Complete Travel Guide: Renting a Car in Nigeria

Complete Travel Guide: Renting a Car in Nigeria

Renting a Car in Nigeria: Your Ultimate Guide

WRITTEN BYDarlene Aberin
PUBLISHED ONDecember 5, 2023

If Nigeria is your next travel destination and you intend to rent a car while you're there, this comprehensive guide is a must-read. It provides all the critical information you need to know, from the processes and documents necessary for car rental to insights about applicable driving conditions, roadside support, and recommended additional coverages.

Get to know the different rental companies' rates and enjoy helpful tips for a safe and enjoyable driving experience in Nigeria. Embarking on your journey with this guide will ensure a smoother and more prepared travel experience.

Evaluating Car Rental Companies

Choosing the right vehicle rental service is crucial when planning a trip to an energetic country like Nigeria. It's fundamental to identify a company noted for its reputation, offering a variety of cars at an affordable price, and standing by its fair fuel policy. Let's delve into essential criteria for selecting the perfect car rental company and take a look at top-grade options nationwide.

Criteria for selecting a good company

  • Reputation and Service: In Nigeria's bustling cities like Lagos and the popular Victoria Island, seek a company esteemed for reliability and superior customer service. Any risen issues should be addressed promptly, contributing to an overall smooth hire service experience.
  • Fleet Variety and Type of Vehicle: The diverse landscape in Nigeria from the largest cities to the lesser-known gems such as Benin City demands an extensive range of vehicles. Seek a company offering everything from a compact, cheap car rental to luxury car rentals. Your chosen rental car type should suit your specific needs, from navigating around the huge population in the metropolis or cruising through the beautiful dry-season landscapes.
  • Rental Prices: Prices fluctuate significantly with changes like peak tourist seasons, cheapest month or expensive month. Daily rental rates and driver surcharges are commonplace, so it's essential to review these elements. Look for transparency to avoid hidden costs, and always compare the average car rental price per company.
  • Rental Policies and Extras: Rental policies differ by the rental supplier – some may offer long-term car rental deals, while others focus on short-term rents. Understand if they have provisions for extras like child seats, GPS systems, or discount codes for credit cards.

Reviewing Nationwide Options:

Choosing a car rental service while traveling can be an arduous task, particularly in a diverse landscape like Nigeria. Evaluating options based on the reliability, range of services, vehicle choices, and local insights can provide a better understanding. Let's take a look at some of the nationwide car rental services available in Nigeria for your travel needs.

Avis Nigeria

As an extension of a reputable global car rental brand, Avis Nigeria is a reliable option providing services in major Nigerian cities. Being part of an international chain, Avis is known for its consistent quality of service and high standards of vehicle maintenance. Whether you are looking for a compact car for city driving or an SUV to navigate more difficult terrains, Avis Nigeria is likely to have the option that suits your needs.

Hertz Nigeria

Another member of a prominent international car rental chain, Hertz Nigeria prides itself on the wide range of vehicles available in its fleet. Whether you need a luxurious ride for a special event, a comfortable car for long-distance travel, or a sturdy vehicle for rural exploration, Hertz has diverse rental options to meet a variety of customer needs. Moreover, with their standard, clear rental agreements, customers can rent with confidence.

Ojireh is a Nigerian-based online company providing more than just car rental services. Catering extensively to travel-related services, Ojireh stands as a one-stop solution for travelers. From booking a rental car to arranging hotel accommodations, Ojireh aims to streamline the entire travel process. Its strong online presence also makes booking and managing your rental convenient and straightforward.

Sixt Nigeria

Sixt Nigeria is the local subsidiary of the renowned international car rental company Sixt. Known for its high-quality offerings and excellent customer service, Sixt Nigeria allows customers to rent a variety of vehicles, from small, economical cars for solo travelers to large, spacious vans for groups. Whether you're planning a short trip or a long tour, Sixt Nigeria can accommodate your needs.

ACR Car Rental

ACR Car Rental is a Nigerian-based company offering a broad selection of vehicles suitable for different terrains and travel requirements. Being a local company, ACR Car Rental understands the specific needs and preferences of Nigeria's diverse terrains and caters to these requirements. Offering vehicles ranging from compact city cars to rugged off-roaders, ACR Car Rental can equip you with the car best suited for your journey. Their local expertise could also prove invaluable when planning routes and navigating the Nigerian landscapes.

