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Car Rental in Mauritania

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Car Rental in Mauritania: What You Need to Know

If you’re planning a trip to Mauritania and thinking about renting a car, it’s important to understand the local driving laws and requirements. Renting a car can give you the freedom to explore the country at your own pace, but it’s essential to be informed before hitting the road.

Driving Laws and Requirements in Mauritania

In Mauritania, you must be at least 21 years old and have a valid driver’s license to rent a car. It’s also important to familiarize yourself with the local driving laws, which may differ from those in your home country. For example, driving is on the right-hand side of the road, and seat belts are mandatory for all passengers.

Additionally, it’s essential to be aware of the potential hazards of driving in Mauritania, such as poor road conditions and the presence of livestock on the roads, especially in rural areas. It’s crucial to exercise caution and be prepared for unexpected obstacles while driving.

Choosing the Right Car Rental Company

When renting a car in Mauritania, it’s important to choose a reputable car rental company that offers well-maintained vehicles and excellent customer service. Look for a company that provides comprehensive insurance coverage and offers 24/7 roadside assistance in case of emergencies.

It’s also a good idea to read reviews and compare prices from different car rental companies to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Keep in mind that renting a 4×4 vehicle might be more suitable for navigating the country’s varied terrain, especially if you plan to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations.

Exploring Mauritania by Car

With a rental car at your disposal, you can explore Mauritania’s diverse landscapes, from the Sahara Desert to the Atlantic coast. Whether you’re interested in visiting historical sites, such as the ancient city of Chinguetti, or experiencing the vibrant culture of local markets, having a car gives you the flexibility to create your itinerary.

Before embarking on your road trip, make sure to have a reliable GPS or map, as some areas in Mauritania may have limited or no cellular network coverage. It’s also advisable to have a basic understanding of French, as it is widely spoken in Mauritania and can be helpful for communicating with locals.

In conclusion, renting a car in Mauritania can be a convenient and enjoyable way to explore the country, but it’s essential to be well-informed and prepared for the unique driving conditions. By understanding the local laws, choosing the right rental company, and being mindful of potential challenges, you can have a safe and memorable road trip experience in Mauritania.

Rental Requirements

When renting a car in Mauritania, there are a few important requirements to keep in mind.

Age Limits

The minimum age for renting a car in Mauritania is typically 21 years old, although some rental companies may require drivers to be at least 25 years old. There is usually no maximum age limit, but older drivers may be subject to additional insurance fees.

Driving License Requirements

To rent a car in Mauritania, you will need a valid driver’s license from your home country. Some rental companies may also require an International Driving Permit (IDP) in addition to your local license. It’s important to check the specific requirements of your rental company before booking. Additionally, some companies may require drivers to have held their license for a minimum period, such as one or two years.


When renting a car in Mauritania, you will typically need to present a valid passport, a credit card in the name of the primary driver for security deposit purposes, and proof of insurance. It’s important to have all necessary documentation with you when picking up your rental car to avoid any delays or issues.

Insurance Information

When renting a car in Mauritania, it’s important to understand the insurance options available to ensure a safe and worry-free trip.

Basic Insurance

Basic insurance typically includes Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Theft Protection. CDW covers damage to the rental car in the event of a collision, while Theft Protection provides coverage in case the car is stolen.

Additional Insurance

In addition to basic insurance, travelers have the option to purchase additional coverage such as Personal Accident Insurance and Supplemental Liability Insurance. Personal Accident Insurance provides coverage for medical expenses in the event of an accident, while Supplemental Liability Insurance offers extra protection in case of third-party damage or injury.

Insurance Tips

Before renting a car in Mauritania, it’s recommended to check existing travel insurance policies to see if they already provide coverage for rental cars. This can help avoid purchasing duplicate insurance and save money on additional coverage.

Understanding the insurance options when renting a car in Mauritania is essential for a smooth and enjoyable travel experience. By being informed and prepared, travelers can have peace of mind knowing they are adequately protected while exploring the beautiful country.

Local Driving Laws and Regulations in Mauritania

General Traffic Rules

Driving Side: Driving is on the right side of the road in Mauritania.
Speed Limits: The speed limit is typically 40-60 km/h in urban areas, 80-100 km/h on rural roads, and 100-120 km/h on highways.

Overtaking and Lane Usage

Overtaking Rules: Overtaking should be done on the left side, and it is important to ensure clear visibility and sufficient space before overtaking.
Lane Discipline: On multi-lane roads, the ‘keep right except to overtake’ rule is enforced.

Seat Belt and Child Safety

Seat Belt Laws: Seat belts are mandatory for all passengers in the vehicle.
Child Safety: Children must be secured in approved child seats or restraints according to their age and weight.

Use of Mobile Phones

Mobile Phone Restrictions: The use of mobile devices while driving is prohibited, except for hands-free devices.

Alcohol and Driving

Legal Blood Alcohol Limits: The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.02% for all drivers.
Zero Tolerance Policies: There are stricter rules for commercial drivers and new drivers.

Tolls and Charges

Toll Roads: There are toll roads in Mauritania, and payment is typically in cash at toll booths.
Congestion Charges: There are no urban congestion charges in Mauritania.

Roundabouts and Intersections

Navigating Roundabouts: Roundabouts are common and drivers must give way to vehicles already in the roundabout.
Intersection Rules: Right of way is given to vehicles already in the intersection, and traffic signals must be obeyed.

Headlight and Windshield Wiper Laws

Headlight Usage: Headlights must be used at night and during adverse weather conditions.
Windshield Wiper Rule: There is a requirement to turn on headlights when using wipers during rain.

Emergency Vehicles

Right of Way for Emergency Vehicles: Drivers must give way to emergency vehicles and move to the side of the road.

When renting a car in Mauritania, it is important to be familiar with these local driving laws and regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable driving experience.

Driving Tips for Mauritania

Road Conditions

Mauritania has a variety of road conditions, from well-paved highways to rough and unpaved rural roads. It’s important to be prepared for a range of terrains and to adjust your driving style accordingly.

Urban vs. Rural Driving

In urban areas, such as the capital city of Nouakchott, you can expect more crowded and chaotic traffic compared to rural areas. The road quality in urban areas is generally better than in rural areas, where you may encounter potholes and uneven surfaces.

Navigational Tips

Using GPS or a reliable map is highly recommended when driving in Mauritania, especially in remote areas where road signs may be scarce. Make sure to have a navigation system that includes up-to-date information on road closures and construction.

Other Useful Tips

– Be aware of livestock and wildlife crossing the roads, especially in rural areas.
– Plan your routes and fuel stops in advance, as gas stations may be limited in some areas.
– Keep an emergency kit in your car, including water, non-perishable food, and a first aid kit.

By keeping these driving tips in mind, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience when renting a car in Mauritania.

Roadside Assistance and Emergency Procedures

Breakdown Procedures

If you experience a breakdown while renting a car in Mauritania, the first step is to safely pull over to the side of the road. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers, and then contact the rental company for assistance. They will provide you with instructions on what to do next.

Emergency Services

In case of an emergency, it’s important to have the contact numbers for the police, ambulance, and roadside assistance readily available. The emergency number for police in Mauritania is 17, while the general ambulance number is 101. Additionally, rental companies also provide their own roadside assistance contact information, which should be included in the rental agreement.

Rental Company Policies

Most rental companies in Mauritania offer 24/7 assistance for breakdowns and emergencies. They also provide towing services to transport the vehicle to the nearest service center for repairs. It’s important to review the rental agreement to understand the specific support offered by the rental company and to be prepared in case of any roadside issues.

Where can you Rent a Car in Mauritania?

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.