Driving in Mauritius: Expert Guide to Getting Around the Island (2024)

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Last Updated on: 20th December 2023, 07:34 pm

Are you going to be driving in Mauritius soon?

Then, you’ve landed on the right post! If you’ve never visited before, I’m sure you have lots of questions about driving in Mauritius.

Since we visit Mauritius regularly and are familiar with its roads, we’ll answer all those questions (and more) in this blog post.

In this expert guide, we’ll provide you with valuable information on driving in Mauritius, including safety tips, car rental options, costs, and essential documents.

So buckle up and let’s hit the road!

Key Takeaways:

  • Driving in Mauritius allows you to explore the island at your own pace and discover its hidden gems.
  • Ensure your safety by familiarizing yourself with the local driving regulations and road conditions.
  • Renting a car in Mauritius gives you the freedom to explore on your terms, but consider alternative transportation options as well.
  • Car rental prices in Mauritius can vary depending on factors like the type of vehicle and rental duration.
  • Discover Cars is our recommended platform for reserving a car online in Mauritius, offering convenience and competitive prices.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of them I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, which allows me to keep this blog up and running!

Is it Safe to Drive in Mauritius?

Short answer: Yes, it’s safe to drive in Mauritius! 😎

However, it is essential to consider the safety aspects of the road conditions and driving regulations in the country. Understanding these factors will help ensure a smooth and secure driving experience during your visit.

⚠ Note: The road conditions in Mauritius vary across the island.

While major highways are generally well-maintained, some rural roads may be narrower and less developed. It is important to drive cautiously, especially on winding roads and when encountering potential hazards such as potholes or stray animals.

In terms of traffic congestion, certain areas of Mauritius, particularly urban centers and tourist hotspots, can experience heavy traffic during peak hours. It is advisable to plan your journeys accordingly and allow extra time for potential delays.

Mauritius has specific driving regulations that all drivers must adhere to. These regulations include:

  • Driving is on the left-hand side of the road, as Mauritius follows the British system.
  • The minimum age for driving in Mauritius is 18 years old.
  • A valid driving license is required, and an international driving permit may be necessary for some visitors.
  • Seat belts must be worn by all passengers in the vehicle.
  • Mobile phone usage while driving is strictly prohibited, unless using a hands-free system.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal.

To ensure driving safety in Mauritius, it is recommended to:

  1. Observe the speed limits and always drive within the designated limits.
  2. Stay alert and focused on the road at all times.
  3. Use GPS or a reliable map to navigate unfamiliar routes.
  4. Be mindful of pedestrians and other road users.
  5. Take caution when encountering wildlife, especially in rural areas.
FactorSafety Measures
Road ConditionsDrive cautiously, especially on rural roads. Watch out for potholes and stray animals.
Traffic CongestionPlan journeys accordingly and allow extra time for potential delays.
Driving RegulationsAdhere to driving regulations, including driving on the left, wearing seat belts, and avoiding mobile phone usage while driving.
Driving Safety TipsObserve speed limits, stay focused on the road, use GPS or a reliable map, be mindful of pedestrians, and take caution around wildlife.
Palm tree lined roads are everywhere when driving in Mauritius.

Should I Rent a Car in Mauritius?

If you’re planning a trip to Mauritius, one of the questions you may be asking yourself is whether you should rent a car.

Renting a car in Mauritius has its advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to weigh them before making a decision.

Pros of Mauritius Car Rental:

  • Flexibility and freedom to explore the island at your own pace.
  • Ability to visit off-the-beaten-path destinations and secluded beaches.
  • The convenience of having your own transportation, especially if you’re traveling with a group or have specific travel preferences.
  • Opportunity to discover the hidden gems of Mauritius that may not be easily accessible by public transportation.

Cons of Mauritius Car Rental:

  • Traffic congestion in major cities and tourist areas, especially during peak travel seasons.
  • Navigating unfamiliar roads and driving conditions may pose challenges for some drivers.
  • The cost of renting a car, including insurance, fuel, and parking fees.
  • Driving on an unfamiliar side of the road.

While renting a car can be a great option for some travelers, it’s important to consider alternative transportation options in Mauritius as well.

