Hiring a Car in Mauritius: My First-hand Guide to Easy and Affordable Rental for Travelers and Vacationers

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If you have doubts is it worth hiring a car in Mauritius here is an clear answer: yes it is! The best way to explore and feel Mauritius is to drive around the island. All you need to do is bring your driver’s license, rent a car, and embark on an adventure. Here I will share my experience.

How to hire a car in Mauritius my experience

I’ve gathered all my experiences of renting a car in Mauritius, along with some useful tips, in this guide, and I hope you’ll find it valuable.

There are both local rentals and international offices. Local street car rentals may have a lower price, but the quality of the car is like a roulette wheel. International rentals always rent cars in good technical condition. For car rentals at the hotel, the price tag starts from 45-50 euros, which is higher than if you rent on the Internet. What sites did I use when I was looking for a car in Mauritius:

  • Localrent – this website contains reliable rentals from local car hire companies. To make a car reservation, a small prepayment of 15% is required, with the remaining amount payable on-site in either cash or by card. Official website →
  • Economybookings.com – car rental price starts from 30 euros / day for a Hyundai i10. This website provides vehicles from renowned international car rental companies like Sixt, Budget, Avis, and Europcar. Official website →
It is completely safe to hire a car in Mauritius. However, if you don’t possess a driver’s license or prefer not to rent a car during your vacation, it’s worth noting that you have the option to rent a car with a driver in Mauritius. Such service is called car hire for a day with driver. The driver will take you around the island, wherever you say. You can order such a service on this page of the Viator website.

When vacationing in Mauritius for 1-2 weeks, it’s advisable to utilize international services like localrent or economybookings. I’ve used both platforms to book cars in various countries, and I’ve never encountered any issues with pick-up or return.

If you plan to spend a couple of months on the island, then it makes sense to look for a car from local rental cars. For example, on Flic-en-Flac beach that rents inexpensive Malaysian cars. For example, Perodua Axia. If you are looking for a cheaper car, then this is a great inexpensive option. True, even the Nissan March rides more cheerfully, but it will do for trips around the island.

Be prepared for the possibility of receiving a rental car with an almost empty tank. Your first task should be to locate the nearest gas station and ensure you have cash on hand for refueling. As of January 2024, the gasoline prices are as follows:

Types of Fuel

Price in MUR

1 Liter Gasoline/Petrol: 74 MUR / 1.39 €
1 Liter Diesel Price: 60.55 MUR / 1.11 €

Car Rental at Plaine Magnien, Mauritius Airport: My Experience and Tips

When I planned my trip to Mauritius, I chose to pre-book a car through the Localrent website. I’ve frequently used this platform while traveling and have gained extensive experience, making it my preferred choice over any other option. However, if you’d like to book a car from internationally renowned companies such as Europcar, Sixt, Avis, etc., I would recommend using the EconomyBookings website.

Here are some things to consider when pre-booking a car online in Plaine Magnien, Mauritius:

  1. Pickup Location: Ensure that the pickup location is specified as Mauritius International Airport (MRU). Some websites may list it as Plaine Magnien, others as Mauritius Airport (MRU), or in its longer form, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport. Occasionally, it may simply be referred to as Mahebourg, the name of the nearest town.
  2. Pickup Time: Specify your pickup time as your flight arrival time plus an additional hour. I recommend adding your flight number in the order notes for clarity and coordination. This helps ensure a smooth pickup process upon your arrival.

After confirming a car reservation with a small prepayment, I received a booking voucher with all the details in my email.

I picked up the Nissan March subcompact car at the airport for an 8-day rental period. The pickup process went smoothly and quickly. A representative from the rental company was waiting for me at the designated meeting area at the Mauritius Airport. He efficiently completed a rental agreement. I carefully inspected the car, noting any existing damages in the rental agreement, and then proceeded to sign it. And that was it.

how to hire a car in Mauritius, my experience

Honestly, I can’t claim that this car is fantastic. However, it serves its purpose well for 1-2 persons and is an ideal choice when you are on a budget.

When renting a car at Mauritius Airport, please be aware that there is a parking fee. The fee is relatively small and can be paid at the parking lot exit. There is an ATM available for cash withdrawals in mauritian rupees (MUR), conveniently located at exit number 7 of the airport.

