This is a very risky country to travel to and self awareness must be your number one priority. This country has a high rate of terrorism and foreigner kidnapping. So anyone wishing to travel to this country must first consult his/her embassy before putting into consideration self driving in Algeria.
Always make sure that you have a local driving permit before you rent a car in Algeria. You are highly advised never to use any other public mode of transport apart from the shuttle provided to you by your host hotel. Failures to abide to that you are susceptible to kidnap and other inhumane acts like rape.
On several occasions, buses and private cars have been attacked in the disguise of illegal check points. So it is totally forbidden to move at night and if at all you must always be in a convoy of two or more vehicles. Sustained small-scale attacks, including bombings, illegal roadblocks and kidnapping occur in many rural parts of the country.
However, there is no great way to visit this country than hiring a vehicle on self drive basis. Though this country also has a very good train network, nothing beats the ease and flexibility of a hired vehicle. If at all you are traveling with your spouse, never make a mistake of forgetting your marriage certificate behind since this is highly an Islamic state where there is no room for infidelity. This country is so complicated as you are required to have a room for each person and then pay for both rooms thus not being pocket friendly.
It is totally difficult to get a car in the capital city Algiers as most of the cars are very old and relatively few in numbers. The major problem in this country is the language to mostly those who do not speak French or Arabic. There is no body that speaks English so you must be well conversant with one of the two languages to be on a safe side. All signs are usually in those two languages and in case of any problem you can ask anybody since most of them are so friendly and hospitable.
As far as security is concerned, Algeria is a militarized country where by you will come across a police check point every after a few kms but never do they ask for your papers. Remember this country is more of a desert so you need to have a “gendarmerie “to take care of you.Forinstance going to Timimoun you need one police vehicle in front and another behind you. These police officers are very kind and gentle and they are only concerned about providing your security.
Petrol in Algeria is relatively cheap but always have enough petrol in your tank as there are very few petrol stations especially in the desert infested areas and to make matters worse some are always closed. Driving is always a bit anarchic though not terrible.
Hertz are the only big rental company operating in Algeria.Sixt feature the country on their website but it doesn’t seem to allow you to make a reservation. Algeria also features on Car Rental broker sites such as Argus Car Hire. The minimum age for renting a car in Algeria is 25 yrs and it should be noted that any car rented in Algeria cannot cross any other border.