East Africa – One Way Self Drive Car Rentals – Tips and Fees

Land Cruiser 78

Kigali One Way Self Drive Car Rentals

East Africa is a special adventure gem when it comes to African safaris. It is hard to encompass the African continent on an African safari without considering a stop at Serengeti National Park, Masai Mara National Reserve, and now Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. East Africa has a diversity of wildlife and each of the East African countries has unique attractions to offer to tourists.

Though it has been said that Rwanda is the land of a thousand hills, there are experiences that remain unique to countries like Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. Once you set out to explore the land of a thousand hills and beyond, one-way car rentals become an unavoidable option. Whether you are considering renting a car in Kampala and dropping it off in Nairobi Kigali or Dar-es-salaam, it is all possible once you consider the one-way rental option. For example, after trekking with the gorillas in Rwanda, you can consider another gorilla trek in Uganda, or proceed to Kenya and Tanzania for the Big Five, Wildebeest migration, unique cultures are many more, thus calling for a one-way car rental system whereby you hire a car in Kampala or Kigali and drop it off to Arusha, Nairobi or Dar-es-salaam.

What You Need To Know Before Renting a Car for one-way

There are about three things that you must take into consideration when hiring a car for one-way car rentals from Kigali Rwanda.

  • Pick Up and Drop off Charges

Most one-way car rentals attract a pick-up and drop-off fee if not both. For instance, hiring a car in Kigali would not attract pick-up charges but dropping it off in Kampala or Nairobi will attract an extra fee.

The charges are unpredictable at the moment because of the ever-changing fuel rates. However, most of the established car rental agencies in East Africa usually charge between $200 and $1200 depending on where you are picking up and dropping off from. For instance, the fee to drop off to Dar differs from the fee for Nairobi drop off. Also, the fee depends on the type of vehicle you are hiring, based on the fact that the cars have different fuel consumption rates. The drop-off fee for a Prado TX might be lower than the land cruiser V8.

  • The mechanical condition of the car
Land Cruiser GX - Best For East Africa Safari

Land Cruiser GX – Best For East Africa Safari

Since most of the self-drive car hire business is usually conducted online before arrival, it might be hard to get an opportunity to check the car before your trip. However, you can stress out a few things that can easily be seen even without the help of a mechanic; that is the tires and the spare wheels

It is highly recommended that you test the Jack and the wheel spanner before setting off. However good the car is maintained, it is very easy to get a puncture and for that reason, the tire condition and the Jake should be your ultimate priority whenever you are picking up a car for one-way rentals.

  • Comesa Insurance/ Local Insurance

When hiring a car for one-way rentals in Kigali, it is important to put the issue of insurance into consideration. Anyone traveling only within the borders of Rwanda will need Rwanda’s local third-party insurance and comprehensive insurance. But if you are to cross the border to countries like Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Burundi among others, you will need comesa insurance or the local third-party insurance for whichever country you will be visiting.

The insurance price varies according to how long you are considering hiring and where you are buying it.

  • Car Type

The road conditions in Rwanda are fairly better than the rest of East Africa. However, given the hilly nature of the Land of a Thousand Hills, petrol cars are more recommended than diesel cars.

The 5-door Rav4 is the best budget option for one-way rentals, unfortunately, most car rental agencies do not allow their Rav4s to go to some places or countries. For instance, most car rental agencies do not allow their Rav4s to go to Tanzania due to the poor nature of the road in most parks such as Serengeti and Ngorongoro conservation areas.

Therefore to be on the safe side, it is recommended to hire an all-terrain vehicle like a Land Cruiser Prado, Land Cruiser V8, Land Cruiser GX, Nissan Safari, or Nissan Patrol among others.

Petrol Land Cruiser V8 - Best For East Africa Safari

Land Cruiser V8 with Rooftop Tent – Best For East Africa Safari

  • Mechanical Help

It is important to agree on how long it will take the car rental agency to offer you mechanical help so that you may agree about the damages in case of any delay. Failure to agree on the mechanical help time frame will leave you in a situation where you lose a full day without compensation since it is already anticipated in the contract it there might be mechanical breakdowns.

Given the fact that African self-drive safaris are often off-road trips, mechanical breakdowns are often inevitable. Getting to terms of when you are held accountable for mechanical breakdowns and when the car rental agency should be held accountable will save you a great deal during your one-way rental.

Most car rental companies have mechanics in different areas of East Africa where you are connected to have the vehicle checked and fixed. If it is a big problem that may take so long, the company can send you another vehicle (Terms and Conditions Apply).

  • Sim Cards

For every country you visit, you are advised to buy a local sim card for internet / easy communication with the hotels and the car rental agency in case of anything. Sim cards are easily obtained at all borders and cities and cost less than $2.

In conclusion, it is much easier to find and book a 4×4 for a self-drive trip across East Africa on a one-way-rental basis. You can conveniently hire a 4×4 in Kigali, drive through Tanzania, Kenya, and end in Uganda. Click here to book a car