Africa > Ghana > Accra
See: Why rent a car in Accra ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments
(All of these pages will look a lot nicer when they are tidied up later in the spring)
Your key questions for any destination:
Do I need a car in Accra?
Strictly speaking, there are very few travel destinations anywhere in the world where it's absolutely essential to rent a car in order to see the main points of interest.
That's why we give you loads of ratings scales from 1 to 10, rather than just yes or no answers!
- The need question is generally answered by looking at public transport (transit) options. Is it good enough for visitors who are happy to consider using it?
- How many public transport routes are there, and are they mainly rail or road (bus) based?
- Is public transport fast, frequent, safe, reliable and cheap?
- Does public transport actually take you to the places you'll probably want to see?
Is it worth hiring a car in Accra?
This question is usually more about value for money. For this, we look at Accra car hire options, and consider how rental costs compare with using transit.
How far are you likely to drive anyway, and how much might you expect to spend on fuel, road tolls, parking and any other charges. We compare Accra with other destinations locally and around the world.
This is obviously much more of an issue if you are planning a longer road trip than it is on a small island.
Should I rent a car in Accra?
This is basically a merging of the two questions. Everything else might be about giving certain facts about the costs of car rental or using public transport in Accra, but answering this question is very much a matter of opinion.
Generally, Accra car hire advice leans towards not doing so. The Ghanaian capital is not a destination where you will find any of the major car hire companies. Therefore, most visitors will just stick to using local shuttle bus and taxi services.
Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2022 (northern hemisphere) tourist season.
We do not intent to include detailed covid information, nor do we intend to suggest hiring a car, just because public transport might still have a mask requirement. Our advice will be based on the same criteria we've always used, ie whether or not you can get a better travel experience, or at least a better value one, by choosing not to hire a car.
Accra is in car rental price band: 9/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)
General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Accra?
Absolutely not. Car rental is extremely expensive and best avoided.
Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Accra between the peak and the off peak season?
0/10 (0 = stable prices)
Driving score: 1/10
Non car score:3/10
(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)
General comment -
Our advice has remained broadly the same since we first looked at the city. Improved rail services make little difference to visitors.
Many of the major resorts in Accra are along the coastline to the east of the city centre. Resort transfers aren’t particularly fast or convenient, but the resorts along Teshie Rd are reasonably well connected with Kotoka International Airport. The airport is to the northeast of the city centre, and to the north of the major resorts.
There are a number of excursions into rainforest parks. Other natural features which are well worth seeing are generally done by minibus tour. These will all take you well into the Ghanaian interior.
Public transport in Accra
Following decades of almost non-existent service, the Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA) is now overseeing a major investment in track infrastructure. In addition, there is now major technical and financial input from China. It seems like future years will see the restart of inter-city services within Ghana. For the time being, trains are only really useful for suburban services within Accra.
Accra does have an extensive public bus system, including one high profile bus rapid transit route. However, these services are aimed more at local users than at tourists. Furthermore, there is no dedicated airport bus. If you are staying at a hotel within Accra, then local bus services should at least be able to provide useful links to and from the city centre.
Why? Visiting Accra using a hire car
Why do you need a car in Accra ?
- A hire car, or hired car with driver, is always going to allow you to see each destination at your own pace.
- Wheels will be needed to visit Ghana’s spectacular national parks (see below).
- Public transport is poor.
- Rail services in Ghana are currently being redeveloped, but at the moment, they are of little use to tourists.
Why not? Visiting Accra without a car
Why don't you need a car in Accra ?
- Most visitors will take some kind of organised tour, rather than self-drive hire.
- Roads relatively unsafe, and not well developed beyond a small number of trunk highways.
- Very limited car hire services available.
Accra car hire verdict
Not really worth looking at trying to hire a car here – few options available.
Ratings: How does Accra compare?
Is it worth hiring a car in Accra? TBC
This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Accra, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.
How does this compare if:
You are travelling:
Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc
Does car rental make sense on different budgets?
Do you need to hire a car in Accra? TBC
This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Accra (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".
Should you rent a car in Accra? TBC
This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good.
See global comparisons
Hiring | Driving | Parking
Trains | Buses | Local travel
Car hire basics:
Public transportation basics:
Regular bus services: YES
Coach (inter-city): YES
High Speed Rail:
Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):
As you start ....
Does Accra airport have a direct rail link?
(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No
Has our advice for Accra car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?
2017 - 2
2019 - 3
2021 - 2
Average score - 2
Ghana Holidays and Accra car hire?
Is it worth hiring a car in Accra? Ghana has a total of 21 protected park areas, including no less than 7 national parks. This makes the country ideal for exploring as part of a tour package, and a wide range of options are available, often including flight packages from the UK or elsewhere. The main interest of Carornocar is whether or not there is any reason to hire a car for independent or small group travel within a destination. Based on the relative lack of road infrastructure in Ghana, and the remoteness of the national parks relative to the city of Accra itself, our Accra car hire advice still remains a firm “no”. However, this doesn’t mean we don’t think you should move around outside the city, far from it! Ghana.
Do you or don't you need a car in Accra ?