The Renting Process Explained

Securing a vehicle from a reputable rental company in Nigeria requires several key stages of the procedure, especially in popular city areas such as Benin City and Victoria Island. This process can feel overwhelming, particularly for first-time renters or foreign visitors. This guide will simplify it, outlining each action from document collection to car return.

Gathering Required Documents

To proceed with your hire service, your rental company will need the following documents:

1. Driver’s License: A valid driver's license is necessary. If you're an international driver,
you'll often need an International Driving Permit (IDP) alongside your home country's
driver's license.

2. Passport: A valid passport is required for international tourists.

3. Credit Card: A credit card under the renter's name is usually necessary for deposit

Understanding Payment Methods and Deposit Requirements

Nigerian companies usually accept a variety of payments, including credit cards, debit cards, and occasionally, bank transfers.

1. Deposit: At the pickup location, a deposit will be held on your credit card to cover potential damages or additional charges.

2. Payment: The daily rental fee is often due at the start of the rental period. It's crucial
to familiarize yourself with payment and deposit requirements to avoid unexpected

Negotiating Contract Terms

Before signing any agreement, carefully analyze the rental contract.

1. Rental Duration and Extensions: Make sure to confirm the rental duration and gain
understanding of the procedure and costs involved should you wish to extend the
rental period.

2. Mileage Limit: Some rental deals include unlimited mileage, while others set a limit
on the distance you can cover.

3. Fuel Policy: Understand the rental company's fuel policy – typically, you'll need to
refill the tank before returning the vehicle or cover the cost of the used fuel.

4. Insurance: Weigh up the offered car rental insurance options. Think about whether
your credit card insurance or existing car insurance already covers car rentals.

Picking up and Returning the Car

Picking up the car at various rental locations, such as Sixt Locations typically involves a quick inspection to ensure it's in a good state. During this stage, taking pictures or videos for future reference is recommended.

When returning the car, another quick inspection is usually performed to check for damages. The rental company then settles the final payment, refunding the deposit if there's no need for additional charges.

Even in the largest cities with a huge population, to ensure a smooth rental service experience, a comprehensive grasp of the entire process, from the initial actions to closure, is crucial. If you're unsure about anything, always ask questions and keep all communications clear with your provider.

Remember to verify how their prices fare against the average car rental price, possibly considering the cheapest time or month for rental, and looking for any discount codes applicable to your credit cards. With this knowledge, you can prepare effectively for your trip, enjoy it, and as you whizz around, remember to appreciate Nigeria's dry season and unique beauty.

Insurance Matters and Car Rental Information

Insurance is a cornerstone of sound financial planning, whether it involves long-term financial security, road safety, or simply traveling in a popular city like Victoria Island or Benin City. Understanding different types of insurance well will enhance your capability to guard your earnings and assets, ensuring financial security for you and your family.

Understanding the Importance of Insurance for Rental Cars

When renting a car in a popular city such as Victoria Island or Benin City, opting for insurance ensures peace of mind and financial security in the event of accidents or theft. Rental car insurance protects against:

1. Damage: Covers the costs of damage to your rental car, whether due to an accident
or vandalism.

2. Loss: Compensates for the rental car's value if it is stolen.

3. Liability: Provides coverage for injury or property damage caused to third parties in
the event of an accident.

4. Personal Accident Insurance (PAI): Furnishes coverage for medical expenses and
accidental death benefits for the driver and passengers in the rental vehicle.

Comparing Rental Car Insurance with Company-provided Insurance

The rental company may offer insurance packages when renting a car in a bustling city like Benin City. However, it's crucial to evaluate if this option aligns with your specific needs and budget, or whether you should choose separate insurance.

Factors to consider include:

1. Cost: Compare the average price of rental company insurance with private policies,
factoring in the level of coverage.

2. Coverage: Verify if the insurance provided by the rental company suits your needs,
including liability, damage, and loss.

3. Dependents: A private policy may offer coverage for family or frequent travel

4. International Travel: If traveling to another country, you may require an international
driver's insurance, which may not be included in rental company policies.

Choosing the Right Car Rental for Your Travel Needs

Car rental prices in busy cities like Victoria Island or Benin City will vary depending on factors like rental supplier, rental locations, type of vehicle, and time of year. The cheapest time to rent a car may depend on factors like the dry or wet season, fluctuating tourist demand, and holidays.

