The perfect way to explore Oman is by rental car. This is because public transportation in Oman is very limited, and hiring a private driver can make your trip extremely expensive. Moreover, driving in Oman is very easy, and you’ll come across many beautiful stops along the route. The maximum speed is 120 km/h (75 mph), and the distances are never too long, so you’ll quickly reach your next destination. Ideal, right? On the road, you’ll drive through the most stunning mountain landscapes, and you can even choose to venture into the desert. We had an amazing road trip through Oman, and in this article, you’ll find all our tips and experiences for renting a car in Oman.
Is it safe to drive in Oman?
Absolutely! We’ve driven in many different countries, and Oman was by far the easiest country to drive in. All major roads are paved and exceptionally well-maintained. The highways often have three or four lanes, while there are usually only a few cars on the road. So, traffic is never congested, and people drive very courteously in Oman. Reckless driving is really not acceptable. The biggest risk while driving in Oman is encountering goats and camels crossing the highway here and there. If you see goats or camels near the road or crossing it, turn on your hazard lights and brake gently. In panic, they might suddenly dart onto the road.
Traffic rules in Oman
One of the reasons why people drive so responsibly in Oman is because there is a lot of enforcement. On the highway, there’s literally a speed camera every few kilometers, and you’ll find one at every traffic light as well. You have no option but to adhere to the speed limits and come to a complete stop when the traffic light turns orange. The maximum speed is always clearly indicated, often being 100 or 120 km/h on the highway. There are no special traffic rules to consider in Oman.
Good to know: You don’t need an international driver’s license in Oman
Do You Need a 4×4 in Oman?
A 4×4 is not essential but highly convenient in Oman. As mentioned above, a significant portion of the roads consists of well-paved highways where a 4×4 is not necessary. However, if you want to seek adventure and go off-road driving in the mountains and desert, then a 4×4 is definitely a must. If your budget allows, renting a 4×4 can be a fantastic addition to your trip, providing you with much more comfort. For instance, you can reach Jebel Shams without a 4×4, but it will be a bit more challenging due to the car having less power. The spectacular mountain region of Jabal Akhdar is completely inaccessible without a 4×4. If you want to visit the desert and this mountain area without a 4×4, you’ll need to arrange private transport. For the ride to the desert camp, the cost was $60. In summary, having a 4×4 is nice, but it’s possible to explore Oman without one. About half of the fellow travelers we encountered had a 4×4.
During our trip in Oman, we mainly used Google Maps for navigation. Before your trip, download the map of Oman on Google Maps so you can navigate offline, and mark all the places where you want to make stops to make it easier for yourself.
Tip: The app Maps.me is also handy to have, but it didn’t always work perfectly for us in Oman, so we recommend relying mostly on Google Maps. However, for hiking, Maps.me is better.
Don’t Forget to Bring Your Credit Card
If you’re planning to rent a car, it’s important to know that most rental car agencies require a credit card in the name of the main driver. This is necessary for the car rental deposit, and a credit card in a different name will not be accepted when picking up the rental car. So, make sure you have a credit card with sufficient balance for the deposit. The deposit amount is stated under ‘specific conditions’ during the booking process and will also be on your voucher. Don’t have a credit card yet? In that case, we recommend this credit card.
What Does Car Rental Cost in Oman?
When renting a car in Oman, prices can vary depending on the season and how early you book. Booking a rental car through Rentalcars.com is highly recommended for Oman. With a rental car, you always have a chance of damage and problems along the way, which is why it’s smart to book with a reliable party. At Rentalcars, you can always take out a Full Protection Insurance, you can change your booking for free and all conditions are clearly indicated. So you don’t have to worry about snags and if something goes wrong on your trip, everything is always reimbursed and taken care of. This is totally worth it as far as we are concerned, especially on holiday.
Note: Sometimes the local rental company will try to sell you extra insurances. These are absolutely unnecessary as everything is covered with Rentalcars’ Full Protection Insurance. So don’t be fooled because you are 100% covered, even your excess will be refunded in case of damage.
Price hikes due to shortage of cars: There is currently a huge shortage of rental cars worldwide. To survive the corona crisis, car rental companies have had to sell a large portion of their cars. Since demand is rising fast, there are not enough chips for new cars and prices are skyrocketing due to the shortage. As a result, many rental cars are double the price or even fully booked. It’s best to book as early as possible to be sure of a rental car that is still somewhat affordable. At Rentalcars.com, you can currently cancel or change your booking free of charge up to 48 hours in advance, so you are not stuck with anything but still be sure of a rental car.