Renting a Car in Namibia: 7 Essential tips to safely rent a car in Namibia

Namibia is one of the best destinations on the planet for a road trip. But before you go on your dream vacation, make sure you are prepared and understand the 7 essential tips about how renting a car in Namibia. Here you can find the 7 essential tips you shoud now before you make your decision on the best car rental in Namibia.

If you are dreaming about going on a road trip to Namibia and you want to rent a car to drive around, here you find all the important tips to help your search for how to rent a car in Namibia, that will perfectly fit your needs and style.

Renting a car in Namibia is the best way to explore and experience the country. All you need is to dive into these 7 tips, and also, make sure you understand the essential tips on How to Self-Drive in Namibia.

Namibia is considered one of the best destinations on the planet for a road trip. Here you can find long, straight roads slice through scenic arid spaces luring you onward to an abundance of attractions and activities.

All kinds of travelers are attracted to these vast panoramas and infinite fascinations. There are those that choose to make the most of their trip by roughing it camping-style, while others prefer the creature comforts offered by luxury accommodations at top destinations.

Either way, renting a car in Namibia is one of the most important considerations for any trip to Namibia and these 7 essential tips are all you need to know about Namibia Car Rental.

Enjoy this guide, and safe travels!

READ MORE: 20 Tips you need to know before you self-drive in Namibia

renting a car in Namibia

Renting a Car in Namibia

You will need to have a 4×4 vehicle to go on your Namibia road trip. It can be confusing renting a car in Namibia since there are different providers, offering different rental car options.

First of all, you will need to decide if you will rent a 4×4 truck or a 4×4 truck with a tent on top (if you are planning to camp around the country).

I recommend booking your car way in advance, and you can quote below, to have access to cars from many major companies which are compared and displays the different car sizes and best prices.

If you choose any of the car rentals below, you can pick up your car at the Windhoek Internation Airport.

touring Namibia self-drive

7 Essential Tips for Renting a Car in Namibia


Let’s start this list of how renting a car in Namibia with the number one questions:

Do I need a 4×4 car to drive in Namibia? the answer is YES, you do need to rent a 4×4 car for a road trip in Namibia.

While you may be able to drive the major roads with a sedan car, the rule of thumb is that you are not visiting Namibia to drive around the urban areas. You will be visiting and driving in challenging terrains, from the desert to safaris.

Beyond the city limits, the going can get rough in Namibia, and most of the roads are gravel and slippery when wet. A 4WD car rental in Namibia will get you where you want to go and ensure you get the most out of your trip.

As you may know, a 4WD car will have sturdier tires than a sedan. These sturdy tires will be the difference between spending time dealing with flat tires from gravel roads or being stuck in the sand, and being able to travel and make the most of your time in Namibia.

Renting a car in Namibia


When renting a car in Namibia, it’s important to know that the vehicle you choose is safe and roadworthy. Ask to see the service records of any vehicle that you hire before signing the rental agreement. Also, make sure to read reviews to see what other travelers have to say about the 4×4 rental company you are considering.

You have the option to rent your vehicle with one of the large international car companies, and compare prices, check their customer service in case of urgency with the car and their insurance policy.

Or you can rent a car in Namibia with one of the local car companies. I always opt for this, since I am a big supporter of the local businesses, and also, no one better than a local rental car to be able to provide expert advice on your particular trip and make recommendations tailored to you.

Renting a car in Namibia
Namibia road trip self-drive 11-day


All of the Namibia rental car agencies have their own rules for the safety of the car and your safety as well. Take note of these rules when you pick up your car because oftentimes they are absolutely in your best interest.

Some of the rules included:

  • Don’t exceed 70 km/hour on a gravel or salt roads – exceeding this speed on non-paved roads can easily lead to losing control of the car and an accident (not to mention longer stopping distance due to decreased traction)
  • Don’t exceed 30 km/hour when 4WD low gear is engaged – this creates greater wear and tear, and increases likelihood of breaking down
  • Do not to drive after sunset

Rental car agencies may also specify where you are not allowed to drive, such as along the beach (Skeleton Coast) or areas that require a lot of skill due to inherent risks, like Sandwich Harbor. Most cars are fitted with a GPS tracker, so the company will know where your car is if you get stuck, or if you go to a restricted area.

Renting a car in Namibia


Decide if you want to rent a car with automatic or manual transmission. Keep in mind that automatic transmissions are less common and may limit the cars you can choose from. Automatic transmission cars will also be more expensive.

Manual transmissions are more common for a reason, they are more practical. A manual car will be more economical to rent, but more importantly, will be much more effective to drive in difficult conditions. If you get into deep sand or mud (both are likely), you will be grateful for the manual transmission.

