Travelling in Morocco - Car rental & driving

Morocco is a safe place to travel, even as a woman alone. Common sense is all you need really to get by without problems. Below is a collection of useful information to help you get off on the right foot. We are always happy to discuss these matters in more detail with you by telephone or email. We have many years of experience and have lived in the country for over a decade and will be able to help you with any questions you may have.


Car rental & driving

All car hire provided by Lawrence of Morocco includes full insurance PAI (Personal Accident Insurance) and also CDW (Collision Damage Waiver).  Many car companies in Morocco do not offer CDW and certainly dont respect it when an accident takes place!  We always deliver the car with a full tank of petrol / diesel and you can then return the car with whatever is left in the tank.  All cars are delivered to your hotel by a driver who will show you around the vehicle.  Thanks to a very longstanding relationship with our car provider, we are able to offer a level of roadside support which is quite frankly 'uncommon' in Morocco.

Roads in Morocco between the cities are good.  Motorways run from Tangier in the north down through Rabat, Casablanca, Marrakech to Agadir.  The main roads are generally of a good quality as they have been built and are maintained for the network of trucks that supply the country south of Marrakech.  Even though the roads are good, one should always keep an eye out for cars that forget to indicate or pull out without any prior warning!  Children at the sides of the road are generally very aware of the traffic even though they may not seem to be paying any attention.

Driving in the cities is more hectic and can take a few minutes to get used to. Generally the medina (or old city) areas are the busiest areas of a city and can be a little intimidating at first as people seem not to take any notice of traffic and just walk in front of cars, sometimes with donkeys, bicycles or children in tow..  The key in these areas is to keep moving forwards but slowly (a walking pace).

Parking in town is generally not a problem.  Most places where you will park have a man called a "guardien" who helps you park and then watches over your car until you return.  You should pay him 2 or 3 Dirhams upon returning to your car.  The "guardien" wear a bronze metal badge.  Do not leave valuables in sight inside your car.  If you must leave items in the car put them in the boot (preferably before you park so that noone sees that you have put them there!).

You must keep your driving licence and car papers with you inside the vehicle at all times when driving.  If you are stopped by the police and cannot show all the paperwork, you will be in for a long and frustrating day  with the police!

It is not necessary to rent a 4x4 car as even leaving the tarmac on the odd occasion can be done with most normal cars. Tracks are often used in more remote places to get from the main road to some hotels.

Drivers on longer trips.

When moving between hotels in Marrakech, Atlas mountains and the Atlantic coast we will quote you for driver transfers which means a good, clean, air-conditioned vehicle suited to the number of passengers driven by one of our regular drivers.  Our drivers know the roads well and have proved themselves to be reliable and safe drivers over many years.

On longer ‘road trip’ type itineraries where you are covering a larger area of the country with regular moves between places we generally recommend driving yourselves in one of our good quality hire cars.  We work with an excellent company in Morocco who has provided us with excellent cars and customer care for more than 25 years.

We can of course book a professional driver to alleviate you of the need to drive yourselves around the country BUT I strongly suggest driving yourselves as this is the best way to enjoy your road trip.  Drivers are an excellent alternative if you are unable to drive or simply dont feel happy driving the distances required for your itinerary. 

Please remember however that a driver takes up a seat in your car, can provide unwanted conversation and disturb the enjoyment of your own company.  I always feel that a driver is best avoided unless you really do have a clear reason for not  wanting to drive.  Roads are good in Morocco and driving is fairly straight forward in that most of your journeys are going to be form one small town or village  to another which avoids driving in the major cities which are much harder to navigate.

We always provide maps with directions between each of your stops and most hotels are happy to send someone to meet you for the last bit of the drive when navigation can be harder.  I have found over the many years we have been doing this that people find driving themselves to be a better option than having a driver and enjoy having the car to them selves to enjoy each others company without interruption.


La Roseraie, Ouirgane, Morocco holidays

It was the combination of different experiences over 10 days which really delighted us.

Dear Max

Many thanks for your email. We arrived back in Manchester on Saturday evening having experienced a wonderful holiday in Morocco, thanks to the excellent organisation of Lawrence of Morocco in organising the itinerary and the incredibly warm welcome and fantastic service we received from everyone we met on our journeys.

We kept asking each other what was our ...

Sarah R and Ciaran McC

The best dinner spot was at the riad hotel we were staying, Villa Maroc, where they serve huge platters of meat or fish tagine by candlelight.

Novelist Anna Stothard travelled to Essaouira with Lawrence of Morocco in August 2012, writing for the Observer Magazine.

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We know Morocco intimately

Max Lawrence - MD Lawrence of Morocco

Thank you for taking time to look at this site. Our site is a culmination of my 30 years and my fathers 50 years of experience in Morocco. We really know Morocco and have had the pleasure of making many people's dream trips become reality over the years. It has been my privilege to be asked to manage holidays, weddings and productions for so many fantastic and discerning clients. We remain small and dedicated to providing excellent honest advice to enable you to sit back, relax and enjoy the fun bits without having to manage the unpredictability of this fascinating country.

If you want it done right, look no further!

Max Lawrence, Managing Director

Travelling, living and working in Morocco since 1986.