18 Tips for Renting a Car in Oman in 2024

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Oman is home to breathtaking cities, mountains, deserts and coastline and renting a car is one of the best ways to see as much as possible. We highly recommend renting a car in Oman to have the freedom to explore at your own pace and discover everything the country has to offer. We found driving safe and easy and we highly recommend renting a car in Oman. Here are our tips for renting a car in Oman to help you on your journey!

Desert sunsets in Oman

Tips for Renting a Car in Oman

Overall, we found driving in Oman easy and convenient and was worth it for our Oman itinerary.  We encountered great roads, cheap fuel and a high standard of driving.

Watching the sunset at Yitti Beach outside Muscat

Why Rent a Car in Oman?

From historic Muscat to the beauty of Jebel Shams to the natural wonders of the Ras Al Jinz turtle reserve, Wadi Shab and the Bimmah Sinkhole, Oman is breathtaking and there are so many incredible places to explore. Outside of Muscat public transport is limited so most visitors either pick up a rental car and self-drive or use taxis/private drivers to explore the country. Renting a car and self-driving is a cheaper option and we always prefer the flexibility of working to our own schedule.

Oman is by far one of the easiest countries we’ve rented and driven a car in and we highly recommend renting a car if you are comfortable driving. The roads are high-quality, driving standards are generally good and fuel is extremely cheap (compared to the UK and Ireland anyway!). We loved having a rental car to explore. It allowed us to travel at our own pace, visit off the beaten track sights and generally make the most of our time in Oman.

Exploring Oman’s wadis

1 | Booking your rental car

Renting a car in Oman can be relatively cheap by international standards. It is worth booking your car well in advance in peak season to secure availability.

We’re huge fans of road trips and have driven rental cars in almost 50 countries so we have a lot of experience renting cars in foreign countries. We recommend using RentalCars.com to reserve your car. We’ve found they have a great selection and competitive rates on rental cars – check prices here!

Book your car now on RentalCars.com

Renting a car in Oman tip: The biggest benefit of having a rental car in Oman is that you can visit the off the beaten track sights. It also saves on the cost of airport transfers and opens up lots of accomadation options.

Our Oman wheels!

2 | Do I need a 4×4 in Oman?

Much of Oman is accessible with a regular car and most of the major tourist sites can be reached without a 4×4. However, having a 4×4 allows for a more comfortable journey and it gives more options for exploring. In particular, a 4×4 is recommended to access Wahiba Sands (regular cars can get stuck in the sand) and for the Jebel Akbar and Jebel Shams mountain ranges. A 4×4 is not essential in Salalah but, again, it is nice to have and you can make stops at some awesome sights en route from Muscat.

Renting a car in Oman tip: We always prefer to rent a larger car when there is the prospect of long drives and lots of highways and Oman has both!

Our 4×4 meant we could drive to our camp in the Wahiba Sands desert

 3 | Can I drive a rental between the UAE and Oman?

It is possible to drive a rental between the UAE and Oman depending on the rules of the rental company . If you wish to drive between the UAE and Oman then Sixt or  Dollar Rent a Car through RentalCars.com are probably the best options – they also allow a one way rental although it does incur a one way fee. Make sure to double check it is still possible take a rental between the UAE to Oman before you travel.

4 | Renting Eligibility

Most rental companies require drivers to be at least 25 years of age and to have held a licence for a least one year to rent a car in Oman. Some rental companies will rent to 21 to 24 year olds but there is a significant excess payable in the case of an accident.

Visiting the port city of Sur

5 | International Driving Licence

We understand that an international driving licence is required for drivers holding licences from countries which use the non-Roman alphabet. Ensure you check the latest rules prior to travel.

Renting a car in Oman tip: While rental companies don’t always check if renters have an international licence, it will likely be an issue if you are stopped by the police. Make sure to check the rules of the rental and if you require an international licence prior to travelling.

6 | Rental Car Insurance

By default, your rental car price should include basic insurance cover, however we highly recommend purchasing the additional insurance. The basic coverage is called Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and usually has an excess which is payable if you damage the car. You will have the option to purchase additional insurance when picking up the car, but you can also purchase this in advance with RentalCars.com.

