Are you looking to rent a car in Moorea? You’ve arrived at a helpful guide.

Moorea is a small island that is packed with stunning attractions waiting to captivate visitors. Some attractions might be close to your accommodation, but to get around and experience all the incredible sights in Moorea, having a car is one of the most convenient options.

Some people consider exploring Moorea by foot, let me tell you that even though it’s a small island, it’s not that small to be just explored by walking.

There are many transportation options available on the island that you can choose from but renting a car is a better choice and there are many reasons to justify this. 

In this guide, I cover all the ins and outs of renting a car in Moorea, so that you have a clear understanding and all the information to make the right choice for your trip.

Best car rentals in Moorea

There are a limited number of car rental companies in Moorea, but they generally have enough cars to meet the needs of most tourists. Sometimes especially during the peak season, it can be tough to get a rental car as car companies may run out of vehicles due to high demand.

So it’d be best if you book your rental car in advance, this would certainly increase your chances of securing a car, especially when availability is low.

In Moorea, you’ll find a mix of local and international car rental companies. Famous rental companies like Avis, Hertz, and Europcar are operating here. And among the locals, Albert Transport and Auto Rent Moorea are the most used ones.

When booking online, I highly recommend using a comparison site like Kayak to get the best car rental deals. This is the best website you’d find online when searching for rental cars in Moorea.

Should I rent a car in Moorea?

Yeah, why not. To conveniently explore all the amazing places in Moorea and drive around the island regardless of the time and weather, renting a car is definitely the way to go.

a car on a rural road

Moorea is more rural when compared to its big sister Tahiti, hence public transport isn’t very reliable here. Although you can arrange a taxi, but you’d find it expensive and it’s not quite the same as having your own car.

Due to the tropical climate, the temperatures in Moorea are generally warm with increased humidity. The weather on this island can take a sharp turn resulting in sudden rain showers. If you are in an open vehicle, you might face warm weather which could be fine to you but wet weather would be a real problem.

So having a car gives you the freedom that other transportation options can’t provide. You feel more safe and private compared to other rental options.

How much to rent a car?

The car rental prices in Moorea typically start around $100 per day and go up to $350 depending on the type of vehicle you select. While rates may differ slightly between rental companies, it’s usually a $5 – $10 difference.

If you don’t opt for unlimited mileage, which I believe you don’t need due to the island’s small size, you’ll be charged 50 to 60 cents per kilometer in addition to the daily rental fee.

Moreover, your cost would go up if you decide to add extras like a child seat or hire a separate driver. A separate driver in Moorea should cost you around $40 per day, and an additional child seat is priced at $25 per day.

I recommend having a conversation with your rental agent / reading terms & conditions to ensure you’re clear about any extra costs and policies of the rental company.

Manual or Automatic

One thing you’ll notice when car renting in Moorea is lots of manual car options. It’s actually easier to rent a manual (stick shift) car here than an automatic.

Moorea car rentals have usually limited availability of automatic cars and they tend to get booked up quickly.

If you decide to go with the economy / cheap rental car option, it’s most likely you’ll end up with a manual, so be specific with your type when renting. If you’re lucky, you could get an economy-class car with an automatic transmission, but this usually comes at an extra cost.

If you’re willing to stretch your budget, you’ll likely have an easier time finding an automatic car in the more expensive car options.

And if you can comfortably drive both manual and automatic, then you shouldn’t be worrying about this.

Requirements to Rent a Car in Moorea

Renting a car in Moorea is not that complicated, it’s mostly the same as renting in any European country. At the car rental desk, you must have a valid driver’s license, identity card or passport and a credit card.

License type

A driver’s license from your home country that’s been held for at least 2 years is a must to rent a car. It’s even better to have a license with English translation.

If you don’t have a driver’s license printed in English or French, you might face inconveniences. In that case, having an IDP (International Drivers Permit) with you could save the day.

Even though it’s not necessary to have an international driver’s license/permit to drive in Moorea, it’s a good idea to have one with you because an IDP lets you easily rent a car in a foreign country.


The minimum age required to rent a car in Moorea is 25, and if you’re under 21, unfortunately, you won’t be able to get a rental car.
People of age between 21 and 24 can still rent a car but will have to pay an additional fee on top of the car fee.

Furthermore, individuals who are above 69 will also face restrictions when attempting to hire a car in Moorea.

What is it like driving in Moorea?

