Driving in Ghana: Licence Permitted, Basic Traffic Rules

Ghana is known internationally as one of the most peaceful countries on earth, and this international perception about the country has made Ghana one of the best places for visitors and tourists to have their business, personal time and escape the realities of life.

For most people who visit Ghana, they prefer to blend in and live like a native and that means, getting regular accommodation, eating indigenous Ghanaian meals and driving themselves around. explores all that one needs to know about driving in Ghana.

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Driving age in Ghana

Unlike other countries like the United States of American, where in most states citizens can acquire a driver’s license and drive at the age of 16, in Ghana, the minimum driving age for Ghanaians and foreigners alike is 18 years.

Driver’s License permitted for use in Ghana

Ghanaians who have attained the driving age of 18 years can obtain a driver’s license from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) of Ghana after they have passed a manual driving test and a written test on the road safety regulations in Ghana. However, for foreigners, an international driving permit issued under the Vienna Convention in a foreign country which is a party to that convention is required in addition to an original driver license.

In situations where the foreign driver does not possess an international driving permit under the Vienna Convention, the driver should not use their foreign driving license in Ghana but must convert their driving permits to Ghana’s driving license at the DVLA.

Requirements for foreigners to acquire a Ghanaian driver’s license

Applying for a driver’s license in Ghana is quite straight forward, however, foreigners must possess and meet these requirements to be able to apply for a driver’s license;

  1. Valid international driving license
  2. The applicant must be cleared of any bad driving record
  3. Four colored passport-size photographs

Basic road traffic rules in Ghana

Basic road traffic rules in Ghana provided by the Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate of the Ghana Police Service and the Road Safety Authority in Ghana include, but to limited to the following;

  1. Driving in Ghana is right-hand driving.
  2. Overtaking must be done only on the left side of the road. It is not permitted to pass another traffic proceeding in the same direction on a road when approaching the summit of a hill and curve and before or on a pedestrian crossing.
  3. It is prohibited to drive on the shoulders of the road
  4. Picking passengers at non-bus tops and non-commercial vehicles stations are prohibited.
  5. The permitted blood alcohol level is 0.0 %.
  6. Wearing Seat belts are mandatory driving in Ghana.
  7. Speed limits for driving in Ghana are as follows; in urban areas – from 30 km/h to 50 km/h, on highways – 80 km/h, on motorways – 100km/h.
  8. It is required to have in each vehicle: two warning triangles, first aid box with basic components, fire extinguisher (recharged after every six months), spare tire, lamps.
  9. Using phones while driving is prohibited.
  10. A vehicle which has entered or is about to get into a roundabout must give way to traffic approaching from the left side, regardless of which is the major road.

What to do if your car is involved in an accident

It may be frustrating for foreigners living in Ghana should they land in a car accident, to ease the pressure and get some assistance following these steps;

  1. Phone the Ghana police on 191, the ambulance on 193, and the fire service on 192, depending on the situation at hand.
  2. Take notice of identity details of the other driver, details such as; licensed number, insurance company name, witness details, registration etc.
  3. Report the accident to your insurance company.

Renting a car in Ghana

Most car renting companies in Ghana do not rent out cars to foreigners and expatriates without a chauffeur. This provision is meant to safe foreigners all the frustrations involved in driving in a foreign land. The minimum charge for car rentals for foreigners with chauffeurs in Ghana is $100.

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