5 Things You Need To Know Before Hiring a car For A One-Way Trip In Africa
Hiring a car for a self-drive trip in Africa sometimes turns out to be a menace. With sad stories of scammers who simply take your money without giving you what you paid for to car rental agencies offering you a car far below the quality you agreed upon, it is always important to be vigilant when hiring a car online for your one-way trip in Africa.
There are mainly three types of one-way rentals:
- One-way rentals within the same country
- Regional Cross Border/Mini overland One-way car rentals
- Across Africa/Overland One-way car rentals
The terms of hire for One-way rentals are often similar but there are some differences that are important to note if you are to proceed cautiously.
Pick Up and Drop Off Charges
All one-way rentals always attract pick-up or drop-off charges and sometimes both. The rates vary according to your pick-up and drop-off location. For instance, across Africa, One-way car rentals might attract drop-off charges that are in thousands of USD while regional and same country one-way rentals rarely go above $1000 in pick-up and drop-off charges.
In One-way same country rentals, there are higher opportunities of getting a good bargain on pick up and drop off charges unlike across Africa One-way rentals. The most common routes for across Africa One-way rentals include; Cairo to Cape Town, Nairobi to Cape Town, and Kigali to Cape Town among several other overland routes.
One Way Rentals Insurance Packages
There are basically three insurance options that you have to put in mind when hiring a car for a One-way trip. Comesa Yellow card insurance, Local third-party insurance, and Comprehensive insurance.
Comesa Yellow Card is only necessary when you are going to cross the borders in COMESA countries. These include; Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Comprehensive insurance is also important to inquire about since some insurance packages do not apply once you cross the border. Therefore the one-way rental agency should ascertain to you that their comprehensive insurance cover is cross border.
Lastly, local insurance is necessary for none COMESA countries as well as the country of origin for the car. Comesa insurance works as third-party insurance outside the country where the car is registered.
There are two fuel options in one-way car rentals; gasoline and diesel. Electric cars are not yet a common option in self-drive rentals in Africa given the fact that electricity is still an issue in many parts of Africa.
Diesel cars are highly recommended even though sometimes they are charged more expensively than gasoline cars. This is partly because diesel cars are not only expensive to buy but also costly to maintain. However, they edge the gasoline cars on two fronts; they are fuel friendly and their fuel is more readily available even in remote areas, unlike the petrol cars.
Gasoline cars are more reliable than diesel cars on long one-way rentals however their fuel is not readily available. Once you find out that the best deal you can get for the one-way rental is for a gasoline car; Always make sure to carry fuel jerry cans to carry extra fuel.
Model Of the car
It is very common for people to look for newer cars when opting for long One way rentals. Details such as the car mileage and the model of the car rarely miss out when people are considering which car to take. But what they never know is car breakdown is inevitable and with a new car; getting repairs is very hard.
In some instances, repairing car models above 2010 sometimes turns out to be a disaster because of short circuits that can easily render a car immobile. For this reason, many Uganda car rental agencies opt for older models since their spare parts are readily available in the different major towns around the country.
It is highly to only hire models above 2010 if you have some mechanical knowledge. In most instances, mechanics in remote areas have never interacted with models above 2010 and for that reason, mechanic help might sometimes leave you actually more stranded.
However, if you are driving within the same country or region, you can take your chances on newer cars since they are more reliable. Their only issue is getting proper mechanical help once they break down on the way.
Season Of the Year
Hiring a car for a one-way trip is highly recommended for low dry seasons. By low dry seasons we mean the time of the year that is outside the peak seasons of July to the end of September and December 15th to the end of February.
The busiest time of the year is often the summer holidays, Christmas holidays, and new year holidays. Traveling outside these seasons can give you a better bargain on your one-way rental more so if it is regional or across Africa.
The above points are some of the most important points to consider when hiring a car for a one-way self-drive trip in Africa. However, it is always important to do a background check on any car rental agency you consider to hire with through checking their reviews on google or trip advisor.