Driving a car in Moorea is fun as the island isn’t heavily populated and you won’t see too many cars on the road. The laws are easy to follow and roads are mostly paved.

The island is not so big, there’s a single main road (highway) that circles around the island and it’s very hard to get lost here.

The main road is wide and well-paved, however link roads can be tighter and more winding which may require a bit of driving skill to maneuver around, but not a big deal.

You won’t need much assistance from the locals to find your way, Google Maps works well on the island and can guide you to almost every location you’re looking for.

Keep in mind that signal reception in Moorea isn’t very dependable, particularly in remote areas.

Driving in rain in Moorea

Is it safe to drive in Moorea?

Yes, it’s totally safe and easy to drive around Moorea, with very few accidents or mishaps reported. Theft and robbery are uncommon in Moorea, though it’s advisable to avoid driving late at night.

The authorities in Moorea have become more active especially after the accident numbers started increasing in 2022 to keep the people safe from bad incidents.

When you’re cruising around the island, keep an eye out for dogs and locals who might be strolling on the roads. Be cautious to ensure everyone’s safety.

How long does it take to drive around Moorea?

As I mentioned before, Moorea is a small island, which makes it really easy to move around and get from one place to another without consuming much fuel and time.

The main road on the island stretches approximately 64 kilometers (39 miles). This road runs all along Moorea’s coastline, forming an uneven circle that wraps the island like a belt.
It typically takes 40 – 60 minutes to cover the entire distance of this road and returning to the point of start without taking stops.

However, in regular drives where you’d be stopping along the road, taking your time to admire the island’s beauty and maybe eating at a restaurant, of course it’ll take more than an hour to drive around the island.

Do I need a car to get around Moorea?

Certainly not, you don’t need a car to get around Moorea. There are a variety of options available on the island to accommodate you.

In addition to renting a car, you can book a taxi, use public transport, rent a scooter, or book an ATV tour to get around Moorea. Its all depends on you and your budget.

While each mode of transportation has its own pros and cons, if you ask me, I’d say opting for a car makes more sense over the other options.

Do I need an SUV in Moorea?

No, you don’t really need an SUV to get around Moorea, but if you’re picking between an SUV and a car, go for the SUV.

There are some attractions/areas in Moorea that can only be reached via dirt and steep roads. An SUV will definitely help you reach these areas more easily than a regular car.

Can you take your rental car anywhere on Moorea?

The simple answer is no, you can’t just take your rental car anywhere on Moorea. It depends on your car rental company’s policies whether they allow you to travel freely or impose restrictions.
Car rentals in Moorea usually don’t allow their cars to be taken on dirt roads or excessively rough areas.

Don’t worry, if you want to explore the island in depth, you can take your car to most places. There are many paved roads that branch off from this main road and take you inland.

However, as Moorea is a bit of a remote island, you’ll find not all but a few dirt roads on the island, leading you to some of the island’s popular tourist destinations.

Lots of Moorea rental cars at La petit village shopping center with blue skies and green mountains in the back
La Petit Village Shopping Center

Comparing modes of transportation in Moorea

Public transport

The public transport in Moorea includes a bus service that normally operates from 5 am to 4:45 pm. Bus fare is reasonable, it costs $3 for an adult and $1.5 for a child to go anywhere on the island.

Buses are limited, with only two serving the travelers on the island. Don’t expect these buses to be comfortable or luxurious, they are very basic and aren’t very reliable as they lack a fixed timetable.

Also, getting to the bus stops might require quite a bit of walking, as they’re not conveniently located.


Taxis in Moorea on the other hand are more reliable and comfortable than buses. But they can get quite costly if you plan to stay for more than one day and do a lot of sightseeing.

The cost of a taxi depends on the distance traveled, but you should expect at least $20 (2,200 FCFP) to go anywhere on the island.

Moreover, you won’t find international taxi companies like Uber or Lyft in Moorea. However, there are many local taxi providers available on the island to help you with your transportation needs.

Private / Shared Shuttle

If you’re traveling to Moorea with a big family or group of people, using a shuttle to your hotel from the airport or ferry port would be a great option.

And if you’re not with a group, maybe traveling solo, you can then share your shuttle with other passengers and save big on travel costs.

Keep in mind that a shared shuttle makes frequent stops to pick up and drop off passengers, which can add more time to your journey.

Car or Scooter

Many people ask this question whether they need a car or a scooter to get around Moorea. Well, it depends on you but choosing a car is a better option than a scooter.

