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Car Rental in Djibouti

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Car Rental in Djibouti: What You Need to Know

If you’re planning to visit Djibouti and explore this beautiful country, renting a car can be a convenient way to get around. However, it’s important to understand the local driving laws and requirements to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience.

Understanding Local Driving Laws

Before renting a car in Djibouti, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the local driving laws. In Djibouti, driving is on the right-hand side of the road, and the minimum age for driving is 18 years old. Seat belts are mandatory for all passengers, and the use of mobile phones while driving is prohibited.

Driver’s License and Insurance

When renting a car in Djibouti, you’ll need to have a valid driver’s license from your home country. International driving permits are recommended but not mandatory. It’s also essential to ensure that the rental car has the necessary insurance coverage to protect you in case of any unforeseen incidents.

Choosing the Right Rental Car

When selecting a rental car in Djibouti, consider the type of terrain you’ll be driving on. If you plan to explore the rugged landscapes, a 4×4 vehicle may be more suitable. Additionally, consider the size of the car based on the number of passengers and luggage you’ll be carrying.

Booking in Advance

It’s advisable to book your rental car in advance, especially if you’re visiting during peak tourist seasons. This ensures that you have a wider selection of vehicles to choose from and can also help you secure the best rental rates.

Final Thoughts

Renting a car in Djibouti can provide you with the flexibility to explore the country at your own pace. By understanding the local driving laws and requirements, choosing the right rental car, and making your booking in advance, you can have a seamless and enjoyable driving experience in Djibouti.

Rental Requirements

Age Limits

To rent a car in Djibouti, you must be at least 21 years old and have a valid driver’s license. Some rental companies may have a maximum age limit, so it’s best to check with them before booking.

Driving License Requirements

You can use your local driver’s license to rent a car in Djibouti, but it’s recommended to also have an International Driving Permit (IDP) if your license is not in English or French. The duration of holding a license may vary by rental company, so make sure to inquire about this before booking.


When renting a car in Djibouti, you will need to provide the rental company with a valid passport, a credit card for the security deposit, and any other documentation they may require. Be sure to have these ready when picking up your rental.

Insurance Information

When renting a car in Djibouti, it’s important to understand the insurance options available to you.

Basic Insurance

The basic insurance typically includes Collision Damage Waiver and Theft Protection. Collision Damage Waiver covers damage to the rental car in the event of a collision, while Theft Protection covers the theft of the vehicle.

Additional Insurance

In addition to the basic insurance, there are also options for additional coverage such as Personal Accident Insurance and Supplemental Liability Insurance. Personal Accident Insurance provides coverage for medical expenses and accidental death benefits for the driver and passengers, while Supplemental Liability Insurance offers protection against third-party liability claims.

Insurance Tips

Before renting a car in Djibouti, it’s recommended to check your existing travel insurance policies to see if they already provide coverage for rental cars. This can help you avoid paying for duplicate coverage and ensure that you have the necessary protection during your trip.

Local Driving Laws and Regulations in Djibouti

General Traffic Rules

Driving Side: Driving is on the right side of the road in Djibouti.
Speed Limits: The speed limit is typically 40 km/h in urban areas, 80 km/h on rural roads, and 100 km/h on highways.
Other Useful Info: Traffic in Djibouti can be chaotic, so drive defensively and be aware of your surroundings.

Overtaking and Lane Usage

Overtaking Rules: Overtaking should be done with caution, especially on narrow roads.
Lane Discipline: Keep right except to overtake on multi-lane roads.
Other Useful Info: Be cautious of other drivers’ overtaking behavior and always use your indicators when changing lanes.

Seat Belt and Child Safety

Seat Belt Laws: Seat belts must be worn by all passengers, both in the front and rear seats.
Child Safety: Children must use appropriate car seats or restraints based on their age and weight.
Other Useful Info: Ensure that all passengers are safely buckled up before driving.

Use of Mobile Phones

Mobile Phone Restrictions: The use of mobile devices while driving is prohibited in Djibouti.
Other Useful Info: Keep your phone out of reach while driving to avoid distractions.

Alcohol and Driving

Legal Blood Alcohol Limits: The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08% for most drivers.
Zero Tolerance Policies: There are stricter rules for commercial drivers, with a lower legal limit.
Other Useful Info: It is best to avoid drinking any alcohol before driving.

Tolls and Charges

Toll Roads: There are no toll roads in Djibouti.
Congestion Charges: There are no urban congestion charges in Djibouti.
Other Useful Info: You do not need to worry about tolls or congestion charges while driving in Djibouti.

Roundabouts and Intersections

Navigating Roundabouts: Roundabouts are common in Djibouti, and you must give way to vehicles already in the roundabout.
Intersection Rules: Vehicles must yield to the right at intersections.
Other Useful Info: Be cautious at roundabouts and intersections, as other drivers may not always follow the rules.

Headlight and Windshield Wiper Laws

Headlight Usage: It is mandatory to use headlights at night and during rain.
Windshield Wiper Rule: There is no specific requirement to turn on headlights when using wipers.
Other Useful Info: Keep your headlights on for visibility, especially during adverse weather conditions.

Emergency Vehicles

Right of Way for Emergency Vehicles: Pull over to the side of the road to give way to emergency vehicles with their lights and sirens on.
Other Useful Info: Always be aware of emergency vehicles and make way for them to pass safely.

Driving Tips for Djibouti

Road Conditions

Djibouti has a mix of paved and unpaved roads. While major roads are generally well-maintained, rural areas may have rough and uneven terrain. It is important to drive cautiously and be aware of road conditions, especially during the rainy season when some roads may become impassable.

Urban vs. Rural Driving

In urban areas like Djibouti City, driving can be hectic with heavy traffic and aggressive drivers. Rural areas may have less traffic but roads can be narrow and less developed. It is important to adapt your driving style to the environment and be mindful of other road users.

Navigational Tips

Using GPS can be helpful, but it is recommended to have a physical map as a backup, as GPS signal can be unreliable in some areas. Familiarize yourself with major landmarks and road signs to help navigate around the country.

Other Useful Tips

– Drive on the right side of the road in Djibouti.
– Be cautious of livestock crossing the roads, especially in rural areas.
– Keep an eye out for potholes and speed bumps, especially at night.
– It is advisable to have a basic understanding of French as it is widely spoken in Djibouti.

Overall, driving in Djibouti requires attentiveness and adaptability to different road conditions. It is important to be cautious and respectful of other road users to ensure a safe and enjoyable driving experience.

Roadside Assistance and Emergency Procedures

Breakdown Procedures

In the event of a breakdown while renting a car in Djibouti, the first step is to safely pull over to the side of the road. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers and passengers of your situation. If possible, try to move the vehicle to a safe location away from traffic. Next, contact the rental company to inform them of the situation and follow their instructions for further assistance.

Emergency Services

It’s important to have access to emergency contact numbers while driving in Djibouti. In case of an emergency, dial 17 for the police, 18 for an ambulance, and the roadside assistance number provided by the rental company. Save these numbers in your phone or keep them written down in the car for easy access.

Rental Company Policies

Before renting a car, it’s essential to understand the support offered by the rental company in case of a breakdown or emergency. Many rental companies in Djibouti provide 24/7 roadside assistance and towing services as part of their policies. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these policies before driving off in a rental car to ensure you know what to do in the event of an emergency.

Where can you Rent a Car in Djibouti?

You can browse all the city locations below, sorted alphabetically. Use Ctrl+F (or Cmd+F on a Mac) to quickly find the one you want to explore.