Most people who visit Mauritius and book accommodation at a resort will be able to request a private hotel transfer. If you’re not comfortable driving in Mauritius then we highly recommend this option.

🏨 Looking for accommodation? These are the 11 best luxury resorts in Mauritius for families!

Taxis are widely available and can be a convenient way to get around, especially for shorter distances or when you prefer not to drive. Buses are another affordable option for getting around the island, with a network that covers most major tourist areas.

Additionally, organized tours and excursions can provide a hassle-free way to explore Mauritius without the need for a rental car.

🚣‍♀️ Looking for Mauritius tours? Discover 15 of the highest-rated tours in Mauritius!

In the end, the decision to rent a car in Mauritius depends on your travel preferences, comfort level with driving in unfamiliar conditions, and budget.

Aerial view of a town in Mauritius.

How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Car in Mauritius?

Renting a car in Mauritius offers the freedom and flexibility to explore the island at your own pace.

But what are the costs associated with car rental in Mauritius?

Consider the following before you decide if you’ll be driving in Mauritius during your island getaway:

Rental Car Prices in Mauritius

The cost of renting a car in Mauritius can vary depending on several factors:

  • Type of Car: The rental price will depend on the car you choose, ranging from budget-friendly options to luxury vehicles.
  • Rental Duration: Longer rental periods typically offer more competitive rates, so consider the length of your stay when calculating the cost.
  • Seasonal Demand: Rental prices may fluctuate based on high and low seasons, so it’s worth checking for any seasonal offers or discounts.
  • Additional Extras: Optional extras such as GPS navigation, baby seats, and additional drivers may incur additional charges.

By researching and planning ahead, you can secure a cost-effective car rental in Mauritius, allowing you to make the most of your trip.

A red car on one of the many dirt roads you'll find while driving in Mauritius.

Where to Rent a Car in Mauritius?

When it comes to car rental options in Mauritius, there are several reputable companies to choose from.

One of the best car rental options in Mauritius is Discover Cars, a reliable online platform that allows you to conveniently reserve your car ahead of time.

1. Reserve Your Car Online with Discover Cars

Head to the Discover Cars website, and input your travel dates and preferred pick-up location.

For most travelers, this will be the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport but you can also make use of a variety of other locations around the island.

⭐️ Only rent from well-rated places

We suggest you filter by ratings because while you want those sweet Mauritius car rental deals, the cheapest place is rarely the best.

Personally, we don’t rent from locations with less than an 8 out of 10 Stars rating.

Remember, you get what you pay for.

Usually, it’s not worth sacrificing some money for terrible customer service on a vacation; especially when it comes to something like your transportation.

2. Opt for Full Coverage with Discover Cars

We always opt for their Full Coverage when we rent with Discover Cars!

It just gives us that much-needed peace of mind. We guarantee that driving in Zanzibar is much different to any place you’re used to driving so full coverage is just a good idea!

For about $8-10 USD per day, Discover Cars covers up to $3,250 USD of damage to the rental car. This includes body repair work, dings, scratches, windows/glass, tires, towing, lost keys, and more.

However, some things are not included in terms of coverage so make sure to read all the information before you rent a car in Mauritius.

⚠️If you’re traveling with young children, make sure to select a baby seat or child seat which are both FREE when you book with Discover Cars!

What Documents Are Required to Drive in Mauritius?

When planning to drive in Mauritius, it is important to ensure that you have the necessary documents to comply with the driving requirements in the country.

The main document you will need is a valid driving license.

The driving license should be issued in your home country and must be in English or French. If your license is not in either of these languages, you will need to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) before traveling to Mauritius.

Additionally, you must meet the minimum age requirement to drive in Mauritius. The minimum age to rent a car and drive independently is 21 years old.

⚠ Note: Some car rental companies may require drivers to be 23 years old.

It is also recommended to carry your passport or a photocopy of your passport along with your driver’s license. This is to ensure that you have a valid form of identification with you at all times while driving in Mauritius.

Required Documents
Valid driving license
International Driving Permit (if license is not in English or French)
Passport or photocopy of passport

By ensuring that you have the required documents, you can have a hassle-free experience while driving in Mauritius and explore the beauty of the island at your own pace.

One of the roads on Mauritius surrounded by sugar cane fields with mountains in the distance.

