Rent a Car for Travel in Muscat

Muscat is the vibrant capital of Oman, surrounded by mountains and the sea. Renting a car is the ideal way to explore this fascinating city and the surrounding areas at your own pace. Here is a helpful guide to renting a car for travel in Muscat.

Finding a Car Rental Company in Muscat

There are many rental car options available in Muscat. Major companies include:

International Firms

  • Hertz
  • Sixt
  • Europcar

Local Companies

  • National Car Rental
  • Al Maskry Rent a Car
  • Right Cars

When choosing a provider, consider location, vehicle availability, insurance options, and service reputation. Advanced online booking is recommended for the best deals.

Acquiring an Omani Driver’s License

If you plan to drive yourself and only have an overseas license, you must get an Omani license. Requirements are:

  • Valid foreign driver’s license
  • Passport copy
  • Oman residency visa

Apply at the Royal Oman Police headquarters with proper documents. Processing takes 5-7 days so apply well in advance.

Booking Your Muscat Rental Car

Reserve your rental car online as early as possible. Provide details like:

  • Pickup and drop off dates/times
  • Pickup and drop off locations
  • Driver’s license information
  • Vehicle type preference

Booking ahead gets you the best rates and car availability. Review all rental terms and fees prior to pickup.

Common Muscat Car Rental Vehicle Types

Popular rental vehicles in Muscat include:


Ideal for 1-4 passengers. Models offered:

  • Toyota Yaris
  • Nissan Sunny

Great for getting around Muscat. Affordable and easy to park.


For 4-7 passengers. Models include:

  • Toyota Fortuner
  • Nissan X-Trail

SUVs provide more space and luggage capacity. Good for longer trips.


For group travelers. Models include:

  • Toyota Hiace
  • Hyundai H1

Minivans accommodate 7+ people comfortably. Perfect for families.

Luxury Vehicles

For special occasions. Models include:

  • BMW 5 Series
  • Mercedes S-Class

Luxury rentals provide high-end amenities and service. More expensive but exclusive.

Inspecting your Muscat Rental Car

Conduct a thorough inspection when you pick up your car:

  • Check for exterior damage
  • Test all lights are working
  • Verify tires have adequate treads
  • Confirm fluid levels are filled
  • Ensure the gas tank is full
  • Check A/C, radio etc. work

Note any issues on the contract to avoid liability for pre-existing damages.

Understanding Driving Rules in Muscat

Some key driving rules in Muscat include:

  • Drive on the right side of the road
  • Seat belts must be worn by all
  • Children require proper child safety seats
  • Using a phone while driving is prohibited
  • Obey speed limits which range from 40-120 km/h
  • Running red lights results in fines
  • Drunk driving and driving under the influence are illegal

Obeying the laws keeps you safe and avoids legal issues. Rental cars must follow all regulations.

Finding Parking in Muscat

Parking in Muscat can be challenging. Options include:

  • On-street parking – Allowed in designated areas. Fees apply.
  • Public car parks – Available around the city. Hourly and daily rates.
  • Hotels – Some hotels offer parking, occasionally for a fee.
  • Rental car parking – Ask if rental company provides discounted parking.

Avoid illegal parking since fines are expensive. Always park in permitted zones.

Useful Driving Tips for Muscat

Follow these tips when driving your rental car in Muscat:

  • Use GPS on your phone to navigate
  • Watch for fast driving on highways
  • Carry an international driving permit if you don’t read Arabic
  • Keep rental company contact handy in case of issues
  • Have cash ready for parking fees
  • Fill up on petrol when you see a gas station
  • Practice defensive driving as roads can be chaotic

Remaining alert and driving cautiously will help you handle Muscat’s streets.

Top Muscat Attractions to Visit by Car

Having your own rental car makes accessing top Muscat sights simpler:

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Magnificent modern mosque with intricate Islamic architecture.

Bait Al Zubair Museum

Fascinating museum exhibiting Omani culture and history.

Mutrah Souk

Traditional bazaar with Arab handicrafts and souvenirs.

Nakhal Fort

Ancient hilltop fortress with spectacular mountain views.

Wadi Shab

Gorge with turquoise pools, waterfalls and palm trees.

Qurum Beach

Popular sandy beach with resorts and dining.

Renting a car allows easy access to Muscat’s highlights.

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Renting a Car in Muscat

1. What documents do I need to rent a car in Muscat?

You’ll need a valid driver’s license, passport, and credit card for the deposit. Overseas licenses work but an Omani license is better.

2. What side of the road do people drive on in Muscat?

As in the rest of Oman, drivers in Muscat stay on the right-hand side of the road.

3. What if I get into an accident with my rental car?

Contact the police and rental company right away. File an accident report with your rental agent and travel insurance if major damage/injuries occurred.

4. Are taxes and insurance included in Muscat car rental rates?

Taxes are generally included but verify when booking. Extra insurance costs additional per day. Read all rental terms carefully.


Renting a car allows you to fully experience Muscat and Oman conveniently. By booking early, inspecting your vehicle, driving cautiously, and using navigation apps, you can avoid issues and safely see top attractions. With mosques, museums, souks, beaches and more, having your own transportation makes seeing the highlights of this modern Arabian city easy.


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