You can drive in Malawi on a UK licence for up to three months or using an international driving permit for up to a year.
Driving in Malawi can be challenging, particularly at night which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office recommend you avoid doing altogether.
Beware of limited mileage allowances - they are frequently limited to zero meaning you'll have to pay for every kilometre you drive. Typical prices range from around US $0.65 per km to $1.30 per km depending on car class.
Cars are usually provided with a full tank of fuel and should be returned in the same state or additional charges will be incurred. However, as petrol shortages are common and queues at filling stations can last for more than 24 hours, you may find it fairly difficult to return the vehicle full.
Car hire in Malawi generally comes without much in the way of insurance meaning you'll be liable for all damage to the vehicle. As such, a full worldwide CDW (collision damage waiver) insurance policy makes a lot of sense.
Supplementary Liability Insurance (SLI) may also be worth considering to bolster up the level of third party insurance you get with the car. Note that this insurance is designed to enhance existing third party insurance not replace it, so don't refuse basic third party insurance with your hire car even if it is offered as an add-on that you have to pay for. If you do purchase an SLI policy, do ensure it provides cover worldwide as many policies are restricted to covering just the USA or Canada.
This content was last reviewed on 09/10/2023