I plan a roadtrip which will start in Tanger and ends probably in Marrakech. We want to go mostly through Eastern Morocco. Tanger -> Rif ... etc., then go through Sahara as long as possible. We are going to visit some villages in Sahara like Khamlia or Merzouga, then go through Atlas to Marrakech.

My question is - do we need to rent a 4x4 car? We want to stick on roads if it's possible.

It would be better to have a regular car since we aim on budget and 4x4 is probably much more expensive.

We will go very approximately this way:

Google maps trace

EDIT: TRACE B - updated

We changed the trace at all but the question fit's this too so I'm attaching the map here. If anybody knows something about this trace, I would be glad. We plan 2wd car since it's much cheaper and I've read that it should be possible to take this trace with 2wd.

From 99% there should be tarmac.


  • I'd go for a 4x4. Simply because of the added versatility that it provides.
    – JoErNanO
    May 10, 2016 at 16:00
  • you are also crossing mountain areas, so, 4x4.
    – Max
    May 10, 2016 at 17:09
  • 1
    Tip if you do have to drive on sand a little and get stuck - let some air out of the tires. Flatter tires are "blunter", they distribute the weight over a wider area and sink less. An inflator that can be powered from the accessories socket like this might be useful to re-inflate when back on normal roads! May 10, 2016 at 23:12

1 Answer 1


You are planning a >2000km roadtrip across Morocco. You will be covering large cities as well as smaller rural town. You will spend most of your trip driving in rural, arid, areas. The road quality you will encounter will most probably vary from dual-carriageway asphalt to narrow strips of dusty roads. With all this in mind, I would have no doubts in opting for a 4x4 vehicle. Not a city SUV though, but a 4x4 vehicle geared for off-road (didn't want to say jeep), with short gears, reinforced bits and pieces, proper suspensions and threaded tyres.

For starters, these vehicles are made for unpaved roads and can therefore take a beating or two so you get the added versatility. Secondly you are likely to find binding clauses in rental car agreements prohibiting all driving on non-asphalt roads. By intuition I would think that a 4x4 rental agreement should not include such clauses. For completeness sake, note that a two wheel drive car might be enough for this trip. IMHO a 4x4 isn't mandatory. Rather, I would recommend it.

As an extra tip, when renting, make sure you get unlimited mileage, accident insurance and a contact number in case something goes wrong.


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