Car hire in Morocco
Hiring a car in Morocco
Many people don’t realise how close Morocco is to Europe, being just a short hop across the Mediterranean from Spain. It’s a fascinating country, with Berber, Arabic and French influences and a wide variety of different landscapes. These include a section of the Sahara Desert, the Atlas Mountains and incredible cities, such as Marrakech and Fes.
Hiring a car opens up all these locations relatively easily, offering the flexibility to explore Morocco at your own leisure. It has an extensive road network, with high-speed toll roads linking major cities, such as Rabat, Casablanca and Marrakech.
What you need to know
When it comes to hiring a car in Morocco, you have got a huge amount of choice. So many of the country’s airports offer car hire services, so you can book a rental car at the most convenient location for you. Whether the starting point of your Moroccan adventure is Marrakech, Rabat, Casablanca, Fes, Tangier, Agadir, Nador, Oujda-Angads, Ouarzazate, Essaouira or Dakhla, we’ve got the perfect vehicle waiting for you.
Check out our comprehensive booking tool to see all the options available and save money by booking in advance. It will allow you to pick your location and hire company at the best price to suit your needs.
Where to pick up your car
Every airport is different, but you generally have the choice of picking up your vehicle at a car hire desk in the terminal building; making use of the free shuttle bus to get you to the car hire firm; or being met by a member of staff and escorted to where you need to be. All the information as to which companies offer each of these services can be seen when you book.
If you are arriving at Marrakech Menara Airport (RAK) then internationally renowned brands such as Hertz and Avis have desks within the terminal building – just look out for the signs.
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“The pick-up was easy, it took 5 minutes from arriving at the desk to driving out the car, and the return took even less time.”
Where to go
Where you pick your car up from will influence the part of Morocco that you explore to begin with. Having said that, there’s no reason why you can’t see a number of places throughout the country during your stay, as your vehicle will provide that luxury.
Among the destinations you may wish to consider are Marrakech, which is known for its expansive central square, the Djmaa El Fnaa, and its wonderful souks. Alternatively, head to Essaouira to be by the coast and experience the landscape that inspired Jimi Hendrix to write Castles made of Sand. Speaking of sand, the city of Ouarzazate is known as the Door of the Desert and will allow you to go on and explore the Sahara on your own terms.
Driving in Morocco
Once you have your hire car there are a few things to remember about driving in Morocco. The first is that you need to be driving on the right and overtaking on the left. The speed limits are 40 kph in built-up areas; 100 kph on the open road; and 130 kph on highways. When it comes to driving in the countryside in Morocco, be aware that animals are often used for transportation purposes and can be unpredictable.
The toll roads are run by a private company and are relatively inexpensive, as you can pay as you go. They give you the benefit of a good road surface and you can therefore usually get to your destination with ease.
To experience a different side of Morocco to the cities, head up into the Rif Mountains and the charming town of Chefchaouen. You may not realise it, but the pictures of white buildings and studded blue doors that are often used to advertise Morocco as a destination were most probably taken here.
If you have hired your car from Tangier (TNG), then Chefchaouen is an hour and 45 minutes’ drive away along the N13. Those visiting from Marrakech have a somewhat more substantial seven hours to drive along the A7 toll road, but it will be worth it when you arrive in this incredible destination.
For those who prefer the desert to the mountains, make your way to Ait Ben Haddou in the Sahara. This is a popular filming location with scenes for both Gladiator and Game of Thrones having been shot here. It’s just three and a half hours away from Marrakech along the N9 road.
Top attractions in Morocco
Just wandering down the street in any one of Morocco’s wonderful cities is an experience in itself, but there are also some attractions that you really shouldn’t miss.
Whether you opt to visit the centre of the leather industry in either Marrakech or Fes, you’ll probably be able to find it simply by following your nose. That’s because pigeon guano is used to strip the leather and soften it for making bags and other items. Guides will often give you a sprig of mint to sniff while you see how the whole process is carried out using traditional methods.
Marrakech’s Majorelle Gardens are not only the legacy of the French artist Jacques Majorelle, who first created them, but also of Yves Saint Laurent. The famed fashion designer ensured that the painter’s vision was brought back to life once it had fallen into disrepair. It is a stunning botanical garden, complete with the classic blue paint that bears Majorelle’s name. A monument to Yves Saint Laurent can be found within the gardens that he loved so much his ashes were scattered there.
Known as the Blue Gate, Bab Boujloud is one of the main entranceways into Fes’ historic medina. The artistry exhibited in the Mauresque-Andalusian style mosaic tiles is stunning and an incredible welcome into the heart of the city. It was originally constructed in 1913, but has been renovated a number of times since to ensure it retains its resplendent charm.
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