Documents Required for Car Rental in Mauritius

Here are list of the documents you need to rent a car on Mauritius:

  • Identification. A valid foreign passport issued by the government.
  • Driver’s license. A valid driver’s license is a must. Make sure it’s in good condition and not expired.
  • Credit Card: Most rental companies require a credit card in the driver’s name. This is often used for security deposits or to cover any additional charges.
  • Reservation Confirmation: If you’ve made a reservation in advance, having the reservation confirmation or booking voucher can be helpful.
Gas station in Mauritius

The island has both large gas stations with shops and toilets, as well as small gas stations.

How much does it cost to hire a car in Mauritius

In 2024 the cost of renting a car on the island is:

  • The lowest price I found for renting a car was at a no-name street rent-a-car agency. It was a car with a manual transmission, priced at 21 euros per day. The car was in extremely poor condition.
Tip 1: Avoid renting a car with manual transmission in Mauritius even if you are on budget. The price difference between manual and automatic cars may not be substantial, but the difference in your driving experience is significant.
  • The cheapest price for a car with an automatic transmission is 25 euros / day. Typically, such cars tend to be older and may have limited air conditioning quality.
Tip 2: if you decide to rent a car from local rentals on the street, do not take a car older than 6-7 years. How can you check the age of a car in Mauritius: the last two digits correspond to the year of its manufacture. Experienced travelers do not advise renting a car that was released more than 4-5 years ago.
  • The cost of a car on a manual gearbox in normal condition is from 30 euros / day, depending on the size and class of the car.
  • The average price for a small car with an automatic transmission is 35 euros per day. The car will be in good condition.
  • The hotel offered me a highest price of 50 euros per day.

You can check actual prices on this website →

If you decide to rent a car from local rental agencies, it’s highly probable that you’ll need to provide a cash deposit for the vehicle. Here’s a crucial detail to keep in mind:

Tip 3: Always ensure that the full deposit amount is clearly specified in the rental agreement.

Some other costs that you can have with a local rental agency:

  • For picking up / dropping off a car at the airport.
  • Car wash – you can wash the car before returning but not only outside, interior must be clean too. If the distributor does not like it, he will deduct the car wash from the deposit.
  • Gasoline – if you were given a car with a full tank and you return it with an empty one.

Understanding the Road Rules in Mauritius

In Mauritius, traffic flows on the left-hand side of the road. Adapting to this driving orientation is relatively straightforward, and the majority of traffic congestion occurs primarily in the central region of the island. Along the coastal areas, with the exception of peak hours in Grand Baie, you’ll generally encounter fewer vehicles.

What suits best for Mauritius: car or motorbike? Locals do indeed use both cars and motorbikes for transportation, but it’s safe to say that Mauritius is generally considered to be more car-friendly than motorbike-friendly. The road infrastructure and traffic regulations are designed with cars in mind, and cars are the most common mode of transportation for both locals and tourists.

Is it difficult to drive in Mauritius? No, absolutely not! I found the traffic on the island to be straightforward, particularly when compared to experiences in countries like Thailand and Malaysia. There are no intricate interchanges to contend with, except perhaps in the capital city, Port Louis. Instead, roundabouts are common in various locations. Additionally, I observed that Mauritians tend to drive in a calm manner.

What do roads look like in Mauritius

Traffic on the roads of Mauritius during rush hour in the center of the island

The speed limit in Mauritius is 60 km/h in the city and 80 km/h beyond city limits and 100 km/h on highways. It is important to follow the rules of the road, and not just out of a sense of civic duty, but also because traffic police are vigilantly monitoring the movement of vehicles.

There are almost no police on the roads, they will rarely stop you. But there are a lot of cameras, and the fine arrives very quickly.

Roads in Mauritius

There are a lot of cameras on the roads of Mauritius.

I didn’t rent any navigation system to navigate the island. Instead I used cached Google Maps. Google Maps know the roads of the island well; inaccuracies were only a couple of times on the roundabounds. Google thought there were fewer ramps on the ring than there actually were. It’s just that the Mauritians made dead-end ramps in reserve, and Google Maps didn’t know about it then.

There are no problems with parking on the island. All beaches have large parking lots that are free. Near the shops there is also free parking, as well as near the banks. There are only few paid parkings on the island and one of them is located in the city of Port Luis.