Madagascar Driving Advice and Car Hire Info

Driving In Madagascar
You should check your Government’s website for the latest information before driving abroad in Madagascar. Road conditions vary greatly. In the rainy season (December to April), most secondary roads are impassable (except by four-wheel-drive vehicles) and bridges are frequently washed away. Most main roads may have a few pot holes but are generally in Okay condition. Smaller roads will be in a poor state of repair so will be more likely to deteriorate in bad weather, especially in the rainy season of December to April. Driving standards are variable- drivers will often drive in the centre of the road even when rounding blind bends or hills and may signal their presence by sounding their horn.

You should avoid driving at night, even in Tana. There are many bandits (some in uniform!) who will stop cars and blatantly extract bribes or ‘Cadeaus’. I have personal experience of this. Even when driving through the day, keep a pocket full of small denomination local currency in case you’re stopped. The last thing you want to do is expose a large wad of dollars or Euros which will inevitably increase the value of the bribe required.If you can, avoid driving in Tana at all- the centre is a series of winding roads built on a number of hills and its easy to get lost. If you must drive, ask a taxi driver if you can follow him to your destination or ask the rental company to meet you on the outskirts of town.

Due to a number of highway robberies you should avoid self driving to or within certain areas – Western regions of Madagascar (the regions between Besalampy and Morombe) including the RN35 and RN1 (between Tsiroanomandidy and Maintirano). You should also maintain a high level of vigilance if you travel on the following roads: RN7, RN27, RN10 and RN34. Also in the far south of the country between Tulear and Fort Dauphin. Official advice is not to stop if you’ve been involved in, or see an accident. Call the police (117) or drive to the next town and report to the police directly.

You should obtain an International Driving permit to drive in Madagascar.

Although I try and keep the information in the site updated as much as possible, in a rapidly moving world, situations can change daily. Therefore please use the site as an approximate guide, and in conjunction with other resources in order to form your view on driving conditions, roads, safety etc.

Madagascar Car Rental –
There seems to be some conflicting info on whether self drive is allowed in Madagscar. Budget say its not allowed. Europcar don’t say its not allowed but do say all their cars have to take their own driver. Avis, as usual on their website terms, say very little. However, Hertz and Sixt make reference to minimum driving age of 23, having an IDP and insurance terms which makes it pretty certain they do offer self drive from Antananarivo.

We currently have no local car rental partners in Madagascar. If you are a local car rental company who would like to feature on please check details on our Partnering page or contact us on

Madagascar Self Drive Rules-
International Driving permit is needed and cars can’t be taken out of Madagascar.The multinational companies only have offices in Tana so its likely any one way rental would only be possible if you get the company to come and pick up/drop off the car, which is often a possibility in Africa.

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