Are there any special requirements for driving or hiring a car in Mauritius?
Mauritius is quite a densely populated island but there are plenty of opportunities to gget away from it all with a hire car. In town, just take special care and watch all directions, Mauritians aren't known for careful driving!
Seat Belt Laws
Everyone, front and rear occupants of a car must wear seat belts whilst a car is in motion in Mauritius.
Drinking and Driving
The drink driving laws in Mauritius are more restrictive than in the UK. You must have no more than 50mg per 100ml of blood in your body. This equates to around one drink. As such, we recommend that you don’t drink any alcohol before getting behind the wheel in Mauritius.
Must Have Documents
An international driving licence is unnecessary for most countries, simply both parts of your driving licence and a valid insurance certificate. It’s useful to have your registration documents and a copy of your passport too.
The speed limits for Mauritius are as follows:
Open roads: 80 km/h
In Town: 40 km/h
Highway 100 km/h
Minimum Driving Age
You have to be at least 18 to be able to drive in Mauritius. If you're renting a car the minimum age is 21 with most companies. Under 25 and you’re likely to have to pay a premium for your lack of experience and age although with some companies this drops to 24.
Safety Camera Warning Devices
Safety camera warning devices are not illegal in Mauritius but the island’s roads aren’t conducive to excess speed so forget trying to beat any cameras and stick to the limit.
On the Spot Fines
If you are stopped by the police in Mauritius you will be asked to present your documents. If it’s determined an offence has been committed you’ll be given a ticket detailing it and the penalty incurred.
Child Safety Rules
In Mauritius, no child under the age of twelve can travel in the front of a car. Instead, they should use an age appropriate restraint system which, if you’re renting a car, we can ensure is fitted before you collect it.
A minimum of third party insurance is required by law in Mauritius and you must carry proof of it by way of a valid certificate.
Rules of the Road
Standard international driving laws apply with one or two exceptions.
• In Mauritius, traffic drives on the left
• On roundabouts, you can use both lanes if staying on it but switch to the left hand lane if exiting
• Mauritians regularly use their horn to indicate that you are being too slow.
There are no restrictions on towing in Mauritius, just use common sense and make sure you can see what’s happening around you.
There are some fixed speed cameras around Mauritius, mostly in and around the capital Port Louis. If you’re caught, you’ll get sent a speeding ticket to the registered address of the vehicle or to your car hire company who will pass on the ticket.
Using Mobile Phones when driving
It’s illegal to talk or text on a mobile phone whilst driving in Mauritius unless you have a hands free kit.
Mauritius is generally quiet but in the cities of Port Louis, Rose Hill, Curepipe and Quatre Bornes you’ll encounter a lot more traffic and a lot less parking.
In almost every part of Mauritius, parking is free and you can park anywhere that’s not obstructing access. In the cities, you’ll have to buy a parking ticket from petrol stations which costs ten rupees for each half hour up to a maximum of an hour. If that isn’t enough time, park at the racecourse in Port Louis.
Police monitor the areas controlled by parking tickets and often hand out fines for overstaying. If you’re not sure of the length of your stay, park outside the centre for free and get public transport in.
There are no allowances made for disabled drivers but in most places you can find a more accessible parking space. The locals are often glad to help.
Motor Way Signs
There are two roads which could be considered motorways on Mauritius, the M1 and M2. Signs on them are blue with white writing.
There are no official languages but English is the most widely spoken followed by French so you won’t have difficulty getting by.
Mauritius has only a few sets of traffic lights compared to other countries but there’ll be no confusing their operation as they follow international sequencing.
Mauritius is in the process of applying tolls to eight road systems on the island including some newly constructed, privately funded roads. All toll roads parallel existing free to use routes so drivers won’t have to pay to drive on the island. Toll charges are low and do save much time over the congested free roads.
The emergency number in Mauritius is the UK standard 999 for the police and ambulance or you can use 112 for the police and 114 for medical emergencies. For the fire service it’s 995 and 115.
What to do in an emergency
All rental cars should have an emergency contact number on a sticker inside the windscreen which you should call if you get into difficulty. If you’re in a private car, use a local garage or contact the police if your car is causing a danger to others.
If you are involved in an accident you should call the emergency services but this is only necessary when there are injuries or major damage. Whilst waiting for the police, take photographs of the scene where possible and if you can leave the cars in position without causing danger to others, it is recommended that you do so.
As of August 2014, the average price of 95 octane unleaded petrol in Mauritius is £1.01 whilst diesel is 89p. Prices can vary between the towns and the smaller villages.