurance. Additional coverage might cost an extra $10-15 per day but can save you hundreds of dollars in case of an incident.

Inspect the Car Before You Leave

Inspecting the car for pre-existing damage can prevent disputes when you return the rental vehicle. Take photos or videos of the car, focusing on scratches, dents, or other damages. Ensure that these are noted in the rental agreement. A scratch repair can cost up to $100, which you might be liable for if the damage wasn't documented beforehand.

Know the Fuel Policy

Some companies provide a full-to-full policy, requiring you to return the car with a full tank. Others might have a full-to-empty policy, which can be more expensive if you use only some of the fuel. A full tank of gasoline in Morocco costs around $60. If you return the car with an empty tank under a full-to-full policy, the rental company might charge you significantly more.

Consider Your Itinerary

Your travel plans might dictate the type of car you need. For example, a compact car is suitable if you plan to explore cities like Marrakech and Casablanca. However, for driving through the Atlas Mountains or the Sahara Desert, an SUV or a 4x4 is recommended. A compact car might cost $30 per day, while an SUV might cost $60 per day.

Child Seats

If you’re traveling with a family, you might need additional equipment, like child seats. Most rental companies offer child seats or booster seats for an extra fee, so ensure you request these when booking. A child seat rental in Morocco might cost around $5-10 per day.

Return the Car on Time

A late return of a rental car can incur additional charges. If your rental period ends at 10 AM, returning the vehicle after this time might incur an extra day's rental charge. Depending on the vehicle and rental company, an extra day's rental charge could be $30-50.

Driving in Morocco: What You Need to Know as a Tourist

Understanding the local driving rules and regulations is important to ensure a safe and enjoyable road trip.

Driving Rules and Regulations

First and foremost, it's essential to adhere to the speed limits. In cities of Morocco, the speed limit is 60 km/h; on rural roads, it's 100 km/h; and on highways, it's 120 km/h. Speeding fines can range from $30 to $100, so be cautious. Seat belts are mandatory for all passengers, and using a mobile phone while driving is illegal unless you have a hands-free system, with fines of around $50 for violations. Additionally, the legal blood alcohol limit is 0.00%, so avoid drinking if you plan to drive in Morocco, as the penalties for driving under the influence are severe and can include hefty fines and imprisonment.

Child Seats and Family Travel

If you're traveling with children, you must use child seats, which can usually be rented from your car rental company for an additional fee. Make sure the seat is correctly installed before you start your journey to ensure your child’s safety.

Road Conditions and Types of Roads

The roads in Morocco vary significantly. Major highways are well-maintained and often have tolls. For example, the toll from Casablanca to Marrakech is approximately 80 MAD (about $8). Secondary roads can be narrow and winding, especially in the mountains, and rural roads may have occasional potholes. If you're planning to venture into the Sahara, it's advisable to rent a 4x4 vehicle due to the sandy and unpaved roads.


Parking in Morocco can differ depending on your location. In cities, look for designated parking areas or garages, as street parking can be crowded. Many hotels offer secure parking for guests, so it's a good idea to confirm this when booking. Parking is usually easier to find in remote areas, but always remember to lock your car and hide valuables.

Toll Roads

Morocco has several toll roads, particularly on major highways, so budgeting for these costs is essential. Keep local currency handy for toll payments. For instance, the toll from Casablanca to Marrakech is approximately 80 MAD (about $8).

Safety Tips and Defensive Driving

When driving in Morocco, practicing defensive driving is crucial because local drivers can be unpredictable. Always stay alert and be ready for sudden stops or swerves. At roundabouts, yield to traffic already in the roundabout and use your indicator when exiting. It's also best to avoid driving at night, especially in rural areas, due to poor lighting and unexpected obstacles.

Fuel and Services

Fuel stations are plentiful in cities and along major highways, but in rural areas, it's wise to fill up whenever you can. Most cars use unleaded gasoline (essence) or diesel (gazole). Many stations also offer restrooms, snacks, and basic car maintenance services, ensuring you can keep your vehicle in good condition throughout your journey.


Navigating Moroccan roads is easier with a GPS. Renting a car with GPS is helpful, and Google Maps works well in most areas. Road signs are in Arabic and French, so familiarizing yourself with basic French road terms can be very useful.

Emergency Services

Knowing the local emergency numbers is vital in case of an emergency. Dial 19 for police, 15 for medical assistance, and 15 for fire services. Most rental agencies provide roadside assistance, so keep the contact details handy. Major cities have hospitals and clinics, but medical facilities can be limited in rural areas.

Scenic Drives

Morocco offers many scenic drives. For example, the drive from Marrakech to Ouarzazate through the Atlas Mountains offers breathtaking views. Another picturesque route is from Marrakech to Merzouga, which takes you through the vast Sahara Desert. The coastal road from Casablanca to Essaouira provides beautiful seaside views, and the route to the blue city of Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountains is simply stunning.

Cultural Considerations

Lastly, being aware of cultural considerations can enhance your experience when driving in Morocco. Arabic and Berber are the official languages, but French is widely spoken, so knowing basic French phrases can be helpful. Dress comfortably but modestly, especially in rural or conservative areas. Also, be mindful of local customs, particularly during religious events and in rural communities.

Drive in Morocco with Finalrentals

Exploring Morocco by car with Finalrentals allows you to see the country at your own pace. Choose from a wide range of vehicles, from small city cars to sturdy 4x4s for desert trips at affordable prices. Enjoy excellent customer service and convenient pick-up and drop-off locations across Morocco, including major airports and city centers. Book with Finalrentals today and embark on your Moroccan adventure with confidence.