Driving in Mauritius
It’s easy driving in Mauritius, well it is for the British, as they drive on the left hand side, just like us. All roads signs are of international standards, so there is no problem understanding these. Driving in Mauritius is one of the best ways to get to know the island. The roads are fairly quiet, with the exception of the capital Port Louis, which is busy nearly all the time and practically at a standstill in rush hour. Rush hour is: 07:30am – 09:30am and 15:00pm – 18:00pm.
The police are quite keen on speed limits, so keep within these, after all you’re on holiday, what’s the rush. In towns you are only allowed to drive 40 km/h. On highways the speed limit is 80 km/h and on the motorway it is 110 km/h. Seats belts must be worn at all times when travelling, this includes rear seats belt. As in most countries there is no drinking and driving, there are several checks by the police and the limit is 50mg of alcohol in the bloodstream. Please note though that some insurance policies require you to be 100 % sober, with no alcohol in the blood stream. Using a mobile phone whilst driving is also illegal and is liable to a fine.
Except for the cities of Port Louis, Rose Hill, Curepipe and Quatre Bornes, public parking is free, but in those cities you will need to buy a ticket in order to park. These can be bought at petrol stations. They are valid for either an half hour or one hour. There are 2 different zones, the blue zone is 10 Rupees and the green zone is 20 Rupees an hour.Mauritius only has the one motorway.
The motorway starts from Mauritius Airport situated in the South East of the Island and ends in the North at Grand Baie. Petrol stations are easy to find. However there are hardly any that are open all night, usual hours are 6.00 am to 8.00pm. Make sure you have enough fuel before going on a trip at night.
When you hire a car, be aware that all official car rentals have a yellow licence plate. Driving in Mauritius is allowed with your UK licence for up to 4 weeks. If you are wanting to stay for longer than 4 weeks, you will need either an International Driving Permit or to apply for an extension with the Mauritian authorities (Mauritius Police Force, Traffic Branch, Line Barracks). If stopped by the police they will often ask for your car rental contract in addition to your driver’s licence, so keep both of these with you when driving in Mauritius.
For driving in Mauritius the minimum driving age is 21 and a valid licence has to have been issued to you for longer than one year.
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