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Car Rental in Tanzania

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Renting a Car in Tanzania: What You Need to Know

When traveling to Tanzania, renting a car can give you the freedom and flexibility to explore the country at your own pace. However, it’s important to understand the local driving laws and requirements before hitting the road.

Driving Laws and Requirements in Tanzania

In Tanzania, you must be at least 21 years old and have a valid driver’s license to rent a car. If you’re a foreign visitor, an international driving permit is also recommended. It’s important to drive on the left side of the road in Tanzania, and wearing seatbelts is mandatory for all passengers.

Choosing the Right Rental Car

When selecting a rental car in Tanzania, consider the type of terrain you’ll be driving on. If you plan to explore off-the-beaten-path locations, a 4×4 vehicle may be a better option. Additionally, opt for a car with air conditioning to stay comfortable in Tanzania’s warm climate.

Insurance and Additional Fees

Before finalizing your car rental in Tanzania, be sure to understand the insurance coverage and any additional fees. Comprehensive insurance is recommended, as road conditions in Tanzania can be unpredictable. Additionally, inquire about any potential fees for crossing borders or dropping off the car at a different location.

Driving Tips in Tanzania

While driving in Tanzania, be mindful of wildlife crossing the road, especially in national parks and rural areas. It’s also important to drive cautiously in urban areas, as traffic can be congested. Familiarize yourself with the local road signs and be prepared for occasional road checkpoints.

Renting a car in Tanzania can enhance your travel experience, allowing you to explore the country on your terms. By understanding the local driving laws and requirements, choosing the right rental car, and being mindful of insurance and driving tips, you can enjoy a safe and memorable road trip in Tanzania.

Rental Requirements

Age Limits

To rent a car in Tanzania, the minimum age requirement is usually 23 years old, and the maximum age is typically 70 years old. Some car rental companies may have different age limits, so it’s best to check with the specific company before booking.

Driving License Requirements

To rent a car in Tanzania, you will need a valid driver’s license. If your driver’s license is not in English, it is recommended to also carry an International Driving Permit (IDP) to ensure smooth communication with local authorities. Additionally, most car rental companies require you to have held a valid driver’s license for at least one year.


When renting a car in Tanzania, you will need to provide certain documents such as a valid passport, a credit card for the security deposit, and your driver’s license or IDP. It’s important to have these documents ready when picking up your rental car to avoid any delays.

Overall, renting a car in Tanzania is a straightforward process as long as you meet the age requirements, have the necessary driving license and documentation. Always remember to drive safely and follow the local traffic rules and regulations.

Insurance Information

When renting a car in Tanzania, it’s important to understand the different insurance options available to ensure a safe and worry-free driving experience.

Basic Insurance

The basic insurance typically includes Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Theft Protection. The Collision Damage Waiver covers the cost of damage to the rental vehicle in the event of a collision, while Theft Protection covers the cost of replacing the vehicle if it is stolen.

Additional Insurance

In addition to basic insurance, there are options for 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 provides coverage for damages to third parties and their property.

Insurance Tips

Before renting a car in Tanzania, it is recommended to check existing travel insurance policies to see if they provide any coverage for rental vehicles. It’s also important to carefully review the terms and conditions of the insurance policy offered by the rental car company to fully understand the coverage and any potential exclusions.

Local Driving Laws and Regulations in Tanzania

General Traffic Rules

Driving Side: In Tanzania, driving is on the left side of the road.
Speed Limits: The speed limit is typically 50 km/h in urban areas, 80 km/h on rural roads, and 100 km/h on highways.
Other Useful Info: Be aware of wildlife crossing roads, especially in rural areas.

Overtaking and Lane Usage

Overtaking Rules: Overtaking should be done on the right-hand side.
Lane Discipline: Keep left except to overtake, especially on multi-lane roads.
Other Useful Info: Be cautious of slow-moving vehicles, especially on rural roads.

Seat Belt and Child Safety

Seat Belt Laws: Wearing seat belts is mandatory for all passengers.
Child Safety: Children under the age of 12 should be seated in the back and use appropriate child restraints.
Other Useful Info: Car rental companies can provide child car seats upon request.

Use of Mobile Phones

Mobile Phone Restrictions: The use of handheld mobile phones while driving is prohibited.
Other Useful Info: Use of hands-free devices is allowed.

Alcohol and Driving

Legal Blood Alcohol Limits: The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08%.
Zero Tolerance Policies: Strict rules apply for commercial drivers and new drivers.
Other Useful Info: Random breathalyzer tests are conducted by law enforcement.

Tolls and Charges

Toll Roads: There are toll roads in Tanzania, and payment is usually in cash.
Congestion Charges: There are no urban congestion charges in Tanzania.
Other Useful Info: Car rental companies can provide information on toll roads.

Roundabouts and Intersections

Navigating Roundabouts: Give way to vehicles already in the roundabout.
Intersection Rules: Traffic signals and road signs indicate right of way.
Other Useful Info: Be cautious of pedestrians at intersections.

Headlight and Windshield Wiper Laws

Headlight Usage: Use headlights at night and during adverse weather conditions.
Windshield Wiper Rule: No specific requirement to turn on headlights when using wipers.
Other Useful Info: Keep windshield wipers in good condition for rainy seasons.

Emergency Vehicles

Right of Way for Emergency Vehicles: Pull over and give way to emergency vehicles with sirens.
Other Useful Info: Follow instructions from traffic police during emergencies.

Driving Tips for Tanzania

Road Conditions

Tanzania’s road conditions can vary greatly, with major highways being well-maintained but rural roads often being in poor condition. It’s important to be cautious and aware of road conditions, especially during the rainy season when some roads may become impassable.

Urban vs. Rural Driving

Driving in urban areas like Dar es Salaam or Arusha can be hectic, with heavy traffic and aggressive drivers. In rural areas, road quality may be poor and wildlife can pose a risk, so it’s important to drive with caution.

Navigational Tips

Using a GPS can be helpful in Tanzania, but it’s always a good idea to have a paper map as well, as GPS signals can be unreliable in some remote areas. It’s also important to familiarize yourself with local landmarks and road signs.

Other Useful Tips

– Always carry your driver’s license and rental car documents with you while driving.
– Be aware of local driving laws and regulations, such as speed limits and right-of-way rules.
– Take extra precautions if driving at night, as road conditions and visibility may be poor.

When renting a car in Tanzania, it’s important to be prepared for various road conditions and driving styles, but with the right precautions, exploring this beautiful country by car can be a rewarding experience.

Roadside Assistance and Emergency Procedures

Breakdown Procedures

If you experience a breakdown while driving a rented car in Tanzania, the first step is to safely pull over to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. Next, contact the rental company to inform them of the situation and follow their instructions. Do not attempt to fix the vehicle yourself unless it is safe to do so.

Emergency Services

In case of a medical emergency or accident, it is important to have the contact numbers for emergency services readily available. The emergency hotline in Tanzania is 112 for police, 114 for ambulance, and 111 for fire services. Additionally, most rental companies provide their own roadside assistance hotline for immediate support.

Rental Company Policies

When renting a car in Tanzania, it is crucial to understand the support offered by the rental company in case of a breakdown or emergency. Most reputable rental companies provide 24/7 assistance and have procedures in place for towing services if needed. It is recommended to familiarize yourself with these policies before embarking on your journey.

Where can you Rent a Car in Tanzania?

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.