When you are planning a longer stay in a foreign country, it can be convenient to have your own car to drive. A private car means you don’t have to be bound by the times and routes of public transport options.
Whether you are in the country for a business trip or family vacation, you may be looking for a reliable and affordable car rental in Nigeria for a few days or weeks.
When you arrive at one of the Nigerian airports, you don’t need to worry about transport into the city to collect a car. There are many car rental companies close to the airport who will bring a rental car to you.
Read on to learn more about what driving in Nigeria is like, as well as the pros and cons of the different car rental companies available.
Things to Know About Car Rental in Nigeria
These days it is very easy to rent cars in Nigeria. There are many websites where you can choose the car you want and book it online.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind before deciding to drive yourself around Nigeria.
In Nigeria, people drive on the right side of the road. If you come from a country that drives on the left side of the road, just be aware that it could take some time getting used to this difference.
You won’t necessarily need a Nigerian driver’s license to drive yourself around. You can use your country’s national driver’s license for up to three months, or an international license for up to a year.
Driving in Nigeria is not for the faint of heart. Most roads are in poor condition and there are few working traffic lights or stop signs present. During the rainy season you need to be careful of potholes in the roads.
Traffic in Nigeria, particularly in Lagos, can get really bad. Congestion in city centres can often last for hours. Many drivers and motorcyclists also drive recklessly and don’t yield to other cars.
The sometimes hazardous road conditions make driving in Nigeria a completely different experience to that of a country like the United States. That is why most foreigners prefer to hire a local driver to navigate the traffic for them.
Driving your own car around Nigeria might still be a safer and more convenient option than relying on public transport. If you feel comfortable driving in Nigerian traffic, here are the top companies to go to for hiring a reliable car.
Avis is currently the cheapest car rental agency in Nigeria. If you are already a frequent renter from Avis elsewhere in the world, you can sign up for their loyalty benefits and get even better prices.
Avis operates in Lagos, Benin and Port Harcourt. The branches in Benin City and Port Harcourt are conveniently located at the airport, so you can rent a car right after you land from your flight.
Avis has a variety of cars on offer. You can choose from economic midsize cars, SUVs, or larger passenger vans. Just remember that the type of car you choose, as well as how many days you rent it, will influence the price.
Avis also has a car rental app you can download on your phone. This is a fast and convenient way to book, extend, or cancel your rental at any time.
Sixt is the car company in Nigeria with the most locations. They have a total of six branches across the country, which includes three in Lagos, one in Port Harcourt and one in Abuja.
There are convenient rentals close to the Abuja and Lagos International airports. However, the branches are not located at the airports, so Sixt offers a Meet & Greet service. A staff member will meet you in the arrival hall with a sign, from where they will take you to the car you booked.
The company offers a wide selection of cars, which includes sedans, sports cars, SUVs and vans. You can also choose to include optional features with your car rental, such as a GPS or child seat.
You can rest assured that the car you hire will be reliable, as all their cars are new – on average three months old.
Hertz is a reputable car company based in the United States with franchises located around the world. C & I Leasing Plc manages their five branches in Nigeria. They operate in Abuja, Port Harcourt and Lagos.
Car rental in Lagos, Nigeria is especially convenient, as Hertz has a branch at Murtala Muhammed International Airport. You can ask for a car at the Hertz desk inside this airport.
This car rental company offers a selection of standard cars, SUVs and vans, although all the worldwide models may not be available in Nigeria. Hertz offers short and long term car rentals, from one day up to one year.
Unfortunately, you cannot use the online booking service for a car rental in Nigeria. There are phone numbers provided on their website so that you can call and book a car in advance.
If you want a private car but prefer not to drive yourself, Hertz also provides the option of a professional chauffeur with a solid knowledge of Nigeria’s roads.
Driving a car in Nigeria can have its challenges, from being stuck in traffic to swerving around potholes. Still, having a private car to drive can give you a sense of security in a foreign country.
The three best car rental companies operating in Nigeria provide a variety of reliable and affordable cars for you to choose from. They have branches in Nigeria’s major cities and at the country’s international airports, making car rentals a convenient option.
On the other hand, if you are travelling in a bigger group, or if you prefer not to drive yourself, have a look at God is Good Motors to book your bus tickets in Nigeria.