Traffic and speeding in Ghana are serious issues and are primarily to blame for the high rate of traffic accidents. According to The National Road Safety Commision (NRSC), in 2012 there were 2,330 road accidents with an average of seven accidents per day across the country.
Here is what you should do if you get involved in a car accident:
- Call the police phone number 191
- Take note of the other party’s licence number, insurance company name, witness details, registration etc.
- Report the accident to your insurance company
The road quality in Ghana is variable, with roads outside cities generally being poorly maintained. Many roads are unpaved and there is a lack of pavements meaning pedestrians walk in the road. However, in the major cities the standard of the roads is reasonable, with paved and well-maintained roads.
The speed limit on the motorways is 100 km/h (62mph) and 30-50 km/h (18-31mph) in urban areas.
Expats shouldn’t travel at night, especially outside the cities, a lack of street lighting and the risk of animals and pedestrians on the roads make it very dangerous. Aggressive drivers, poorly maintained vehicles and bikes are also a threat to your safety on the roads.
The traffic in general is very chaotic and busy, and you will quickly realise the road traffic rules and regulations are different compared to what you are used to.
Accra is quite compact, and in theory, easy to travel around. However, the very congested roads mean a journey which should take 30 minutes often takes nearer two hours.
In Ghana, there are an estimated 1.2 million vehicles and nearly 60% of them are in Accra alone. Rush hour can be a nightmare for drivers. It is busiest from 6am to 9.30am and in the evening between 4pm and 8.30pm.
Driving licence in Ghana
The minimum age for driving a car in Ghana is 18 years old. Expats are allowed to use their international drivers licences that are valid for one year. However, it is recommended to apply for a Ghanaian drivers licence after arrival if you plan on driving and staying for longer than a year.
Ghanaian driver’s license
Obtaining a Ghanaian drivers licence is relatively straightforward. These are the requirements in order to apply for an Ghanaian drivers licence:
- Valid international driving licence
- The applicant must be cleared of any bad driving record
- Four coloured passport-size photographs
Renting a car in Ghana
Many expats and tourists prefer to rent a car with a driver to explore the country rather than drive themselves, however, rental prices in Ghana are comparable to prices in Europe or North America.
Driving in a foreign country can be a hazard and therefore it is recommended not to drive yourself! The majority of the car renting companies offer a chauffeured services and no self-drive which can save you problems from driving in a foreign country.
With a private car, you can freely explore villages, isolated beaches and other sights.
The cost of renting a car depends on what car rental company you would like to use, however, renting a car with a driver approximately costs US$100 per day.