Casablanca

Should you rent a car in CasablancaMorocco>Casablanca

Casablanca is one of the largest and most commercially important cities in Africa, with an urban area that sprawls across into the capital Rabat.

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Public transport here is adequate, with a fast rail link running directly and from the airport. There’s a reasonable network of local commuter services. The city has also invested in a single long tram line. However, it’s a slow way to cover any distance due to the sheer number of stops.

The most popular means of getting around is still by bus. The network is far more comprehensive, and it’s also amazingly cheap. However, so are taxis, and they are also very widely available.

Should you hire a car in Casablanca? There's really little need, either in the city, or anywhere nearby
The hugely impressive Grand Mosque in Casablanca

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Why should I hire a car in Casablanca?

  • Within and around the city, we don’t really advise hiring a car.

  • Getting a rental car in Casablanca might be useful if you are staying in a resort area outside the city.
  • A hire car would be useful if you are planning on touring away from the trunk public transport routes.
  • Compared to other cities in Morocco, Casablanca has the widest network of flights, including long haul transatlantic services.
  • This makes it a more obvious place to pick up a rental car if you are arriving from further afield.

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Reasons to visit Casablanca without a car

  • You can start your visit to Casablanca by taking the train.¬†There’sa direct rail shuttle operating from the terminal at Mohammad V airport.
  • You also find that Casablanca is a surprisingly easy city to walk around. In particular in the more historic medina, with high walls and narrow streets, you really aren’t going to be exposed to the heat of the sun. Even in the more openly planned French style new town, wide boulevards are kept cool with ample tree coverage.
  • Casablanca is significantly more relaxed than Marrakech in terms of actually being able to walk places without being hassled by touts.
  • Many of Morocco’s most interesting inland scenic spots are further to the south.
  • If you are thinking of heading into the Atlas mountains, then it makes more sense to look at renting a car in Marrakech, or looking at organised tours from either there, or from the mountain gateway of Ouarzazate.
  • You can certainly use Casablanca as a starting point to explore the rest of Morocco. Although there is perhaps a better range of European flights into Marrakesh, Casablanca is still the main hub for long haul arrivals. There is no particular reason to continue your onward travels in a rental car, since you can reach most of the other major Moroccan cities by train or coach.
  • Even first-class rail travel is amazingly cheap compared to neighbouring European standards.
  • If you do want to rent a car in Casablanca, then beware of that Morocco has a reputation for various car rental scams, including regular police “checks” where you will be expected to pay a fee of some kind.
  • Driving in Morocco is considerably more dangerous than driving in Europe or the USA. However, the roads are still relatively safe compared to other countries in Africa. See –¬†https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/africa/morocco/car-rental-safety

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Casablanca is a city where our car rental advice leans towards quite a strong no, even relative to other destinations in Morocco.

This is as much due to the sheer weighting we give to staying in the city itself. You can have a fascinating trip just staying within the city, and using local beaches.

When should you hire a car in Casablanca? Since there’s much less of interest immediately outside the city, there isn’t such a need to consider renting a car here.

If you do think you need to rent a car in Casablanca, then you can still get around the country relatively quickly using the motorway network. Please check for the latest advice on safety and security.

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Author: Carometer

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