11 Uganda self Drive Horrors to avoid this Year

Uganda self-drive safaris and trips are gradually picking up; there are a number of reasons you should consider self-drive car hire or hire with a driver safari in Uganda. Some of the reasons include; flexibility, cheaper than the general tour operator safaris among several other reasons.

But as more and more people have come to opt for self-drive safaris in Uganda, there are a number of challenges that have come along that we believe if you only get to know about them prior and take the necessary cautions; you will surely have the best self-drive safari in Uganda.

Most of the challenges encountered in self-drive hires are in line with bookings, cancellations, hidden insurance costs, customer service, and several other hidden charges. But besides these, here are a few things to consider to avoid Uganda’s self-drive horror stories.

1.High Rates-Avoid Hiring Cars at the Airport

One of the things anyone hiring a car at the airport should know; it does not come free of charge to put up a stall at the airport, therefore you are most likely to find the car hire companies that have stalls at the airport slightly more expensive than most of the other companies that have no stalls at the airport.

Someone might argue that anyone that sets up a stall at the airport is likely to be more serious, but that does not take away the fact that they will charge you highly sometimes for services that are far less than what other companies would have offered at a lesser quote.

These companies mostly rely on their clients’ ignorance, lack of plans, and a lot in that line. Our advice would be for you to spend some time before your trip closing with a car hire company that would deliver you a car at the airport.

2.    Hidden Costs-Compare Hire rates

In most of the markets, there are standard rates of acquiring services. Whenever you find a company offering rates way below or way higher than the standard rates, ask yourself why?!, they are not being generous when they charge lower, there are hidden costs at times that are not mentioned. It is only when mechanical issues come in that you start regretting hiring from such a company.

We recommend looking through trip advisor reviews and also engaging the car hire company directly instead of doing it through brokers.

Avoid Comparison Sites

We recommend that you reach out to each company, find out what they are offering above other companies instead of simply getting information from comparison sites.

Most comparison sites focus on only car hire rates. There is more to self-drive car hire than the rates. If you are the kind that is simply driven by the rates, you might regret it. But it does not hurt to try your luck on the company that provides the least rates though we recommend that you go for the one charging the average price.

3.    Extra Insurance costs

Insurance is one of the most used ventures for charging extra hidden charges. It is often recommended that you establish the insurance policy prior to your booking. Find out the terms regarding excess insurance, Comprehensive or Full insurance, and a number of things in this line.

Failure to agree on the insurance terms and conditions, you are likely to fall into extra Chagres scams.

4.    Fake Damages

Most of the self-drive safari cars have a few damages that companies reluctantly do not fix for some time. It is recommended that you take photos of all the damages that the car might be having. If you do not, the company might take advantage of you when you return the car with the same damages that you found with the car.

5.    GPS Navigation Charges

Hiring GPS navigation is one of the things that we would not recommend. It might cost you US$5 per day yet you can download google maps or “Mapsme-app” and use your own phone as a GPS navigation at no extra cost.

6.    Cancellation and Refund Policy

To avoid any refund and cancellation scandals, we recommend tourists to establish company cancellation and refund policies to avoid any disappointments. Cancellation and refund policies vary from one company to another, it is always wise to establish the policies before confirming your reservation.

7.    Late Car Deliver

Timekeeping is still a challenge in Uganda. We recommend that you give yourself a 30 minutes time allowance. Always make the appointment time 30 minutes less than the time you expect. For instance, if you need the car at 7:00 am, ask them to deliver it at 6:30 am; traffic in Uganda is unpredictable, so it wise to plan with a 30 minutes allowance.

8.    Faulty Mechanical Kit

     The mechanical kit should include; a spare tire, wheel spanner, fire extinguisher, and first aid kit. These are things we recommend you to check for when the car is delivered to you. Though you are likely not to need them during a smooth self-drive trip, they are the most important things during any breakdown.

9.    Mechanical Break Down

     Mechanical breakdowns are often in terms of shock absorbers, faulty fuses, alternators, batteries, and brake fluids. You might not be able to check for these when the car is delivered. But you can negotiate with a car hire company for discounts in case you get any of these challenges in the first or second day. Beyond the second day, it might be difficult to negotiate for some refunds.

      Breakdowns do not necessarily me you will be refunded but when they are beyond the company delay limit span, then you might cash in for a refund. However, this policy varies from one company to another since some companies do not refund at all.

10.Car Returning, Fuel and Mileage Policies  

     These policies also vary from one company to another. We recommend anyone planning to hire a car for self-drive to first establish with the company regarding the above policies to above any charges that might arise out of them.