When travelling across Kenya, you might find that public transport can fall short to some extent. For example, if you wanted to go to Lake Magadi, you would not get a matatu for that route. You may thus have to either take a taxi or a rental car. Renting a vehicle for such a trip has substantial benefits, including convenience. To choose the best car for rent, here are a few things to consider.
1. Rental Price
The very first thing to consider in a rental car is your budget. Different rental services offer various price ranges. These prices considerably depend on the type of car you go for and the rent duration. Never break the bank to rent a car. You have to remember that after renting you will need a significant amount of money to maintain the vehicle before returning it. Therefore, always go for a car that is cheaper than your expected budget. That way, you will keep on the safe side.
2. Type of Rental Car
The type of rental car you settle on also matters. The usual suspects here include the model, fuel used, and mode of driving. Some models are more expensive than others, thanks to the extra luxuries they offer. Naturally, a Mercedes Benz will cost much more than a Toyota Corolla. When it comes to fuel consumption, it is common knowledge that diesel cars are cheaper than those that use petrol. Unfortunately, in Kenya, only a limited number of vehicles use diesel. Choosing an automatic or manual vehicle, on the other hand, depends on your skills and preferences. Some people enjoy the vintage feeling a manual car has when on a road trip. If this is too technical for you, you are always safe with one of these safari legends.
3. Condition of the Car
You should always check and ensure your rental car is in excellent condition before making any deals. Checking the engine, tyres, brakes, oil, and other functional parts of the vehicle would be a good start. You can engage a professional mechanic to be sure you are getting a good deal. The last thing you want when travelling on some of Kenya’s rough terrain is a vehicle that is not strong and steady. A car in good condition will also be cheaper to maintain.
4. Terms of Rent
Make sure to read the car rental agreements very carefully before signing anything. You have to be sure that the arrangements are conducive for you as much as they are for the lender. For example, always make sure that both the rental service and car have insurance. Doing so will significantly help you in the case of accidents and other unfortunate incidents. Another term to consider before making any commitments is the payment policy. Know and agree to the stated mode of payment. Also, make sure to ask about any interest rates and fines in case of delayed return.
5. Need for a Driver
Will you be driving, or will you require a driver? If you are new to Kenya, or your intended destination, you may need a driver. A driver would also make sense if you do not know how to drive or you do not have a valid driver’s licence. Luckily, most car rental companies also provide drivers, but at an extra charge. Getting a driver is beneficial because you will not suffer fatigue or even get lost. It can, however, be more expensive since you may have to cater for the driver’s accommodation and food during the trip.
6. Size of Car
Are you travelling solo or with a group of family and friends? Solo travellers only need a car large enough for them and their belongings. A travelling gang, however, requires anything from a minivan to a bus. The more the travellers, the bigger the car will be but also, the higher the cost. One way to lighten the cost burden in bigger groups is by everyone chipping in.
Once you have settled on your rental car and it is under your care, maintain these habits:
- Keep the car keys on you at all times when not driving the vehicle.
- Avoid unfamiliar roads that might be dangerous to you or the car.
- Make sure to park the car in secured places at all times.
- Keep the fuel tank above the halfway mark at all times.
- If travelling in a group, only people with valid driver’s licences should drive. Stick to two drivers, preferably.
A rental car can be very convenient, especially when you are travelling to remote areas. It saves you the hustle of fighting with heavy luggage at the bus station and waiting on long queues only to travel uncomfortably. Hopefully, these tips will help you make the right choice in your rental car. Make sure you return it clean and with a full tank after your trip.