Tips for choosing the right car rental:

1. Research: Find rental deals, including discount codes and fair fuel policies, by
comparing different rental companies in your target area.

2. Size: If traveling with a family or a group, consider a medium or large-sized rental
vehicle for extra space.

3. Luxury: Luxury car rentals may provide special features, such as a child seat,
international airports pickup, or extras like a GPS system.

4. Long-term Rental: Opt for long-term car rental deals if planning an extended stay in
a location.

Armed with knowledge about insurance and car rental choices, you can confidently make an informed decision about your rental car. Familiarize yourself with road conditions, stay updated on pickup locations, and consult trusted rental companies like Sixt for a hassle-free experience in any city.

Outlining Top Sites to Travel in Nigeria

From wildlife reserves to prominent rock formations and resorts, Nigeria caters to tourists of all tastes and interests. Here are some of the top sites to travel to in Nigeria that showcase the beauty and allure of this captivating nation.

Lekki Conservation Centre (Lagos)

  • Features: The Lekki Conservation Centre, located in bustling Lagos, offers visitors a unique opportunity to appreciate wildlife in its natural habitat. The park spans over 78 hectares and is notably home to Africa's longest canopy walkway. It's a popular destination on Victoria Island.
  • Special considerations: When planning your visit to the Lekki Conservation Centre, consider using a rental company to explore the area. Daily rental options are available, and the average price varies. Popular rental services such as Sixt offer a wide range of types of vehicles, from economy to luxury car rentals, that cater to different needs and budgets.

Zuma Rock (Abuja)

  • Features: Zuma Rock, a magnificent natural landmark in Nigeria's capital city, Abuja, is a prime spot for photography and sightseeing. Rising 725 meters above its surroundings, this awe-inspiring rock symbolizes the city's strength and power.
  • Special considerations: For a smooth journey to Zuma Rock, you might consider using a rental service to provide an appropriate vehicle for local road conditions. Hire services in the largest city, like Benin City, can offer a wide range of rental car types and affordable prices. Ensure to check driver surcharges and policies such as fair fuel policy when booking.

Olumo Rock (Abeokuta)

  • Features: Olumo Rock in Abeokuta is a popular tourist attraction and an intriguing natural formation steeped in local history. Climbing the rock offers panoramic views of the city below.
  • Special considerations: When planning your visit to Olumo Rock, car rental services can make your trip more convenient. Rental locations are available in popular cities, with options for pickup at international airports. Ensure to check the rental supplier options and compare the average car rental price to get the cheapest price for your visit.

Tinapa Business Resort (Calabar)

  • Features: Tinapa Business Resort, located in Calabar, is a business and leisure center known for its hotel, casino, children's arcade, and waterpark. It is an excellent destination for family outings, shopping, and relaxation.
  • Special considerations: For a comfortable trip to Tinapa Business Resort, car rental services can provide a variety of cars to suit your needs. Rent a car at affordable prices from rental companies near Adetokunbo Ademola Street or other accessible locations. Don't forget to inquire about long-term car rental deals, child seat options, and any discount codes.

Comprehensive Safety Tips

Ensuring safety while exploring Nigeria is paramount for a memorable and enjoyable experience. Renting a vehicle from a reputable rental company allows flexibility in your travels, and adhering to essential road safety tips, understanding car security, remaining vigilant of your surroundings, and adapting to local driving laws all contribute to a secure journey.

Essential road safety tips

1. Research rental services to find a wide variety of cars and affordable prices, such as
cheap car rental options in popular cities like Lagos, Benin City, and Victoria Island.

2. Review the rental car types available to ensure you choose the most suitable type of
vehicle for road conditions and your specific needs. Pick from a medium car rental for
daily city driving or luxury car rentals for added comfort.

3. Familiarize yourself with the range of vehicles offered by rental companies, like Sixt,
which offer an extensive variety at all their locations.

4. Compare rental prices and check if the cheapest month or most expensive month may
affect the time of your trip. Prices in large cities like Lagos, Abuja, and Benin City can
vary, with cities like Benin City being among the more affordable options.

5. Look into pickup locations at international airports or rental locations in bustling areas
like Adetokunbo Ademola Street to rent a car at an affordable price.

Understanding car security

1. Always review rental company policies, such as credit card requirements, driver
surcharges, child seat options, and fair fuel policy.

