Expats in Mauritius will definitely want to drive around to access and tour some of the country’s best tourist attractions. As in any other country, there are traffic law and regulations that every driver has to follow. Similarly, knowing what to expect on roads will help you prepare adequately to maneuver around the country.
The Road Network:
In Mauritius, major roads such as highways and those around the main islands are in perfect condition. However, driving in town centers such as Quatre Bornes and other capitals in the country can be quite an ordeal due to the huge traffic jams. This is despite the works that have been done to improve conditions of such roads.
GPS works just fine in the country, and you can also opt to ask for direction from the friendly locals. Similarly, highways and other major roads have direction signs, but, the signs are not consistent on smaller and secondary roads.
Driving is on the left side, therefore, giving priority to oncoming traffic from the right. In the city, the average speed limit is 40km/h, while on the main road the average speed limit is 80km/h. Some parts of the highways are delegated a speed limit of 110km/h. Ensure to look out for speed limit signs on the road.
Take caution when driving on roundabouts as many people do not exactly follow the rules, thus, increasing the possibility of ramming into your car. Most of the roads do not have designated public bus areas; which means that these cause a lot of traffic jams when picking and dropping passengers. Driving manuals are available in small shops and bookstores, written in both French and English. A driver’s license for a regular vehicle is different from that of heavy goods vehicles. One has to take tests for each to acquire the license.
Car Importation and Buying:
Whether you choose to import a car or buy locally, both of the processes are quite expensive. The average fee for car import is EUR3, 000. However, the condition is that the car must have been registered in the owner’s name, in the foreign country, for at least a six month period. Vehicles with left-side steering wheels can still be imported, but, to drive it, one requires a certificate from the National Transport Authority (NTA). You will also be charged a 15% tax on CIF, and 15% on VAT.
Purchasing a car directly from the owner in Mauritius, ensure that you are given the Registration Book (Horsepower), two originals of the Deed of Sale, and a ‘Certificat de Gage’ issued by the NTA (proof of full payment).