9 Important Tips for Driving in Mauritius

When driving in Mauritius, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the traffic rules and regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.

Here are some important tips to help you navigate the roads of Mauritius with confidence:

  1. Observe the speed limits: Speed limits in Mauritius vary depending on the type of road. Be sure to adhere to the posted speed limits and adjust your speed accordingly to maintain safety.
  2. Stay on the left side: In Mauritius, vehicles drive on the left side of the road. Always keep to the left and be cautious when overtaking.
  3. Use seat belts: It is mandatory for all occupants of a vehicle to wear seat belts. Ensure that everyone in your vehicle is buckled up before you start your journey.
  4. Pay attention to road signs and markings: Mauritius has clear road signs and markings that provide important information and guidance. Always pay attention to these signs to stay on the right track.
  5. Be cautious of pedestrians: Watch out for pedestrians, especially in busy areas and near schools. Always yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.
  6. Be prepared for narrow roads: Some roads in Mauritius can be narrow, especially in residential areas and rural regions. Drive at a moderate speed and be prepared to give way to oncoming vehicles.
  7. Avoid distractions: Keep your focus on the road and avoid distractions such as using your mobile phone or adjusting the radio. Stay alert and attentive while driving.
  8. Plan your route: Before setting off, plan your route and familiarize yourself with the key landmarks and intersections. This will help you navigate the roads more confidently and reduce the chances of getting lost.
  9. Take breaks and stay hydrated: Long drives can be tiring, so taking regular breaks and staying hydrated is important. Pull over at safe locations if you need to rest or rehydrate.

By following these important tips, you can ensure a smooth and safe experience driving in Mauritius.

Aerial view of a ocean-side resort in Mauritius.

Driving in Mauritius FAQs

Can I use my South African driver’s license in Mauritius?

Yes, you can use your South African driver’s license in Mauritius. The country recognizes foreign licenses, so there’s no need for an international driving permit.

Is it difficult to drive in Mauritius?

Driving in Mauritius is generally straightforward. The roads are well-maintained, and traffic rules are similar in many countries. However, it’s recommended to be cautious in rural areas where road conditions might vary.

Can tourists drive in Mauritius?

Yes, tourists can drive in Mauritius. Renting a car is a popular choice among visitors who want to explore the island at their own pace.

Is it safe to drive a car in Mauritius?

Yes, driving in Mauritius is considered safe. However, like anywhere else, it’s advisable to follow traffic rules, be aware of local driving habits, and drive carefully.

Which side of the road do they drive in Mauritius?

In Mauritius, people drive on the left side of the road. This is a British legacy, and all vehicles have their steering wheels on the right side.



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Ready to Go Driving in Mauritius?

After exploring the ins and outs of driving in Mauritius, it’s clear that renting a car can be a convenient and efficient way to experience all that this stunning island has to offer.

Throughout this guide, we highlighted the safety aspects, rental options, cost considerations, document requirements, and valuable driving tips to ensure your journey is smooth and enjoyable.

Whether you’re planning to explore coastal inlets, navigate through charming towns, or embark on a road trip adventure, driving in Mauritius can open up a world of possibilities.

So pack your bags, buckle up, and get ready to embark on a memorable journey, embracing the beauty of Mauritius by car.

Are you planning your trip to Mauritius last minute?

If you are booking your trip to Mauritius last minute, we have you covered. Below are some of the top tours, hotels, and more!

Top experiences and Mauritius tours:

1) Private catamaran cruise to Ile aux Cerfs – must-see island!
2) Ethical whale & dolphin watching tour – highly recommend it!
3) Exclusive undersea walk experience – such a unique tour!
4) Full-day tour of southern Mauritius – it’s all-inclusive!
5) PADI open water diving course – learn to scuba in paradise!

Top hotels in Mauritius:

1) SALT of Palmar – our favorite positive luxury hotel!
2) LUX* Le Morne – best sunsets on the island!
3) Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita – best overall!
4) Heritage Le Telfair Resort – our favorite luxury family resort!
5) Veranda Point aux Biches Hotel – barefoot luxury!

Looking for the best way to get around Mauritius? Click here to check rental car rates for Mauritius!

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