Spare tires and knowing how to change them are essential survival skills while traveling in Namibia. There’s a slim chance someone will be along to help you if you get a flat on an isolated road. Be sure to rent a vehicle with AT LEAST 2 spare tires if you’re traveling away from the city centers.

Gas stations in Namibia are few and far between. Be sure to choose a 4WD rental that’s fuel-efficient and has a long-range fuel tank. The 4WD that I rented had 2 fuel tanks, and I was happy about it. When you do arrive at a service station, fill up! Every time.

Finally, one last insider tip is to choose a white vehicle – they’re a lot cooler to drive in the African heat. 

renting a car in namibia
Self-driving in Namibia


On the subject of traveling prepared, choosing a 4WD rental that comes ready-equipped with camping gear is an excellent way to tour the country. A common option is to rent a 4WD with a collapsible tent on top. When you arrive at your campsite you can easily pop up the tent and drop the ladder. It is actually a cozy, and safe way to spend the night. Most rooftop pop-up tents are big enough for 2 adults.

Since camping is a popular activity in Namibia, you’ll come across many campsites scattered all over the country. When you have all the gear with you, you can overnight more often. It’s also much cheaper to rent a campsite for the night than a self-catering chalet.

When renting a camper 4WD, you may need to rent some bedding or buy it after you pick up your car (sheets and pillows). A camper 4WD should also come with all the accessories you need to cook and live from campsite to campsite. This camping gear should include:

  • Pots, pans and kettle
  • Plates and eating and cooking utensils
  • A propane stove
  • A lantern
  • Folding chairs and a table

How to rent a car in Namibia


For auto insurance, make sure you consider getting covered. Anything can happen when you are driving in unfamiliar territory or in unfamiliar conditions. Read the policy carefully beforehand and understand what is covered and not covered. For example, most policies will not cover tires and windshield damage.

I never leave my home without travel insurance which is designed to help cover your expenses if something goes wrong on your trip. Things can go wrong, and you don’t want to get stuck paying tons of money if you get sick or have an accident without travel insurance. 

World Nomads Travel Insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, to cover their trip essentials. Especially if you are like me, travel insurance is ideal for adventurous travelers.

Travel smarter and safer – You can do your quick quote below and find out how little you can pay for the essential benefit of Travel Insurance for your next trip!

car rental in Namibia


Note that you will need to read contracts and sign several multi-page agreements before you start your driving n Namibia, and it can take up to one hour before your departure. Be aware of the basic rules and make sure you are prepared by following the below tips:

  1. Like any rental car, make sure to revise the car and take photos in case of any scratches or damages and mark down any damages and have a copy of the agreemend before you leave the agency.
  2. Check all the camping gear and make sure they are in good condition and clean, and that nothing is missing. Do this whole process with the person in charge of the agency.
  3. You will need to pay for any damages on the vehicle – it is in your contract. I had a couple of damages and at the end of my trip, I had to pay extra – so be prepared!
  4. Check all the spare tires, and make sure you know hwo to use it. There’s a slim chance someone will be along to help you if you pick up a flat on an isolated road. Be sure to hire a vehicle with at least 2 spare wheels if you’re travelling away from the city centers
  5. Be sure to choose a 4WD rental that’s fuel efficient and has a long-range fuel tank. When you do arrive at a service station, fill her up
  6. Finally, if you are wondering why the rental cars in Namibia are in majority-white color, this is because they are cooler to a diver in the African heat – so make sure you rent a white vehicle.

What else to Pack for a Road Trip in Namibia

You want to pack light….but at the same time, you will be so remote for many days that you will want to pack heavy. So, let me help you PACK SMART! 


If you are planning to carry a backpack for your trip to Namibia, I have compiled a very detailed review of the Best Backpacks for Travel in the market today – Also, I recommend bringing a waterproof jacket for your trip, check my complete review guide on the Top Jackets for Travel and pack smart!

Namibia road trip self-drive itinerary
4×4 fully equipped with a tent on top is a great way to explore Namibia for adventure and budget-friendly

Renting a Car in Namibia Conclusion

Renting a car in Namibia Conclusion: keep in mind that when renting a car in Namibia it is very important that the vehicle is safe and roadworthy. Make sure you do your research, and also, ask for the service records of any vehicle you rent before you sign the rental agreement.

Read customer reviews to make sure what others have to say about the rental car company you are considering using. This is a very powerful tool that you should use in any instance.

I hope you found this guide on how to rent a car in Namibia useful, and make sure you read the other posts if you are planning a trip to Namibia. If you have any additional questions, just leave me a comment below.

If you are planning a trip to Namibia, these articles are very helpful for you:

Namibia rental car Pinterest

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