Senegal Driving Advice and Car Hire Info

Driving in Senegal-
You should check your government’s website for the latest information before driving abroad in Senegal. Senegal drives on the right-hand side of the road and you can use the licence of most countries for up to 6 months, after which time you wll need to apply for a local licence.

Dakar is the endpoint of three routes in the Trans-African Highway network. These are as follows:    Cairo-Dakar Highway which crosses the edge of the Sahara,  Dakar-Ndjamena Highway, also called the Trans-Sahelian Highway, Dakar-Lagos Highway running along the West African coast and called the Trans–West African Coastal Highway. Senegal has one motorway which runs for 34 km. between Dakar and Diamniadio, and is a toll road.Most main roads in Senegal are in relatively good condition for daytime driving, smaller roads are usually in poor condition. During the rainy season, many roads are passable only with four-wheel drive vehicles. Service stations are generally available along main roads.

Senegalese traffic tends to be chaotic, especially in Dakar where driving should be avoided if you can. Driving standards are often poor – Drivers exceed speed limits, follow other vehicles closely, ignore lane markings, and attempt to pass on the wrong side of the road in the face of oncoming traffic. Many vehicles are not well-maintained and are poorly lit at night,as are the roads in and out of towns. Due to limited street lighting, pedestrians are difficult to see at night too, so you should avoid driving at night. In both rural and urban areas you should expect to encounter motorcycles, bicyclists, pedestrians, livestock, and animal carts on the road.  Caution and defensive driving techniques are strongly recommended.

You may be stopped at police roadblocks throughout the country when driving abroad in Senegal, and your car and luggage may be searched. If you are stopped for a traffic offence the police officer will generally confiscate your driver’s license or ID card until the fine is paid. This is legitimate and you should comply with the request . However,  police officers will be attempting to elicit a bribe from you. You should be friendly and deferential and if you can get away with it, pretend not to understand what the police are saying (many Senegalese outside Dakar won’t speak French). It is worth carrying some small denomination local bank notes in a separate pocket though – if you do have to pay you don’t want to reveal a large bundle of currency or the bribe/fine will increase significantly very quickly!

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.

Senegal Car Rental –
Hertz, Europcar, National, Avis, Budget, all have branches in Dakar.Hertz also have an outlet in Mbour.

We currently have no local car rental partners in Senegal. 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

Senegal Self Drive Rules-
Most of the big companies will allow cars to be taken into Gambia but don’t offer one way rentals.

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