Driving in Mauritius can be a once in a life experience; in fact, walking on the streets can be as well. Most of the streets are in good condition; however, it is the way the locals drive that can make it a bit of scary experience. Remember, the cars are right hand side drive but most people drive towards the centre of the road rather than on the left hand side as the streets and sidewalks are most often crowded with pedestrians, dogs, hens etc.
However, numerous travellers to Mauritius do decide to hire cars to drive along and they are right as in fact, it is just another style of driving, the oriental style, where the driver who acts as if he did not see the obstacle or who looks the most determined is given right of way. It becomes a question of applying a different driving style mainly consisting of driving at roughly the same speed as everyone else, using the horn and lights without hesitation or good reason and expecting absolutely anything.
Hiring a car in Mauritius can be an advantage as there are tons of interesting things to see for those who want to see them. Driving not only permits the seeing of stunning sceneries, but also the discovering of quick images of the island that expose in glimpses, the true life in Mauritius which those who stay in hotels will miss. Hiring a car allows one to pause anywhere for a picture or to buy something on the street side and start a conversation with a local and learn something.
Car hire in Mauritius might be a bit costly as cars and spare parts are subject to high taxes. International car hire companies are the safest way to go but a few of the smaller local car rental companies offer the chance of save money while still benefiting from good service. We would not; however, advise renting unofficial cars as they are often in terriblecondition and one may face severe troubles in case of accident. Cars that are registered as cars for hire have a yellow number plates.