“Morocco’s roads are more or less okay, although in the Atlas Mountains we often came across roads washed away by rain, and bridges that hadn’t been repaired in years, which sometimes necessitated a bit of off-road driving. The roads swarm with traffic cops whose only aim is to extort some money, and we came across them frequently, once or twice in the middle of nowhere, but most often in the vicinity of settlements. A Moroccan road trip cannot be taken without a few police stops en route. Usually, it’s all about the fine. They like to jump out of nowhere, from behind a tree, especially after a 60 sign, and if you’re doing 64, they’ll come after you. We were given fines of 100-200 dirhams on several occasions.” (2018)
"I took the train from Casablanca to Marrakesh. Since our original train was canceled, the next one was so crowded that not everyone could fit in: I was only given a seat in the doorway. Although smoking is prohibited on the train, passengers walk out to the doorway to smoke en-route. Usually hashish. And there are some guys that offer it, too, before adding that “it’s from the mountains, not European shit. It’s a real knock-out, buddy.” I refused, reflecting that it might not be the best idea to wander alone through a big foreign city while completely stoned. During the long train journey, I chatted with a couple of people, and after a couple of joints, a young guy was happy to interpret all the way with his minimal English skills, so I could chat with anyone who turned around at the end of the train.” (2018)
"For the four of us, renting a car was the quickest and most convenient option. Most places, especially the remotest ones, are of course most easily reached if you have your own set of wheels. Alternatively, there are cheap bus services, and so-called Grand Taxis between the cities – the sort that waits until they’re full before departing. There is also a good train service in the north.
I didn’t rent a car from home before arriving in Morocco, despite the many recommendations of online car rental in internet posts. Instead, we arranged a car in Marrakech the day after our arrival, although we were disadvantaged from the start because it was both the end of Ramadan and a Saturday, so a lot of shops were closed. Fortunately, the business instinct was not completely dead, and the winner among the companies researched online and then called by telephone was Majdoline Travel. We got a brand new Dacia Logan for €28 a day, which included full deductible cancellation insurance, which could be paid by card, and unlike the big multinational firms, they did not insist on freezing a sum of money in my account as collateral. In addition, they are very close to Djemaa El Fna Square and the medina, where most riad accommodation is. The car was picked up in the medina and returned at the airport at no extra charge. In high season (spring and fall) it may be worth arranging the car in advance, since presumably then it will be harder to get one so cheaply. A fair business.
Most destinations in Morocco can be reached on a normal asphalt road with a normal car, an SUV is only needed if you specifically want to off-road. There are many opportunities for this in the Draa Valley, the Sahara, and the Atlas Mountains, but renting an off-road vehicle is much more expensive, and for us, the Dacia was enough for the tour. Gasoline is cheaper than in Europe, at a little more than a dollar a liter.” (2018)
“From the fifth day, we rented a car and kept it right until we dropped it off at the airport in Fez. We booked the car on the Discover Car Hire website and picked it up from Holiday Inn Car Rental, and since the place written on the confirmation document was not the same as the pick-up point where the car was first taken to us, the guy didn’t have his credit card reader and we escaped the 10,000 dirham deposit (approx. $1,000). A credit card is a must if you do have to pay a deposit, and we didn’t find any places where that amount would be much less.
A car can also be rented locally, which may be cheaper and less cumbersome, but we wanted the security of knowing it was booked. The extra cost was because we didn’t drop off the car in the same city where we picked it up. If I were to redesign the trip, I would plan it more carefully (e.g. the desert tour could have been planned so as to take us back not to Marrakesh but to Fez). We got a car with a perforated wheel, which was revealed by the constantly beeping low tire pressure signal, but since the smallest village also has a gas station and pressure gauge, we inflated it every few hours and left the problem for the next customer to deal with.
Gas was around 11 dirhams. Traffic in cities is really as atrocious as they say, it is by no means recommended for beginners, and even tests the nerves of those with great driving skills. There is hardly a soul outside the cities, so the situation is much better there. The roads are full of police officers, at least 10 checks can be expected on a 200km stretch, but they focus almost exclusively on penalizing speed limit violations (so much so that even though there is an end-of-city sign, you can’t step on the gas).” (2018)
“A big change from Spain. The wide, high-quality road we’d previously been used to was now full of potholes, people, cars, motorcycles, trucks, and animal-drawn carts, all using it without the slightest awareness of any traffic rules. More precisely, a single rule prevailed: the bigger vehicle always has priority. The ruined houses resembled dirty, yellowish-brown cubes with small windows. There was no sidewalk, just dust, dirt and horrible old, crashed cars, motorcycles, and trucks. Many just leave them on the side of the road, because in the heat and dust they frequently break down. As far as I know, Morocco is a world leader in the frequency and severity of road accidents. Not a very encouraging fact for a cyclist.”