Africa > Reunion > Reunion

See: Why hire a car in Reunion ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments

The small French overseas department island of Reunion is the sort of destination where it doesn’t really make that much sense to get a hire car, because most of the major resorts are all relatively close to each other, and they are all within a short bus or taxi ride from the island’s main airport.

Please note that is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2021 (northern hemisphere) tourist season. It is expected that some social distancing rules will still apply. For additional Reunion car hire advice, please use the comments form below.

Quick Ratings

Price band

Reunion is in car rental price band: 4/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)

General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Reunion? 

Sometimes. Car rental is slightly cheaper than global averages.


Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Reunion between the peak and the off peak season?

5/10 (0 = stable prices)

Driving score: 2/10

Non car score:6/10

Balance: 3

(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)

General comment -


Although there is no form of regular fixed rail passenger service anywhere on Reunion (or on any other island in the Indian Ocean), local buses ply the one or two main roads which head around the island, and these are supplemented by local taxis and a range of guided tours, which most hotels will provide.

Having said all this, Reunion still has some great driving roads, and these match the stunning tropical landscapes which can be found in the interior.

The new offshore dual carriageway heading around the north-western side of the island between St Denis and the port is expected to open in 2018. This might looks like a massively over engineered bypass of the previous coastal road, except that the former road was often prone to heavy rock falls and storm waters, hence the need to provide a diversion that went completely around all of this.

If you are visiting Reunion for a week, it might be worth thinking about hiring a car maybe for one day to go around the island, but you could just as easily do this by taking some sort of island guided tour, so it’s not particularly necessary.

There are relatively few options for boat trips from Reunion – it’s an isolated island with nowhere else nearby. Since the shape of the island is pretty circular, there are no really impressive coves to explore – but you can still take various boat trips if you want to.

Why? Visiting Reunion using a hire car

Why do you need a car in Reunion ?

  • A hire car is ideal for a one day driving tour of the island.
  • No rail transport in Réunion.
  • Relatively low levels of congestion outside St Denis.

Why not? Visiting Reunion without a car

Why don't you need a car in Reunion ?

  • Public transport is more than adequate – on a par with rural mainland France.
  • Limited number of driving roads – no need for a car for more than a day or two.
  • Island tours by bus are widely available.

Ratings: How does Reunion compare?

Is it worth hiring a car in Reunion? TBC

This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Reunion, 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 Reunion? TBC

This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Reunion (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 Reunion? 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

Tram: NO

Metro: NO

Commuter Rail:

High Speed Rail:

Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):


As you start ....

Does Reunion airport have a direct rail link?

(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No






Has our advice for Reunion car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?

2017 - 3

2019 - 2

2021 - 3

Average score - 3



Do I need a car in Réunion? You certainly don’t “need” a car in Réunion, but you might prefer to have one for general flexibility. As far as exploring the island goes, it’s best just to rent a car for a single day.


Do you or don't you need a car in Reunion ?