Uganda Negative Self drive reviews

Why negative reviews?

There are mainly three reasons for negative reviews regarding self-drive car hires in Uganda;

  • Cars in poor mechanical condition
  • Hidden Fees (No refunds…..)
  • Delays in Pickups

Cars in poor Mechanical condition

We cannot say it is unheard of among established self-drive car rental companies to provide cars in poor mechanical condition but it is very uncommon for it to happen. It is often a result of lax among the mechanical team.

Most clients ask for the car mileage, this is a wrong place to start with, since you may never find a self-drive car with mileage below 150,000kms. However, they can go ahead and trick with a car displaying a lower mileage than the actual mileage. No one follows up on mileage in Uganda; rather they focus on the plate numbers.

Plate numbers help you find out at least how long the car has spent in the country.

In the above review, you notice two things; the car condition and the missed sightseeing. But in reference to what I have been discussing here, I will stick to the car condition.

  1. First of all, you are expected to communicate with the car hire company whenever you notice such a major gap in the car service. This is a good ground to ask for a refund against all odds or ask the service provider to fix the problem or get you a better car.
  2. Read reviews about the car hire company before making your booking, it will save you a lot of trouble.
  3. You can always ask for a test drive; this often requires you only to pay for fuel. Entebbe Express high way is a good place for a test drive; you can go up to 100 kilometers unhindered. However, it might involve a test drive contract.

  1. Just a few clarifications on the above review; wrong permits would mean a different trekking sector from the one agreed upon or a different trekking date. But whatever the case; follow up on the permits at least a month to your trip to avoid such issues. On the other hand; someone might buy resale permits and in that case, you cannot have a choice of the trekking sector.
  2. Regarding the mileage, you can even find a car with a mileage of over 300,000 in very good condition, so this is not the right basis for a complaint. In Uganda; some cars are imported with a mileage of 150,000km. Unless you are willing to pay triple the price for mileage less than 50,000km
  3. Some reviews are out of a frustrating experience not generally the car condition. So some clients bind up the whole experience of their bad trip and put the whole blame on the car hire company.


Hidden Fees (No refunds…..)

There are usually two kinds of hidden fees; No refunds and full insurance fees.


Always ask for clarification regarding the refund policy. Most companies in Uganda do not do refunds on deposits. They usually push your deposit to a future date but never refunding it to you.

I would advise; you ask for procedures of refunding before entering into a binding contract with a car hire company.

Full insurance Fees

It is common for clients to ask for full insurance which is rarely available in Uganda. So you have to opt for Comprehensive insurance. However there are individuals who prefer hiring without any form of insurance; and in such instances, you can pay up to 50% of the car value in case of a major accident.

Other instances are often being a victim of a scam. This involves a fake company using fake police officers to milk money out of you. To be on a safer side; it is usually at this point that you have to involve your embassy.

To avoid all this; make sure you sign a car hire contract and keep a copy of it for reference purposes in case issues of money arise.