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Travelling by road? 5 important car rental tips to keep in mind

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Choosing a car rental service - especially for a non-regular- can be a nightmare, that is, if you have no idea what to look out for. When scoping for a service that can fit both your pocket and personal preferences, it’s important to have some general guidelines in mind that will enable you to identify the best available car rental service, every time you have a need.

Because there are many car rental options available in the local market, these tips will not only help you identify a good service provider, here in Kenya, but also help you consider other associated factors: namely, price and affordability, flexibility and accessibility, among others. Other important factors include quality of service, reputation of the provider and the coverage of their services.

1.    Affordability - for starters, and this may sound obvious; choose a car rental service whose price point is affordable.

Especially if you’re off on holiday; you don’t want to spend too much of your vacation budget paying for a car rental service and not have enough left over to enjoy the pleasures that come with holiday-ing, i.e. dining out, sightseeing, etc. We recommend that you do as much research at the beginning, regarding cheap or affordable car rental services available in Keny a. It is also important to inquire from service providers the associated rental charges if any, to ensure you are aware of hidden charges.

Rental costs will vary according to rental packages. For example, according to the distance of your travel destination, number of travelling passengers - which will determine type of vehicle -, whether you plan to return with the car or not, among other variables.

If travelling by air and looking for an airport transfer, sometimes, renting a car from the airport will come with extra costs such as taxes charged at the airport. This means that the service can be more expensive. Good thing is that there are several Kenyan companies offering car rental services away from the airport, although they still transport passengers in and out of the airport, quite affordably.

Considering companies that provide discounted services is also beneficial. You incur lesser costs in the end. In addition, some companies provide larger discounts than others. You must also assess if the company charges cancellation fees just in case you happen to change your mind about travelling.

Other companies will demand the car rental fee be paid up front, while others will demand only a certain percentage up front. To get the most price friendly deals, do some comparison shopping online. Browse several websites belonging to a number of companies and scrutinise their terms and offers. You can also decide to physically visit their offline offices for the same.

2.    Quality – Research, Research, Research

In most cases, first timers will rely on partial information to make a purchase decision. While there could be a lot of good reviews on a company’s website, it helps to browse competing sites or even travel review sites, where you can source more factual information and firm up your decision on which car rental company to go with.

Referrals are a good way of identifying a good car rental service, but note that former clients might be referring to types of services and brands that no longer exist presently. Therefore, it is important to visit the company website and/or car rental offices in the respective branches to find out more about the quality of services.

3.    Legality of the service - Is the company registered?

This is an important factor that many tend to ignore in as far as renting a car is concerned. They only realize this too late when they run into some trouble. When sourcing for a car rental service, try to check and/or inquire if they are legally registered in the country of operation. If you’ve watched the movie Kenya Half Life and are travelling to Kenya for the first time, you may worry about the security of driving at night in Kenya. Security is an issue for everyone everywhere in the world and no less in Kenya. Hence, driving rules apply across the board and it is important to know that you can trust your car rental company to get you to your destination safely. Let them assure you that their drivers are well trained and have a good track record and at the very least are versed in defensive driving and know the safest routes of travel especially at night, or in insecurity prone areas of the country.

4.    Know their operation schedules and booking rules

Many rental companies will explain what they require before you book. This information is either available on their websites or at their office information desk. Some companies might not rent cars at particular times due to directives issued by authorities for security reasons, whilst others may only run on normal working hours, when what you may be looking for is a 24 hours car rental service. Nevertheless, many companies are flexible and can make the necessary arrangements to accommodate you once they establish your specific needs.

5.    This bring us to our fifth tip: Consider the flexible and convenient options

Knowing if the car service is reliable and will experience no delays or cost you more if there are delays is very important. Consider the pick-up times and be clear about your needs. In most cases, flexibility has to do with you articulating what you really need, to the company representatives. Provide as much information as you can in order to avoid misunderstandings or embarrassing incidents that could otherwise be avoided with some added clarifications. If a car rental service is more familiar with the location and region you wish to visit, then they are obviously more suitable for your road travel arrangements.   

Looking for a reliable car rental service in Kenya? Contact us  today.

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