You have made the decision to travel to Kenya either on business or on holiday and you need to decide whether or not to rent a car. Here are our 6 tips you need to know when renting a car in Kenya:

1. Do I Really Need To Rent A Car In Kenya?

In most instances it is recommended for the public transport is generally poor even in the large cities such as Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu. Once you leave the central city transport is essential and whilst one can order an Uber or taxi, it takes time to get one and pretty costly.

2. When Should I Make The Car Rental Booking?

As soon as possible for contrary to perceptions there are times when cars are simply unavailable at the airport owing to seasonal highs, large conferences, sporting events etc.  What you do not want is to arrive at the airport and have to trawl rental desk after rental desk at high demand pricing trying to secure a car.

3. What are The First Steps To Take Before You Rent The Car?

  • Decide what type of car you want to rent. Hatchback or sedan? Manual or Automatic? How many people are travelling in the car? Study the car rental websites for pictures of the vehicles on offer and the features for guidance.
  • Once you select the type of vehicle you would like to rent, request a quotation from the rental company concerned and it is recommended that you try a few.
  • Now you have the various quotations. What now?


4. Should I Pay For My Rental In Advance?

Our advice is never to pay in advance for the simple reason is that should you for un-foreseen circumstances have to cancel your trip, then you are saddled with the inevitable hassle of trying to get a refund. Several rental sites insist on up-front payments but it is certainly not recommended. Car rentals can be booked and confirmed without having to make any advance payments and bookings can be cancelled without penalty provided cancellation is made before arrival.  With certain types of vehicles such as the super luxury vehicles there are terms and conditions which require a minimum cancellation period. During peak seasons some car rental companies will require you to provide your credit card details in order to confirm a vehicle; however most companies will only debit your credit card on the day of your arrival.  This should be made clear in the quotation you receive.

5. Does The Car Rental Company Provide Country Wide Back-Up Service?

If you are travelling long distances it is important that should something unforeseen occur such as a breakdown or at worst an accident, then you need to have the peace of mind that help is never too far away to get a replacement vehicle. This is a question that needs an answer.

6. On Arrival What Do I Need To Do When Collecting My Rental Car?

Go directly to the designated car rental office and ensure that you have with you the following:

  • Your driver’s license which must have a photo and description in English, or must have an accompanying English translation if in another language. An international driver’s license is another option.
  • Your passport
  • Your credit card must not be a debit or cheque card.
  • Any additional drivers must accompany you with their respective licences and passports.

Ensure that the time you actually sign for the car is entered on the rental contract. When having the car handed over….Check…check and check again and ensure that every mark, scratch or imperfection is noted on the hand over sheet and this includes chips on the windscreen. Take pictures if necessary. Check the tread on the tyres and also check that the spare tyre and the tools are there. This sounds a bit pedantic and especially when you are tired and irritable but vital if you are to avoid being held responsible for damage you did not cause. It goes without saying that you do the same when you return the car, so leave enough time to do so. HAPPY TRAVELS