Refuelling is not a problem in Morocco. There are quite a few petrol stations. In the smaller petrol stations outside the cities and busy areas it can be a bit more difficult to get hold of lead-free (sans plomb) in particular. So never wait until the last moment to fill up. Diesel and super are easier to get, but they can also run out sometimes. The fuel is much cheaper than in the Netherlands, about one euro per litre. Payment is usually in cash, only at large petrol stations you can use a pin or credit card, but don't assume this! You do not fill up at a petrol station, but the attendant does. He expects a small tip of a few dirhams. If he also washes your windows, an extra tip is appropriate.
Everywhere in Morocco, you will encounter police controls. You will often see them coming because oncoming traffic will give you a light signal. There are speed checks with cameras and occasionally flash boxes. But usually a police check is indicated by a triangular warning sign on the road that you must stop. If you are stopped for speeding, you can always play the stupid tourist who did not know how fast he should drive, but a hefty fine can also result. Stop at a junction before entering the road!
Always stop at a traffic control/roadblock, even if you don't see any police! They suddenly appear
Money in Morocco
Morocco's currency is the dirham, divided into 100 centimes. There are notes of 500, 200, 100, 50 and 20 dirhams and coins of 10, 5, 1, 1/2 dirham and 20 and 10 centimes. The value of 1 dirham is nine euro cents (October 2015). For the daily exchange rate, for example, go to www.wisselkoers.nl
ATM in Morocco
Upon arrival in Morocco, you can exchange euros or use ATMs with a giro card (with Maestro and Cirrus logo) or bank card. There are also plenty of exchange offices and ATMs in larger cities. South of the Atlas Mountains, you will find ATMs in larger towns such as Ouarzazate, Tinerhir and Zagora. Make sure you always have an amount of cash in hand in case an ATM is not working or is empty. This can especially be the case at weekends.
Safe payments in Morocco
For security reasons, Dutch and Belgian banks have set the bank cards with Cirrus/Maestro logo to be used within Europe. If you want to withdraw money in Morocco you need to temporarily change this setting to 'World'. If this is not possible via your internet account, it is advisable to contact your bank well before your departure and ask permission for temporary use of your bank card outside Europe.
Exchanging money in Morocco
Keep change slips and pin receipts in case you need to change the dirhams back. Do not accept damaged notes when exchanging money; it is difficult to lose them again. Always have some change at hand for tips, going to the toilet etc.
Driving in Morocco takes some getting used to, especially in the cities. But once you get used to it, it is easy to do. The main roads are well tarmacked and everything is well signposted. Place names and tourist attractions are indicated in Arabic and in Western characters. The only thing that is often missing are street signs and this can lead to confusion, especially in the cities.
The traffic rules are more or less the same as in our country. However, not all Moroccans obey them. There are regular speed checks, especially near a village or town. In villages, the speed limit is 40 km per hour. Just outside villages or towns you are allowed 60 if indicated and a bit further on 80 km per hour. On the long stretches you are often allowed 100 km per hour, but you don't always manage that because of trucks, donkeys etc. In and around the big cities, the Moroccans can sometimes drive recklessly and the right of the biggest car applies. You can be overtaken from all sides and when a car or moped thinks you haven't seen them they will honk first. So keep a close eye on all mirrors. Outside the cities, however, it is very quiet on the road and you can drive calmly. A big difference with the Netherlands is that in Morocco not only cars drive on the roads but also mopeds, cyclists, pedestrians, donkey carts, camels and double-loaded trucks. And never assume that they will move aside, they are able to cross the road when you drive up! Cars do not brake at pedestrian crossings to let you cross. Besides other road users, children may suddenly run in front of your car to sell dates or olives. You can drive calmly and they will move aside, but pay attention.
Pay extra attention on the mountain roads in the Atlas. Moroccans prefer to use their horn when overtaking (e.g. in a bend) rather than their eyes and common sense, so there is always a chance that an oncoming car is suddenly in your lane. Especially in the mountain passes, this is not really relaxed driving. The horn is the most important part of the Moroccan car. The horn is used at the slightest sign of trouble, even though it makes no sense at all. Try to stay calm, the honking is not meant personally, they do it to everyone. Don't let all this deter you from driving, go with the flow and it is a fantastic way to see the interior!
A European driving licence is generally accepted in Morocco, an international licence is not necessary. If you are driving your own car, a Green Card and all registration papers are needed. A road map is best bought here as well, as it is almost impossible to get one in Morocco.You can buy different maps at larger bookshops.
A recommended road map for Morocco is Michelin map number 742.