It’s easy to get mixed up any time you look to rent a car due to an issue that might look to be small at first. While scanning various rental agencies, do you ever flip back and forth to look out for restrictions put on using a rented car in a certain region you want to get to?
Whether this is your first time renting a car or not, it is always important to note that you never enter a car rental arrangement without researching all of your options first, not forgetting restrictions that may come with the car you want to hire. You should always bear it in minds that almost all Car rentals have certain restrictions that apply. It is always important to know the contracts and what you are allowed to do with your rented Car before signing the agreements.
While individual agreements and contracts may vary, it is always important to read each individual contract you agree to. This is because there are some common limitations with all car rental companies for instance in Uganda. There are also some others that are common enough to be worth asking about before falling a victim. Here are some of the common Restrictions that usually come with Self drive Car Rentals in Uganda.
Driver’s Age Restrictions
Though many companies may not have written restrictions attached to age, most car rental companies in Uganda will not rent a vehicle to someone who is under 20 years old.
However, there are a few who will rent to individuals who are between the ages of 18-20. To some agencies, clients within that age bracket will be assigned a driver at an additional daily fee usually between $30 – 40.
Upcountry/ Interstate Rental Restrictions
Though it is possible to rent a car in Uganda and use it from neighboring countries including Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania there are some countries and places where they are not supposed to be taken. Therefore you need to ask if there is limitation on the places you can drive the car to. For instance, most companies will not allow to take their Cars to Democratic Republic of Congo and some areas in Northern Kenya and Tanzania.
Most Agencies will not allow to take some Car models such as Toyota Rav4s and Land Cruiser Prados to Serengeti National Park of Tanzania due to the gravel nature of the unpaved roads in the area that causes serious damages to the tyres. This is because most Insurance policies Uganda do not cover damages caused to the tyres.
Meanwhile, if you are planning to take a car to another state, you need to inform your rental agency before so that they can prepare the required cross-border documents in time. Most times also rental fees in these other states vary.
Car Drop off Restrictions
There may not be written restrictions on returning the rented car to the location where you originally picked it up but in most companies this might call in some extra charge if it appears that you will be returning it to another city or state or city. This is because there are very few agencies in Uganda that offer deals on one-way rentals that come without an extra fee.
For instance, most car rental agencies do not charge pickup and drop-off to locations within Kampala and Entebbe.
However, for other locations besides those such as Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, Kisoro, Gulu, Rwanda (Kigali) among others, an extra cost on either pickup or both is liable to be met by the client.
Driving Time and Speed limitations
Most Rental agencies will not allow driving late beyond 7:00pm and earlier before 6:00am more so to clients driving upcountry. In case anything happens to the vehicle, you may be liable to full compensation for it. Driving in heavy rains is also not permitted since most of the roads in Uganda are unpaved and may become slippery and hard to drive in such situations.
Speed limitations may not be beyond 80km/hr in general on high ways and 40km/hr in built up areas and National Parks. This is because over speeding and its possible outcomes may call in a great blow into your wallet such as the $1000 or $1500 fine for towing services on single vehicle accidents such as a rollover.
Those are the most common restrictions put on car rentals in Uganda. Others may regard Payments; always pay before enjoying rental services. Driving off Track in National Parks and following general traffic rules on the road and in the agreement (speed limits).
If there is anything else you are concerned about: ask your rental agency personnel. Ignorance doesn’t get you off the hook, so ask as many questions as you need to in order to feel good about your contract, because in the end it will be your money.
You can also read through the Frequently Asked Questions on Car Hire in Uganda that you may always find online.