Renting a car in Ghana and self-drive around the country is a wonderful way to experience the peaceful Republic. It’s also the best way to explore than other options, it allows you to decide where you want to go, and you get to see the sights at your own pace.
Take your time driving off-road in search of wildlife in Ghana. Stop to take photos of scenic views in beautiful recreational parks. The best way to get around all these cities and towns in Ghana is by using self-drive vacation packages, which are quite popular among tourists these days. There are other advantages of hiring a car for self-driving instead of opting for a tour company to drive you through your trip.
When my travel buddy Perry Tintin and I were planning our recent trip to Central Region, we were initially hesitant about getting a car to explore the region by ourselves. But it was a great choice leading to an amazing experience. We can’t wait to share all with you on our Youtube channel. Stay tuned. Now back to the topic.
Ghana has a bit of a reputation for rough driving or drivers. So it is best to do your research and know about driving and renting a car in Ghana before planning a self-driving trip in the country.
Trust me, you will love the freedom of road trips. Picking your own routes, visiting top archaeological sites, hanging out on beautiful beaches, and simply stopping whenever you want to, all At your own pace.
Here are some important tips you should know when renting a car in Ghana, to help you save money and stay safe while driving around the country.
NB: Most bloggers sell these travel guides, but I’m putting them out for free. So you can help me grow by sharing this article with friends or on your social media pages.
Ghana Travel Restrictions
Ghana is allowing travellers to visit, travellers from around the world. You must either have proof of your COVID-19 vaccination(s) or present a negative PCR test within 72 hours of your flight.
Hotels, attractions, and private tours are open with new health and safety protocols in place, and you still have to follow certain guidelines.
You can find the latest updates on travelling to Ghana here.
How To Rent A Car In Ghana
1. Should You Self-Drive In Ghana?
To be honest, if you are a fan of joining a group tour or travelling with strangers, then it is best to book a tour package from a tour company. No planning, no driving, just sit back and let someone else do all the work.
My friend Kaptainnlexi is one of the best tour guides in Ghana for you. Hit him up and he’ll give you quite the experience.
But if you are like me and my travel buddy, you like independent travel and having fun on the road, then renting a car and self-driving trip in Ghana is the best way to explore.
You don’t have to schedule or have a timetable — driving around Ghana with the freedom to stop anywhere cool you find along the way. Yes, you can take your rental car anywhere in Ghana, If you are not scared to drive late at night.
Just know that there are some rough roads and a lot of speed ramps on the road. But spend a day driving here, you will get to know all the tricks involved in driving in Ghana.
A great thing about renting your own car is the flexibility you get, should you decide to change your plans or get off the beaten path.
2. How And Where To Rent A Car In Ghana
There are so many ways you can rent a car in Ghana. You can just walk to a nearby car garage and ask if they can rent you a car. But that is not the right way for tourists visiting Ghana for the first time. You will need a more proper arrangement.
The best thing about using Ghana-car-rentals.com is that they will bring the car to your location. Where to rent a car in Ghana depends on where you want to start your journey, But most tourists start their trip at the airport.
Some people decide to rent a car after few days of exploring the Capital, Accra by using public transportation to get around the city. Then you can pick up your car and explore other parts of Ghanan.
Driving in Accra is a little crazy and hard, but if you can survive driving in Accra traffic, then you can survive driving anywhere in Ghana.
3. Do I Have To Get Car Rental Insurance In Ghana?
Well as I said, driving in Ghana can be a little rough. The rumours about driving in Ghana are very true. Most drivers don’t follow the rules, especially the commercial drivers in the Capital, Accra. There are lots of bad roads too.
So if you are thinking of getting car rental insurance, then it is a great idea. Unfortunately, You don’t need car rental insurance here in Ghana.
All you need is your travel insurance to cover you in case anything bad happens.
Typically, cars in Ghana have insurance policies and they cover most of the damage. So if you are booking your car online, read all the policies on the website before booking.
Rental agencies usually include the cost of fire and third-party liability insurance, but only up to a certain amount. So please check with the rental agency and ask many questions before renting a car in Ghana.
Mostly direct garage car rentals don’t really have many policies. All they need is a copy of your ID card and driver’s license. It can be the second-best way to rent a car in Ghana. Just ask locals to help you find a good garage.
4. How Much Does It Cost To Rent A Car In Ghana
Renting a car in Ghana is a little expensive to locals, but as a tourist, I’m pretty sure you are going to find it cheap. This is because of the exchange rate.
Renting a car in Ghana is typically going to cost around $20-$100 a day, depending on the type of car you get or need. Minivans will cost around $100 to $200 a day. Saloon Compact 4-door costs around $30 a day.
