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Car Rental in Madagascar

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Car Rental in Madagascar

If you’re planning a trip to Madagascar and want the freedom to explore the island at your own pace, renting a car is a great option. However, before you hit the road, it’s important to understand the local driving laws and requirements.

Understanding Local Driving Laws

In Madagascar, you’ll need to drive on the right-hand side of the road. The speed limits are generally 50 km/h in urban areas and 60-80 km/h on rural roads. Seat belts are mandatory for all passengers, and you’ll need to have your headlights on at all times, even during the day.

It’s also worth noting that the road conditions in Madagascar can vary, so it’s important to drive cautiously and be prepared for unexpected obstacles.

Rental Requirements

To rent a car in Madagascar, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old and have a valid driver’s license. If you’re a foreign visitor, an international driver’s permit is also recommended.

When renting a car, be sure to carefully review the rental agreement and insurance coverage to ensure that you have the necessary protection in case of an accident or damage to the vehicle.

Renting a car in Madagascar can give you the flexibility to explore the island on your own terms. By understanding the local driving laws and rental requirements, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience behind the wheel.

Rental Requirements

Age Limits

To rent a car in Madagascar, the minimum age requirement is typically 21 years old. Some rental companies may have a maximum age limit as well, usually around 70 years old.

Driving License Requirements

To rent a car in Madagascar, you will need a valid driver’s license from your home country. An International Driving Permit (IDP) is also recommended, especially if your license is not in French or English. Some car rental companies may also require you to have held your license for a minimum period, usually at least one year.


When renting a car in Madagascar, you will need to provide certain documents, including a valid passport, your driver’s license, and a major credit card in the primary driver’s name for the security deposit. It’s also a good idea to have a copy of your car insurance policy and any additional rental car insurance coverage you may have.

Insurance Information

When renting a car in Madagascar, it’s important to be aware of the insurance options available to ensure a safe and worry-free trip.

Basic Insurance

The basic insurance typically included when renting a car in Madagascar covers Collision Damage Waiver and Theft Protection. This provides some peace of mind in the event of any damage or theft of the rental vehicle.

Additional Insurance

In addition to the basic insurance, there are options available for additional coverage. This includes Personal Accident Insurance, which provides coverage for medical expenses in the event of an accident, and Supplemental Liability Insurance, which offers added protection in case of third-party claims.

Insurance Tips

For travelers renting a car in Madagascar, it’s recommended to check existing travel insurance policies to see if they already include coverage for rental vehicles. This can help avoid paying for duplicate coverage and ensure that all necessary protection is in place for the trip.

Local Driving Laws and Regulations in Madagascar

General Traffic Rules

Driving Side: Driving in Madagascar is on the right side of the road.
Speed Limits: The speed limit is 60 km/h in urban areas, 90 km/h on rural roads, and 110 km/h on highways.
Other Useful Info: Be aware of local wildlife crossing the roads, especially in rural areas.

Overtaking and Lane Usage

Overtaking Rules: Overtaking should be done on the left side, and only when it is safe and legal to do so.
Lane Discipline: Keep to the right except to overtake on multi-lane roads.
Other Useful Info: Watch out for pedestrians and cyclists, especially in urban areas.

Seat Belt and Child Safety

Seat Belt Laws: Seat belts must be worn by all passengers in the vehicle.
Child Safety: Children under 10 years old must use a child seat or booster seat.
Other Useful Info: It is recommended to bring your own child seat if traveling with young children.

Use of Mobile Phones

Mobile Phone Restrictions: The use of mobile phones while driving is prohibited, except with a hands-free system.
Other Useful Info: Pull over to a safe location if you need to make a call or send a text message.

Alcohol and Driving

Legal Blood Alcohol Limits: The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.05% for all drivers.
Zero Tolerance Policies: There are no specific zero tolerance policies for certain drivers.
Other Useful Info: It is best to avoid alcohol completely when driving.

Tolls and Charges

Toll Roads: There are no toll roads in Madagascar.
Congestion Charges: There are no urban congestion charges in Madagascar.
Other Useful Info: Make sure to have enough local currency for fuel and parking fees.

Roundabouts and Intersections

Navigating Roundabouts: Roundabouts are not common in Madagascar.
Intersection Rules: The vehicle on the right has the right of way at intersections.
Other Useful Info: Be cautious at intersections, as not all drivers may yield as expected.

Headlight and Windshield Wiper Laws

Headlight Usage: Headlights must be used 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 and wipers in good working condition.

Emergency Vehicles

Right of Way for Emergency Vehicles: Pull over to the side of the road and allow emergency vehicles to pass.
Other Useful Info: Be aware of emergency vehicles, especially in urban areas with heavy traffic.

Driving Tips for Madagascar

Road Conditions

Madagascar has a mix of road conditions, from well-maintained highways to rough and unpaved roads in rural areas. It’s important to be prepared for all types of terrain and drive cautiously, especially in rural areas.

Urban vs. Rural Driving

In urban areas like Antananarivo, traffic can be congested and chaotic. Drivers should be alert and patient, as the road quality may vary. In rural areas, roads may be unpaved and bumpy, requiring careful navigation and slower driving speeds.

Navigational Tips

Using GPS can be helpful in urban areas, but it may not always be reliable in more remote areas of Madagascar. Bringing along a physical map or asking locals for directions can be beneficial for navigating the island’s varying road conditions.

Other Useful Tips

– Drive on the right side of the road in Madagascar.
– Be cautious of pedestrians and wildlife crossing the road, especially in rural areas.
– It’s recommended to rent a 4×4 vehicle for exploring the more remote parts of the island.

Roadside Assistance and Emergency Procedures

When renting a car in Madagascar, it’s important to be prepared for any roadside emergencies. Here are some important procedures and contact information to keep in mind:

Breakdown Procedures

In the event of a breakdown, the first step is to safely pull over to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. If you are unable to fix the issue yourself, contact the rental company for assistance. They will be able to provide guidance on how to proceed and may arrange for a replacement vehicle if needed.

Emergency Services

It’s important to have the contact numbers for emergency services readily available. In Madagascar, the general emergency number is 117 for police, 118 for ambulance, and 147 for roadside assistance. Keep these numbers handy in case of any unforeseen circumstances while on the road.

Rental Company Policies

Before embarking on your journey, familiarize yourself with the support offered by the rental company. Many companies provide 24/7 assistance and towing services in the event of a breakdown. It’s important to understand the specific policies and procedures in place to ensure a smooth experience in the event of an emergency.

Where can you Rent a Car in Madagascar?

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.