A scooter is an open vehicle offering a fun way to experience the island. You can get the real feel of the island while driving a scooter around and can take it to places where it might be difficult for a car to reach.

If you’re staying in an area where shops & restaurants are close by and you don’t plan to do a lot of traveling, then maybe rent a scooter.

However, not all the attractions in Moorea are in close proximity. This is where a car shines, as it can provide a more comfortable and convenient way to travel long distances than a scooter.

As I mentioned before, the weather in Moorea is unpredictable, and unexpected rain showers can ruin your plans. But having a car gives you the luxury of traveling even in the rain.

Plus, a car offers protection from the sun on hot days and the air conditioning makes the ride more pleasant.

These are just a few of the many reasons why a car can be a better option for transportation in Moorea. Ultimately, it all depends on your personal preferences and travel plans.

two persons riding a scooter and few cars are parked nearby

Electric bike

E-bike is a very fun and eco-friendly way to explore the island of Moorea. These bikes are becoming quite popular not only in Moorea but also around the world.

With an ebike, you can experience the island at your own pace, and having a partner along makes the ride even more enjoyable.

Moorea is a great place for biking, with lanes wide enough for cycling & biking, and car drivers here generally show respect for bikers. In choosing between a scooter and ebike, I’d vote for an ebike over a scooter.

Where to rent a car in Moorea?

There are many places on the island to rent a car from, this includes both offline and online options.


If you’re not yet in Moorea but gearing up for a visit, it’s best to book a car rental in advance. You provide all the details, your location and schedule to your car rental agent. So when you arrive in Moorea, your car will be all set and ready for you to drive.

Whether you’re in Moorea or not, booking online through Kayak is one of the most convenient ways to rent a car.


On the island, car rentals are available at different locations. The ideal place depends on your situation.
If you’re arriving at Moorea ferry port, then that is your place. And if you’re landing at the Moorea airport, the airport is your go-to place to rent a car.

Is it better to rent a car in Moorea or Tahiti?

The simple answer is, if you’re in Tahiti and already have a rental car here, then it’d be convenient to bring it to Moorea. This could save the time and effort of renting another one in Moorea. And if you don’t have one in Tahiti, then it’s not necessary to rent here, better to rent one in Moorea instead.

Although car rentals in Tahiti are cheaper, have a wider selection and you’re more likely to find your preferred car in Tahiti than in Moorea.
It’s important to note that a car ferry to Moorea will cost extra, between $50 – $100, and the total price might end up the same or more as renting in Moorea.

Therefore, some people prefer renting a car in Moorea, while others prefer renting one in Tahiti. It’s all depends on you in the end.

Vehicles offloading from ferry through a bridge
Vehicles offloading from the ferry coming from Tahiti to Moorea

Tips & Things to Know Before Renting in Moorea

Stick shift is standard

You’ll find that stick shift (manual) cars are the standard here in Moorea, just like in the rest of French Polynesia. If you’re not happy with that, pay extra and get an auto or try getting used to it.

Driving on the right

In Moorea, car drives on the right side of the road which isn’t a problem for Americans and continental Europeans. However, tourists from the UK, Australia and Asia would not like this and might take a bit of adjusting to this switch.

Speed limit

The speed limit in Moorea is 60 km/h (37 mph), and you’ll notice sign boards indicating “60 Rappel” which means “it’s a reminder to maintain the speed limit of 60 km/h”. And when driving on rural roads, the speed limit decreases to 40 km/h (24 mph).

Inspect your rental car

I suggest thoroughly inspecting your rental car when picking it up and again when dropping it off. Take pictures and videos of the car’s condition and mileage. This way, you’ll have proof if they try to blame you for any scratches or damages you didn’t do.

Bad weather can hurt

Again mentioning this, the weather in Moorea can change rapidly, and sudden downpours are possible. While it’s not always rainy here, expect more frequent rain from November to April. So rent your vehicle accordingly.

Gas prices are per liter

At the time of writing, the gas price in Moorea is 6.44 USD/gal or 1.7 USD/liter. The gas prices in Moorea are fixed and are regulated by the government of French Polynesia.
Gas in Moorea is sold by the liter, not by the gallon. So, if you’re used to gallons and see a lower price at the gas station, don’t be too quick to celebrate.

If you start your trip of Moorea with a full gas tank, you won’t need to worry about running out of fuel.

Concluding the guide

I hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights as I’ve discussed the various modes of transportation and other Moorea car rental related information to help you make a more informed decision.

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