What is required to hire a self-drive car?
East Africa is generally well connected with clear road networks that make mobility from one country to others as easy as possible. Roads run throughout East Africa, especially to major towns and cities. In Uganda, most of the roads are passable with appropriate road signs and traffic guides. However, some roads especially those leading National Park in East Africa are impassable in rainy seasons thus, a 4×4 vehicle is highly recommended to access such game reserves. Driving in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania is legally done on the left-hand side while Rwanda and Burundi drive on the right-hand.
Due to the good conditions of some major roads in Uganda, many car rental companies have risen up to perform perfect car hiring services. However, it is always important to research very well on which company to hire the car from because most companies are not professional with no proper physical address which can be risky in case of a problem.
There are different car types that are offered by most car rental companies in Uganda, some of the cars include; Saloon cars like Corona, Corolla and Caldina, 4×4 Station Wagons which include Land cruisers and Pajeros, 4×4 Omnibuses which include 7 seater, 10 seater and 12 seater, Costa buses (25, 28 and 35 seater) as well as coach buses (50 up to 60 seater). Some companies provide drivers on request and also there is the offer for a self-drive service.
Self-drive is a much-loved experience by travelers because of its convenience, flexibility, and privacy. In Uganda, it is easy to hire a car for self-drive and embark on a trip to any corner of the nation. Despite the easy ways of getting the car because there a numerous companies that offer the service to travelers, but still there are some requirements that guest is to present to the company before a deal is signed. Some of the requirements include;
In Uganda, age is considered as one of the terms to be allowed to drive a car on the Ugandan roads. Below the age of 18 years, it is illegal to drive in Uganda; therefore car rental companies in Uganda give their cars for self-drive to clients who are 18 years and above.
- Valid Driver’s License
A valid International or domestic driver’s license is a must requirement for any self-drive car rental in Uganda. Foreign non-residents must have comprehensive insurance with an international driving license that can allow him/ her drive in the country. For the local travelers, they can hire using the domestic driving license. The driver must be above the age of 18years old and posse a valid full driving license at least for more than two years. Note that in Uganda, valid road licenses can be received from Uganda Revenue Authority offices even before hiring the car for a self-drive.
- Traffic Rules
The driver should be aware of the country’s traffic rules that govern drivers in the country. It is vital that before the guest hires the car he/she should be knowledgeable of other road features like road signs, the maximum speed which is legally allowed on Ugandan roads that is between 80km – 100km/hr on highways and 20km – 50km/hr in towns and trading centers, and also the possible places where to park the car. This is just to ensure that the traveler doesn’t face problem while traveling.
Before any car rental Company in Uganda hands the car to the client for a self-drive, it is always after making advance payment. Most car rental companies work with advance payment, in order not to be disappointed, it’s better to make early bookings so that the best is tailored for you.
It is important to note that self-drives are exciting experiences of their own. Driving in new places and on new roads which are typical Africa roads joined with murram roads in the countryside connecting to spectacular sites like national parks, mountains, lakes among other attractions. To be safe on the road, hire 4×4 wheel drive which is the best for Uganda’s unsurfaced roads especially during rainy seasons as eaelier mentioned!
Before setting off on any self-drive trip, make sure that the car has all the necessary documentation are ready, including; vehicle registration book, vehicle certificate of insurance, license, permits, etc., and most importantly, the vehicle must be in perfect mechanical condition.