When visiting a new country, there is no better way of exploring it than by getting behind the wheel and hitting the open road. For this very reason, many travellers prefer to rent their own vehicles as opposed to using public transport options; especially in African countries where these transport systems are not as reliable.
Kenyan tourists often make use of rental cars, especially for road trips and self-drive safaris. Since we are the Kenyan travel specialists, we have gathered all the information that you will need when hiring a car in Kenya. We cover everything from safety and reliability to which cars are best for various terrains. Here are the top things you should be aware of when hiring a car in Kenya.
Nairobi City, Kenya, Image Source: @Nina Stocks via Pixabay.Com
Everything You Need To Know For Renting A Car in Kenya
1. Booking in Advance
Tourists are advised to book their cars in advance to save themselves time and hassle! Booking beforehand gives visitors the opportunity to find discounts or negotiate to get cheaper prices.
2. Rent after Careful Consideration
Tourists should look at different car hire companies and consider different requirements, prices, and policies to ensure they get the best deal! Visitors should make sure the company is safe and certified.
Do know that renting for city use and renting for out of city use are 2 different things: pricing, insurance and vehicle types change. This is to ensure that you have the right kind of vehicle for the purpose of the trip.
3. Documents needed
Commonly, customers are expected to produce their ID or proof of identity, visa, passport, driver’s license, and credit card, as well as proof of reservation or booking. They may also be required to leave a security deposit.
The company may offer optional extra insurance, which may avoid the need to leave a security deposit. Additional insurance is merely an extra and is not a legal requirement for renting a car. The staff might offer an upgrade to the customers, who should consider their budget before accepting the offer. Some vehicles might include air conditioning, spare tyre, jack, jumper cables, rope, spade, radio with USB port, car explanation booklet, and a roadmap!
5. Best Vehicles
For city use, options will range from small to luxury sedans and even 4x4s. For out of city use, options will focus on rugged vehicles with good ground clearance and capabilities for the poor roads found ‘off the beaten track’.
Double cabs are very popular 4×4 vehicles for self-driving in Africa because it handles all road types. Fortuner SUVs are also popular with customers, have space for up to 5 customers, and have a slightly higher cost. Land cruisers are more luxurious, have more space, and are the ultimate way to explore Kenya, but have a higher cost than other 4×4 vehicles. These cars are great for road trips!
Safari Van in Kenya, Image Source: Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke via Pixabay.Com
6. Where To Rent
Car rentals are conveniently found at the airports, or in nearby areas where tourists can commute to by shuttles or taxis. In Nairobi, many companies such as Sixt Rent a Car, Budget Car Rental, and Europcar Car Rental etc are very helpful.
7. Renting a Car with a Driver
Tourists can increase their comfort and luxury by hiring a driver as well when renting a car. Many car rentals allow customers to hire drivers with a reasonable extra cost, which makes their trip more comfortable and relaxing.
This is a consideration not to be overlooked: driving in the country is no ‘walk in the park’, requires knowledge of roads, local conditions, how to manage officials. It also leaves you free to enjoy more of the areas being travelled through with intimate local knowledge on hand.
8. Tips for Self-Driving
Visitors should conform to traffic rules and regulations, such as speed limits, and drive on the left-hand side of the road. Most roads are reasonably maintained, but customers should be careful about potholes, livestock and even people crossing the road, to avoid accidents or damage. Kenya is considered safe for self-driving but tourists should always lock the car and not leave valuables unattended.
Tourists should select the right vehicle, in terms of terrain, model, price, purpose, space, and additional facilities provided by the company. We hope the travellers are able to easily rent the perfect car for their adventures in Kenya!