If you don’t have full insurance coverage then you can opt to pay a daily rate to cover the excess CDW . This removes any excess that you will be liable for in case of an accident or accidental damage.

Renting a Car in Oman tip: While some credit cards include rental car insurance, it is important to check that they cover Oman. Many credit cards have country exclusions to make sure prior to travel, otherwise purchase the insurance to save yourself a potential headache.

We always ensure we have full insurance cover and just factor it into the total price of the rental. In Oman it can be very easy accidentally get minor damage to your rental car we always find having the full cover removes any stress or worry with the rental car during your trip.

Book your car with RentalCars.com

Renting a Car in Oman insurance
You can add your full insurance at time of booking with RentalCars.com

7 | Drive on the right-hand side of the road

Driving is on the right-hand side of the road in Oman, similar to most of Europe and the USA,

We were able to visit off the beaten track sights like the UNESCO Al Ayn Beehive Huts

8 | Standard of roads

Oman roads are in excellent condition and we enjoyed driving through the country. Some roads to note are:

  • a 4×4 is recommended for driving to the desert camps. Most camps offer a pickup service if you prefer not to drive in.
  • the road between Salalah and Muscat is tarred
  • a 4×4 is not necessary for driving up Jabel Shams but it is required for Jabel Akthar
If you are planning on visiting a mountain resort a 4×4 might be a requirement

9 | Rain

Flash flooding is common in Oman so be careful driving during and after heavy rains. There are signs indicating where road crosses a wadi: there are poles to check the water level in the event of heavy rain.

Flash floods are a risk in heavy rain

10 | Sim card

We recommend purchasing a SIM card with data when you arrive in Oman. We always find having mobile data invaluable and extremely useful for navigating in the rental car. It also meant that we could research places to visit when we were on the road.

Sim cards are available in the arrivals hall in Muscat airport.

11 | Car Parking

There is lots of parking in Oman and it is all free of charge. We struggled to find parking spaces in a few places:

  • It’s often difficult to get parking on the Mutrah Corniche as it’s popular both locals and tourists and the souq is a big draw. It may be easier to take a taxi rather than drive.
  • At Wadi Bani Khalid on the weekends. You might find yourself parking a short distance away and walking to the entrance.

Make sure not park in front of public buildings as this is prohibited in Oman.

Parking is usually not an issue in Oman!

12 | Speed Limits and Cameras

At the time of writing, the speed limits are 120km/h on motorways, 90km/h on open roads and between 40km/h and 80km/h in urban areas. Be careful as there are speed cameras everywhere. We saw a ton of fixed speed cameras on motorways as well as some mobile speed checks. We frequently came across speed bumps on the roads as well.

Renting a car in Oman tip: speeding seemed common on motorways and Oman drivers are very strict about using the outside lane. Move aside immediately after overtaking.

Motorway sights!

13 | Traffic

Traffic in Muscat can be heavy both at rush hour and around the Mutrah Souk: be aware, Muscat experiences proper rush hour traffic and it takes an age to get anywhere!

Aside from Muscat, we encountered relatively little traffic elsewhere.

Traffic was heavy when we visited the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in the morning rush hour

14 | Fuel

Fuel is really cheap in Oman and, while credit cards are widely accepted, make sure to bring cash.

Renting a car in Oman tip: while credit cards are accpeted we came across a few larger stations in Muscat which were cash only so make sure to have some to hand.

15 | Navigation

Use the Waze app for navigating in Oman. Google Maps did not work for navigation when we visited.

Our Waze app was invaluable for directions!

16 | Tolls

There are toll roads in Oman. Ask the rental company for an automatic toll reader with the rental: we paid all of our tolls automatically and the total amount was charged to our credit card after returning the vehicle.

17 | Car Seats for babies and children

We usually travel with our own car seats. It is also possible to reserve these with the car rental company. The rules state:

  • Children under four must travel in a car seat.
We brought our own car seat for J

18 | Taking a rental car to other countries

It depends on the rental company rules. Some rental companies allow the rental car to be taken to the UAE. Travel to Yemen and Saudi Arabia are typically prohibited.

Having our own car gave us the freedom to make unscheduled stops at places like Bahia Fort


For more on Oman travel:

Check out our other Oman articles which include:

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