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9 Golden Rules Of Renting A 4×4 in East Africa

Preparing to visit East Africa (Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, DR Congo, Burundi, or South Sudan) on your next vacation and do you wish to use car hire services as your means of travel? Below are the 10 golden rules of renting a 4×4 for self-drive in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda or South Sudan.

  • Do you really need a rental car?

Are planning to keep only in major towns like Kampala, Nairobi, Kigali, etc, or do you wish to visit the countryside to explore the different national parks in the region? If you wish to get involved in long-distance travel, you truly need a car. But if you are just going to get around big cities, then a car is needless. Additionally, if you plan to visit any of the national parks in East Africa, you definitely need a 4×4 vehicle because, the paths are impassable without a 4×4, especially during the wet season.

  • Hire the cars only on days it’s inevitable

If your trip involves both staying in towns and visiting the tourist sites in remote areas, you are advised to rent a car on the day you will be going to the tourist sites. You can omit the days; you will be around the city because it will be useless. It is hard for tourists to drive around cities like Kampala or Nairobi due to their chaotic structure. You will need other means such as motorbikes, locally knowns as “Bodabodas”.

  • Rent a car away from the airport

It is normally less costly to hire a car in the cities a than at the airport, for example, it’s much cheaper to hire a car in Arusha city than at Kilimanjaro Airport. The rentals at the airports are pricy due to their high demand and also charge per Kilometer covered contrasting to the ones in towns/cities which have a standard fee regardless of where you are traveling.Nyerere International Airport Car Rental

  • Return the rental car at the agreed time

If you are planning to use the rental car for some good days, organize your itinerary so well to ensure that you return it within time. Note that, car rental agencies normally slap a hefty fine due to late return of the car. In case of any delay inform the operator to permit you some time to return the car.

  • Request for discount

As you send inquiries to different rental operators and receive different offers from them, don’t shy away to ask for a reduction in the price of the rental car. You never know, it might be your lucky day, and could be granted your wish. However much some car rental agencies display prices on their websites, there is always room for negotiation.

  • Hire a car for long periods

Most times car hire operators offer a lower price for long-term rental. The lower price offer is granted for one week and more. Thus, ensure to rent a car for more than 2 weeks and get a discount to save some money on your trip.

  • Hire a smaller vehicle and request an upgrade at a low cost

Renting a smaller car like a Toyota rav4, and later request for an upgrade to a land cruiser at smaller fee is an elusive trick to pull off. Sometimes, it might work and other times the rental operator charges the exact rate of the upgrade. But try your luck, you never know.Land cruiser V8 for self drive rental

  • Do not let the operator quote fuel

Take on the mantra to refill the rental car on your trip, do not let the operator to include the fuel expenses in the quotation. These normally inflate the fuel prices hence ending up paying a larger sum of money than you should have paid if you practically refilled and paid the fuel at the station.

  • Ask for the details of the car insurance

Ensure to know the kind of car insurance coverage held by the rental agency. They should thoroughly explain both the protection and liability sections. Reserve a car with a company that has comprehensive insurance which covers theft, collision damages, and third-party among others.

The above rules of renting a car in East Africa will not only save you some cash but also enable you to have a remarkable travel experience.

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