What Are the Risks of Renting a Car in East Africa?

Self Drive in East Africa

Risks will always be there as you start renting cars in Africa for traveling. You might not be able to avoid the risks below, but you can minimize the risk level of tourism through searching different website for solutions.


  1. Not reading and understanding the car hire contract

It is very important to thoroughly read and understand the terms and conditions of hiring the car, so as to understand your personal rights and obligations. Feel free to inquire about anything you don’t seem to understand before you sign the contract. You are advised to avoid signing a contract that you are not sure about its content or if you are not contented or satisfied with its terms and conditions. When hiring the car, pay extra attention on the fuel policy, the Insurance Policy, the type of insurance cover and whether you will have to pay extra fees in case of a claim, what is included or not in the contract, the breakdown policies, the driver policies and the return policies among others.

  1. Returning the car beyond the time agreed.

It is a common yet bad practice to return the car beyond business hours since it becomes hard to determine the damages done on the car. Some companies even charge an extra fee for vehicles returned outside working hours because of the associated risks. Sometimes, you are required to take photographs of the car to ascertain its damage if you are to return it beyond business hours as evidence that any damage that occurred to the car didn’t happen during the rental period. Therefore, make sure to crosscheck the car and always return it early to avoid paying extra fees for the car.

  1. Not checking the total price of the car you are hiring.

Have you ever wondered why the same cars are hired at different prices? You will notice that some cars are way too cheap to hire but you have to be very careful with such cars because they might be in bad conditions or lack some important requirements. So long as the price is cheap but the terms are favorable, then go for it but if the car you are hiring calls for extra costs on additional driver/s, additional distance limits, extra insurance, extra costs for returning the car beyond business hours, extra costs for crossing International boundaries/borders, extra fees for drivers below a particular age, extra child seats and costs for returning the car to another point rather than the agreed pick-up point, to mention but a few then that is very expensive to hire.

4.Forgetting to crosscheck your car hire deposit

Never take anything for granted but always make sure to check the deposit and ensure that it is deducted from the total price you are meant to pay for hiring the car. If you don’t check, the person hiring the car might forget then you end up paying double the Price of hiring the car.

  1. Forgetting to fill the car hire damage check sheet

When you rent a car for a safari, first make sure than you check the car for any form of damages and should be put in form of writing before you accept it so as you are not held accountable for any damages that are not caused by you in the time you rented the car. Don’t just stop at checking before renting but also do it after returning the car to the company. The most important things to check include the tyres, lights, the windscreen, the air conditioners and the Dents on the outside of the car being hired.

  1. Forgetting to check where you can go with the car

When you hire a car for a self drive, make sure to check the limits on distance that you can travel with the car within the rental period. This includes the limits of crossing country borders, checking whether an International driver’s permit can be accepted and the other required documentation in the country that you are renting the car from.

  1. Purchasing extra insurance

This is another common car rental mistake travelers make when booking a car online, you always have to make sure you ask the reservations personnel which insurance thy offer along with the rental. Most companies offer comprehensive insurance meaning damages more than US$ 400 to US$ 500 will be covered by the client but anything less that can be handled by the company. You don’t have to buy extra insurance as everything will be covered by the car rental agency.

  1. Being impatient

Some travelers always assume that they can get any rental car in Uganda of their choice any day, any time which is a true car rental myth. Once you inquire and the reservations team kindly request you wait for confirmation of car availability, always do what they say unless you are in a rush. Being patient ensures you will get the car of your choice but impatience will only lead to you hopping from one agency to another which is costly as well as time-consuming.

  1. Forgetting pre-inspection before driving off

Car inspection is very essential to exercise before you even step in and start driving or being driven, make sure you check the car thoroughly inside out for any damages or dents. Body scratches, dents, dirty seats, air conditioner functionality, door & window lock functionality among other issues as you risk being charged for something you didn’t damage.

If you don’t notice scratches, cracks in light covers, mirrors or windshields, body dents, chipped paint, stains on the upholstery and other seemingly minor problems if a car when you rent it, you might have to pay for it. If possible, do a walk-around with the agent, making note of any such issues. The next-best option is to do the inspection alone and let the company know on the way off the property that you found some items for which you do not want to be charged upon return.

The same holds true for any mechanical problems. If the car is not in optimum working order, return it.


The above car rental risks are easily avoidable so we hope this article helps you save some money and time when renting a car in Kenya this season. To book a car service in Kenya today, simply send us an email to info@Kenyacarrental.com.

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