Car hire dos and don’ts

Pros and Cons Car Rental/ Car Hire Uganda (Look-outs for self drive Uganda)

We can never get enough of the “all about car hire in Uganda” posts, “self drive Uganda safaris” stories, car hire Uganda, hire Kampala and above all; the reviews from visitors who have had a wonderful experience in Uganda. Unfortunately more often than told, there are pros and cons involved which sometimes are shared out of bias while others are shared out of simply excitement.

Here are the pros and cons of car hire in Uganda


Itinerary Flexibility

Self drive tours grant you the opportunity to adjust your itinerary as you see fit more so to destinations that do not require prior booking. It is this freedom that many put in consideration when hiring a car.


Car hire helps you to carry as much baggage as you wish, however a little advice on which car type to hire from a professional car hire company operator would put on a safe side.

Unlimited Mileage

Most of the car companies in Uganda offer unlimited mileage, however confirm this at the point of your car hire to avoid inconveniences that may arise out of new company policies

No Young Driver Extra fees

Unlike in other countries where anyone 25 years and below may be required to pay young driver extra charges to discourage renting cars off to young drivers, this is still unheard of in Uganda. Charges are still general in most of the car hire companies in Uganda regardless of the age as long as a driver must is 23 years old and has held a valid driver license for a period of not less than 2 years..


City Driving

Kampala unlike other towns is marred with several off the road drivers. This often makes your driving experience in Kampala regrettable. However getting yourself a driver to just get out of Kampala would be a better option.

Designated Driver

It is a common rule around the world not to drink and drive. However when you are out for holiday; a few drinks more so when you have a fridge in the car are unavoidable. In such instances, it important to have one of the people on your travel crew who doesn’t booze to do the driving or hiring a driver as well as to avoid the consequences of paying fines for driving under the influence of alcohol

Differences in Lanes and stirring wheel side

In Uganda, we drive on the left hand lane; this might be contrary to the driving practice in your country of origin. It also implies having the stirring wheel on the right hand side. Therefore anyone considering a self-drive in Uganda should put this in consideration; probably hiring an automatic car would put you on a safer side.

Extra Fees

There is one particular category of fees that visitors in Uganda commonly regret about; the “towing fees”. Though insurance covers the damages in case of accidents, car hire contracts call for extra fees to transfer the car from the spot of overturning as well as compensating the company for the time they are going to remain out of business simply repairing the car.

The fees often range from $1,000 to $1,500; it is for this reason that you should drive carefully more so in the parks where the overturning accidents commonly occur. However minor car damages aren’t really that high since it is believed; they are rarely as a result of reckless driving.

All the other fees are negotiable.

Cross Boarder Safaris

Many visitors are moved by the flexibility in itinerary not considering the identifying how many borders they can cross with a particular car. These are some of the things that have to be clarified before hiring a car

Lions resting in Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Pick up points/ drop off points

Pick up points are locations at which you can pick the car from as well as drop the car after the safari. In most cases the car hire company delivers the car at the hotels in the locality of Kampala and Entebbe or at the airport.

In Uganda there are mainly two pick up points; Entebbe and Kampala. Other locations commonly call for car delivery/ transfer back to Kampala fees. These fees commonly carter for fuel and driver.

Driving License

A valid driver license issued by your country of residence is what is required for you to drive in Uganda for the next three months of your stay in Uganda. The driving permit should be in English or a translated version from any other language alongside the original. Driving in Uganda without an original driving permit is illegal.

After three months a driver is required to obtain a Ugandan driving license. This implies that your license should be valid at least for the next six months. Alternatively, you can obtain an International driving permit before traveling to Uganda.

Speed Limit

The speed limit on highways is 100 km/hr, 80km/hr outside built up areas and 50 km/hr in urban built up areas.

Seat Belts

Drivers and passengers are required to wear protective seat belts at all times

Putting the above Pros and Cons in consideration will make your car hire experience above 5star.