Vanuatu Driving Advice and Car Hire Info

Driving in Vanuatu

Vanuatu drives on the right and you can use the photo licence of any country to drive here. Speed limits range from 50kmh in built up areas to 80kmh in rural areas.

Vanuatu is an archipelago of 82 small islands with the main population areas, and road networks, including all the paved roads,  around the largest towns,the capital Port Vila, on Efate, and Luganville on Espiritu Santo. In total Vanuatu has 1000km of roads, of which around 25% are paved. On Efate, there is a good sealed road known as the ring road which runs right around the island. It’s 130km long and takes around 3 hours to drive. Other roads on the island outside Port Vila will be dirt roads. On Espiritu Santo, three main roads run from Luganville.  Main Street leaves the town to the west and runs along the south coast of the island for about 40 km ending at the village of Tasiriki on the southwest coast. Canal Road runs along the southern and eastern coasts of the island, north through Hog Harbor and Golden Beach, ending at Port Olry. Big Bay Highway splits off from Canal Road near Turtle Bay on the east coast, runs generally west to the mountains, and then it leads north to Big Bay.

Rural roads are often little more than tracks made of dirt or compacted coral which are in generally poor states of repair, especially after rain. Even paved roads can be narrow in places and will be unlit so you should take particular care if driving at night. Vehicles are often in poor states of repair and may be unlit at night. You should tell the rental company where you intend to visit and they will advise what type of vehicle you’ll need.

There are passenger ferries between Vanuatu’s main islands, but at present there are no car ferry services.

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.

Vanuatu Car Rental –
Hertz, Europcar, Avis, Budget have branches in Port Vila on Efate Island

We currently have no local car rental partners in Vanuatu. 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

Vanuatu Self Drive Rules
There may be restrictions on where cars can be taken when renting from the big companies. Eg Hertz cars are restricted to the area around Port Vila, out to Mele Cascades , through to Tamanu, Whitesands, Bluewater Resort. If travelling outside these areas or around the island a 4WD is required.

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