Driving in Rabat

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Rabat.

1. Understanding the Driving Culture

Driving in Rabat, like many other cities in Morocco, can be a bit chaotic for those not used to it. Traffic rules are often loosely followed, and drivers can be aggressive. It’s important to be alert and cautious at all times. Expect the unexpected, such as pedestrians crossing the road without warning, or vehicles changing lanes without signaling.

2. Car Recommendation

Compact cars are recommended for driving in Rabat due to the narrow streets and heavy traffic. They are easier to maneuver and park. Also, consider a car with good fuel efficiency as petrol prices can be high.

3. Parking Situation

Finding parking in Rabat can be challenging, especially in the city center and during peak hours. Some areas have paid parking zones, while others have free street parking. Parking fees are generally not expensive, but it’s advisable to always have some change with you for parking fees.

4. Driving with an International License

Foreigners can drive in Morocco with an international driving permit for up to one year. After that, you will need to obtain a Moroccan driver’s license. It’s important to always have your passport and driving permit with you when driving.

5. Obtaining a Moroccan Driver’s License

To get a Moroccan driver’s license, you will need to pass a driving test. The test is conducted in Arabic or French, so if you don’t speak these languages, you may need a translator. You will also need to provide a medical certificate, proof of residence, and your original driver’s license. It’s advisable to contact the local authorities or a driving school for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

6. Road Conditions

Road conditions in Rabat can vary. Major roads and highways are generally in good condition, but smaller streets can be narrow and poorly maintained. Be cautious of potholes and other road hazards.

7. Safety Precautions

Always wear your seatbelt and ensure all passengers do the same. Avoid driving at night if possible, as some roads are not well lit. Also, be aware that traffic police frequently conduct checks, so always adhere to speed limits and other traffic rules.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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