Getting a car directly from the garage can cost cheaper than online. You can bargain with the owner and they will reduce the cost for you.
One thing about renting a car at the garage is you have to return it if leaving. Most of them don’t do airport pick up or drop off.
Automatic Vs Manual
We all agree on how manual cars are fading in the system. Now everyone wants the easy driving way. With this, it has made automatic cars more expensive lately.
Automatic rental cars are more expensive here in Ghana than manual cars (now automatic cars are more common in Ghana and Africa in all). It is best to specify which type of car you want when booking.
Fuel or Gas Price
Ghana has a little problem with price changes when it comes to fuel or gas prices. Let’s say, we can’t have a stable fuel or gas price for six months, it will surely rise or fall within that period.
Fuel or gas prices in Ghana might seem cheap to foreigners but not to locals. Ghana quotes fuel or gas in litres and gallons. (1 Gallon = 4.5 litres). Currently, fuel or gas cost is about $5.18 per gallon ($1.06 per litre) in Ghana.
Ghana is now adapting to the new ways of payment ( electronic payment), so most fuel and gas stations only accept cash.
Always ask for the type of fuel or gas your car consumes before renting. Gas stations in Ghana are open every day.
5. Age Requirement For Renting A Car In Ghana
The legal driving age in Ghana is 18 years, but before you can rent a car in Ghana you will have to provide a valid identification card and valid driver’s license.
6. Ghana Driving Laws Tourists Should Know
- Ghana drives on the right side of the road.
- The minimum driving age is 18 years old.
- Seat belt is a must.
- Child restraint is a must.
- Hands-free is a must. Keep your phones away unless they are hands-free.
- Drink responsibly. The legal alcohol limit is 80 mg per 100 ml of blood
- The speed limit is 30 km/h in urban areas and 80 km/h on most highways.
- It is advised that you stop every 4 hours. Rest for a bit before continuing your trip.
- Be sure to have early warning devices, fire extinguisher, triangle, spare tires, and first aid kit in your car at all times.
- You can be Fined for going through a red light or doing an illegal overtaking.
- Illegal parking can result in fines too
- Children under 12 years old must sit in the back
7. International Driver’s License
It is essential to show a valid International Driving License to be able to rent a car in Ghana. While you may not need one to actually rent the car, you would need it if you get into an accident or get pulled over by police.
You can easily apply for an International Driving License in your home country.
Some car rental agencies may require that you’ve had a driver’s license for at least a year before travelling to Ghana. Some also don’t care, once you have a valid international driver’s license, then you are good to rent.
Please check for specific rules with the rental agency you choose.
8. Some Helpful Tips When Driving In Ghana
Well, the first piece of advice is to be ready for and aware of commercial drivers. They drive pretty rough and one can cross you anytime just to pick a passenger. So any car you see with a yellow number plate is a commercial driver. It can be a minivan (trotro) or a taxi.
If renting a car in Ghana (Accra), watch out for impatient motorbike riders (they are quite a lot) who don’t really obey lane rules. They’ll also whizz past you even when you’re stopped at a red light.
Most Roads in Ghana are not well maintained. There are potholes and a lot of road ramps. You should try driving under the speed limit.
Try to avoid driving your rental car at late night outside Accra. Driving at other regions late can be pretty dangerous. Accra is safe mostly because it’s always active there.
Ghanaian pedestrians don’t follow the traffic light rules. You should be very careful with pedestrians because they can cross the road at anything time.
9. Extra Advice For Renting A Car In Ghana
- Take pictures (or video) of the interior and exterior of the car when it’s handed over to you at the car rental. This ensures you don’t get fined for damage that was already there.
- If you’re planning to drive in Accra and towns closer to it, choose a smaller car. Traffic in Accra (and parking) can be dreadful, so a smaller car is better.
- While staying in urban areas, pick hotels that have free parking included. Otherwise, your car battery or other parts can be stolen.
- Do proper research before you come down. That way, you are familiar with what’s on the ground.
- When you know what to expect and meet, do not make it so obvious you’re a foreigner. Maintain some confidence as if you’ve been here many times already. You will look vulnerable if you’re an outright newbie.
10. Accident & Breakdown Information
To be honest, our emergency responses are questionable and in most cases unreliable. In many news, we have witnessed people complaining about our emergency response and it is pretty bad. Let’s not mince words. You are on your own.
It’s always best to call the police if anything bad happens. Better still, walk to the nearest police station and report. You can call the Ghana police service on 191.
However if your car simply breaks down, and no one is injured, it’s probably better to call the rental company and report. You can ask locals to help you get a mechanic around.
11. Enjoy Your Ghana Road Trip!
Follow these few road rules, and you’ll survive driving in Ghana with a rental car.