Togo Driving Advice and Car Hire Info
Driving In Togo
You can drive on the licence of most countries for up to 6 months, after which time you will also need an International Driving Permit. Around a third of Togo’s 7500km of roads are paved and the Government has an ambitious target to pave 60% of roads by 2022. The main road in the country is the Trans–West African Coastal Highway which crosses the country connecting it to Benin and Nigeria to the east, and Ghana and Ivory Coast to the west.
Major roads in towns are paved though can be in poor condition. Most minor roads are not paved , and will flood every time it rains. Driving conditions can be hazardous throughout Togo due to the presence of pedestrians, large numbers of small motorcycles, poor driving practices, livestock on the roadways, and the poor condition of many roads, which sometimes contain deep potholes. Overland travel off the main network of roads generally requires a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Many drivers in Togo do not obey traffic laws and most traffic signals do not function properly. Drivers should be prepared for the possibility that other drivers may run red lights or stop signs or drive in the wrong direction on one-way streets.
Night time travel both in towns and the countryside can be dangerous due to the likelihood of livestock and pedestrians in the road and should be avoided. There are numerous checkpoints manned by poorly paid conscripts who will often be seeking a bribe to let you pass. This is the case on minor and major roads including the Lomé-Cotonou coastal highway which is generally in good condition, though the last few miles of road leading to the Benin border at Hilakondji has deteriorated badly.
Driving standards are generally poor- I’ve had some seriously scary moments travelling in taxis in Togo, especially outside of towns. Driving in towns and cities is quite chaotic but the lack of speed should mean any collision is limited to minor bump. Its out on the open road where things get dangerous. Togolese drivers think nothing of pulling out to overtake in the face of oncoming traffic. I’ve seen this around the world in buses and lorries but in Togo, the drivers of battered saloon cars seem to think they’re in an armoured car as they embark on a hair raising game of chicken. My preference in Togo would always be to drive myself and drive ultra defensively. i.e at every bend or corner expect a vehicle coming towards you on the wrong side of the road!
There have been reports of staged accidents in Lome involving motorbikes or pedestrians colliding with cars on purpose. A crowd will then gather and the mood can turn ugly until money is handed over. If this happens you should leave the scene and drive straight to a police station or your countries embassy and report the incident. Carjackings are periodically reported in Togo and tend to increase during the summer months and holiday seasons.
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.
Togo Car Rental –
Hertz, Europcar, Avis, Budget, have branches here.
We currently have no local car rental partners in Togo. If you are a local car rental company who would like to feature on DriverAbroad.com please check details on our Partnering page or contact us on ADriverAbroad@Outlook.com.
Togo Self drive Rules –
Hertz don’t allow cross border driving. Budget don’t make this clear but say if you take a chauffeur driven vehicle you pay extra for each days its outside Togo.