Hiring your own car on a visit to the Seychelles is an absolute joy, and one of our favourite activities. No matter how nice your hotel’s beach may be, it is a treat to explore the hidden coves and beaches further from accommodation and find a deserted spot all to yourself. The mountainous interior of Mahe and it’s viewpoints are also well worth discovering, and the sense of adventure you feel wondering what is around the next corner is hard to beat.
Yes, it is possible to see some of these places on a private tour or even from the bus, but beach hopping by yourself with no fixed schedule or planned route is even more fun. Given the high cost of private taxis it is often more economical to hire a car for a day or two than pay for multiple taxi journeys. It also makes picking up supplies for your self catering apartment – or the odd tipple to bring back to the resort – much easier.
Apart from the odd jam in Victoria, driving in the Seychelles is a delight. The roads are almost empty, other drivers calm and courteous and the scenery is simply stunning. In Seychelles people drive on the left and the speed limits vary from 30km/h in built up areas to between 50km/h and 80km/h in more rural areas.
Many rental cars are automatic for those who are unhappy driving a stick shift, and most come with air conditioning as standard. A four by four can be preferable to a hatchback as many guesthouses are up steep inclines – and of course the mountain roads are well worth a visit; they are well paved but can be steep in places.
Car hire companies are generally happy to organise pick up and drop off to suit you – be it at your hotel or guesthouse, the airport, in Victoria or at any of the ferry ports on Mahe and Praslin (including the Silhouette ferry for the Hilton Labriz). Most of the time there is no extra charge for this, although occasionally if you are hiring from a Victoria based company and expecting drop off or return as far away as the Banyan Tree or Ephelia there may be a small delivery fee.
On Praslin there is less choice of rental companies with no big brands such as Hertz and cars bookable online. You can either book with a travel agent or pick up a car at the airport car rental desk.
On La Digue you can hire a private taxi for the day, but you'll likely enjoy cycling more - there are no cars to hire as there are barely any roads. On other islands you are more likely to find a bicycle or horse cart.