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Car Rental in Zambia

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Renting a Car in Zambia

When visiting Zambia, renting a car can be a convenient and flexible way to explore the country. However, it’s important to understand the local driving laws and requirements to ensure a smooth and safe experience.

Driving Laws and Requirements

In Zambia, driving is done on the left side of the road, and the minimum age for driving is 18 years old. Visitors from other countries can use their valid driver’s license for up to 90 days, but it’s recommended to obtain an international driving permit to avoid any potential complications.

Choosing the Right Car

When renting a car in Zambia, it’s essential to consider the type of vehicle that suits your travel needs. Whether it’s a compact car for navigating city streets or a 4×4 for exploring off-road destinations, there are various options available from reputable rental companies.

Booking and Insurance

It’s advisable to book a rental car in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons. Additionally, obtaining comprehensive insurance coverage for the rental car is highly recommended to provide peace of mind in case of any unexpected situations on the road.

Exploring Zambia by Car

With a rented car, visitors can explore Zambia’s diverse landscapes, from the majestic Victoria Falls to the wildlife-rich national parks. Having the freedom to create your own itinerary and stop at various attractions along the way adds a layer of excitement to the travel experience.

Renting a car in Zambia can enhance your travel experience by providing flexibility and convenience. By understanding the local driving laws and requirements, choosing the right car, and being prepared with insurance coverage, visitors can enjoy a safe and enjoyable road trip in this beautiful country.

Rental Requirements

Age Limits

When renting a car in Zambia, the minimum age requirement is typically 23 years old. Some car rental companies may also have a maximum age limit, usually around 75 years old. It’s important to check the specific age requirements with your chosen rental company.

Driving License Requirements

To rent a car in Zambia, you will need a valid driver’s license from your home country. Some rental companies may also require an International Driving Permit (IDP), so it’s best to check with your rental company beforehand. Additionally, most car rental companies will require you to have held your license for a minimum period, usually one year.


When picking up your rental car in Zambia, you will need to present certain documents. This typically includes your passport, driver’s license, and a credit card for the security deposit. It’s important to have all necessary documentation ready to ensure a smooth rental process.

Insurance Information

When renting a car in Zambia, it’s important to understand the different types of insurance available to ensure a smooth and safe journey.

Basic Insurance

The basic insurance typically included when renting a car in Zambia covers Collision Damage Waiver and Theft Protection. Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) limits the renter’s liability for damage to the rental vehicle, while Theft Protection provides coverage in case the car is stolen.

Additional Insurance

In addition to the basic insurance, travelers have the option to purchase additional coverage such as Personal Accident Insurance and Supplemental Liability Insurance. Personal Accident Insurance provides financial protection in the event of injury or death, while Supplemental Liability Insurance offers extended liability coverage beyond the basic insurance.

Insurance Tips

For travelers renting a car in Zambia, it’s recommended to check existing travel insurance policies to see if they already provide coverage for rental cars. This can help avoid duplicating coverage and save on insurance costs. Additionally, it’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions of the insurance coverage offered by the car rental company to fully understand the extent of protection provided.

Local Driving Laws and Regulations in Zambia

General Traffic Rules

Driving Side: In Zambia, driving is on the left side of the road.
Speed Limits: The speed limit is typically 50 km/h in urban areas, 100 km/h on rural roads, and 120 km/h on highways.
Other Useful Info: Always carry your driver’s license and vehicle registration documents.

Overtaking and Lane Usage

Overtaking Rules: Overtaking should only be done on the right side when it is safe and legal to do so.
Lane Discipline: Keep left and use the right lane for overtaking on multi-lane roads.
Other Useful Info: Be cautious of pedestrians and cyclists on the road.

Seat Belt and Child Safety

Seat Belt Laws: It is mandatory for all occupants to wear seat belts, and child seats are required for young passengers.
Child Safety: Children under the age of 12 should be seated in the back and use appropriate restraints.
Other Useful Info: Ensure that all passengers are properly buckled up before driving.

Use of Mobile Phones

Mobile Phone Restrictions: The use of handheld mobile phones while driving is prohibited.
Other Useful Info: Consider using a hands-free device if you need to make a call while driving.

Alcohol and Driving

Legal Blood Alcohol Limits: The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08%. Penalties for DUI/DWI are severe.
Zero Tolerance Policies: There are stricter rules for commercial drivers and new drivers.
Other Useful Info: It is best to avoid drinking any alcohol before driving.

Tolls and Charges

Toll Roads: There are toll roads in Zambia, and payment is usually in the local currency.
Congestion Charges: There are no urban congestion charges in Zambia.
Other Useful Info: Keep small denominations of money for toll payments.

Roundabouts and Intersections

Navigating Roundabouts: Give way to traffic on the right when entering a roundabout.
Intersection Rules: Follow the right of way and traffic signal rules at intersections.
Other Useful Info: Be cautious of other drivers’ actions at intersections.

Headlight and Windshield Wiper Laws

Headlight Usage: Headlights should be used at night and during adverse weather conditions.
Windshield Wiper Rule: It is recommended to use headlights when using wipers in poor visibility.
Other Useful Info: Keep your vehicle’s lights and wipers in good working condition.

Emergency Vehicles

Right of Way for Emergency Vehicles: Pull over to the side of the road and give way to emergency vehicles with lights and sirens.
Other Useful Info: Stay calm and alert when emergency vehicles are approaching.

By following these local driving laws and regulations in Zambia, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience when renting a car and exploring the country.

Driving Tips for Zambia

Road Conditions

Zambia’s road conditions can vary greatly, with major highways being well-maintained and secondary roads often being in poorer 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

In urban areas like Lusaka and Ndola, traffic can be heavy and drivers may be more aggressive. In rural areas, roads may be narrow and in worse condition, requiring a more cautious driving approach. It’s important to adapt your driving style based on your location.

Navigational Tips

Using GPS can be very helpful in Zambia, especially when navigating through rural areas with limited signage. It’s also a good idea to have a physical map as a backup, as technology may not always be reliable in remote areas.

Other Useful Tips

– Drive on the left side of the road in Zambia.
– Be cautious of pedestrians and wildlife, especially in rural areas.
– Keep an eye out for speed bumps and potholes, as they are common on many roads.

When renting a car in Zambia, it’s important to be aware of the driving conditions and adjust your driving style accordingly. By following these tips, you can have a safe and enjoyable driving experience in this beautiful country.

Roadside Assistance and Emergency Procedures

Breakdown Procedures

In the event of a breakdown while renting a car in Zambia, the first step is to safely pull over to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. Then, contact the rental company’s roadside assistance hotline for further instructions. If it is safe to do so, you may also attempt to assess the situation and see if there are any immediate steps you can take to address the issue.

Emergency Services

It’s important to have the contact numbers for emergency services readily available while driving in Zambia. The nationwide emergency number for police, ambulance, and fire services is 999. In addition, make sure to have the rental company’s roadside assistance number saved in your phone for quick access in case of an emergency.

Rental Company Policies

When renting a car in Zambia, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the roadside assistance and support offered by the rental company. Many reputable rental companies provide 24/7 roadside assistance and towing services in the event of a breakdown. Be sure to review the specific policies and procedures outlined in your rental agreement to ensure you know what to do in case of an emergency.

Where can you Rent a Car in Zambia?

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.