2. Check out any available discounts or promo codes for cheaper rental deals.

3. Make note of whether long-term car rental deals are available, as these may help you
save money during your stay.

Remaining vigilant with surrounding

1. Consult the rental supplier about insurance options, additional driver fees, and
international driver requirements.

2. If traveling during Nigeria's dry season, consider renting a car that accommodates the
huge population and traffic.

Adapting to local driving laws

1. Inform yourself of road conditions in Nigeria's largest and cheapest cities, getting the
proper vehicle for each location.

2. Search for resources to help identify the ideal car rental for your trip, ensuring the best
and most affordable options in each city.

When exploring Nigeria, safety is essential. You can create a secure and enjoyable adventure by comparing rental car prices in different cities, picking the right type of vehicle, and learning about local driving safety tips. Renting from reputable companies like Sixt and other rental services can offer a wide range of rental car types and flexible pickup locations.

Driving Considerations

When embarking on this journey in Nigeria, it is crucial to ensure you are well-prepared and informed. The following are some key considerations and advice for driving in Nigeria.

Adjusting to Left-Hand Drive

In Nigeria, driving is done on the right side of the road. This may seem initially disorienting for those accustomed to left-hand drive, especially when renting a car through a rental company. Keep the following in mind when driving in popular cities like Lagos, Benin City, or Abuja:

1. When you pick up your rental car from your chosen company, ensure you are
comfortable and familiar with the controls in a left-hand-drive setup. Practice in a
secure area before venturing into traffic.

2. Intersections and roundabouts in cities like Victoria Island can be particularly tricky.
Always remember that you need to give way to the right in most cases.

3. Overtaking is on the left side. So ensure you familiarize yourself with blind spots on
the opposite side than usual.

Preparations for Varying Road Conditions

When looking for rental deals, you may find a wide range of available car types, from cheap car rentals to luxury car rentals. Regardless of the rental car type, Nigerian roads can range from well-paved highways to off-road terrains. Therefore, it's crucial to be prepared:

1. Choose a type of vehicle suited for both smooth and rough road conditions. Rental
service providers such as Sixt Locations may offer a variety of cars for different terrains.

2. When hiring a car, ensure your rental car has a necessary road emergency kit including
toolset, flashlight, and a first-aid kit.

3. Check the weather conditions before traveling, especially during the rainy season,
when certain roads may become impassable.

Coping with Fuel Availability and Quality Issues

Fuel availability and quality may be inconsistent when renting a car in Nigeria. Keep the following tips in mind:

1. Refuel when your tank is half empty, as finding petrol stations can be challenging,
especially in rural areas.

2. Carry spare fuel in a safety container during long trips.

3. Ensure the hire service maintains their cars regularly so the car can cope with varying
fuel quality.

Tactics for Navigating Heavy Traffic in Cities

Navigating city traffic in Nigeria, particularly in Lagos and Abuja, can be daunting. Follow these tips:

1. Plan your route in advance and avoid peak traffic hours when possible.

2. Practice patient driving. Aggressive driving can lead to unnecessary incidents.

3. Stay alert for unpredictable behavior from other drivers and pedestrians, particularly in
high-traffic areas like Adetokunbo Ademola Street or Victoria Island.

4. Utilize navigational apps to predict and avoid traffic congestion.

Remember to request a child seat from your rental supplier when traveling with a child. Lastly, although Nigeria faces challenges related to road conditions and fuel availability, with proper planning and preparation, you should be able to navigate the country's beautiful landscapes and bustling cities easily.


Renting a car in Nigeria, whether for a hectic drive in its largest metropolis Lagos or a tranquil journey in Benin City or Victoria Island, allows you to uncover Nigeria’s unique blend of cultures, vistas, and liveliness at your leisure. Car rental companies offer the flexibility of daily rentals or long-term car rental deals, suited to your itinerary. Consider rental locations, like picking up your rental car from international airports, and consider suppliers that offer a fair fuel policy. If you are an international driver, be conscious of any driver surcharges.

Always ensure to check for rental deals like discounts codes and prices during the cheapest month for rentals, which could make luxury car rentals viable. Also, don’t forget the importance of additional facilities like child seats when traveling with family.

Remember, with the right planning and choice of rental car, you can navigate Nigeria's varied landscapes with ease. So, secure your rental, prepare for the adventure, and experience the unfoldable delight of driving in Nigeria.

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