Common mistakes in Uganda Self Drive Car hire

Common Self drive Mistakes 2020

Self drive car hire is one of the best ways to save on your trip anywhere in Africa; Uganda to be precise. However your budget safari that you might have considered after reading wonderful reviews might turn bitter after failing to serious caution on a few things that might seem minor at the start.

It is not common to have a new car for self drive in Uganda. Actually the latest models of the Land cruisers can cost you over US$400 per day yet getting picky with limited mileage, on top of a driver who cannot be foregone however skillful a driver you may be.

Therefore, most of the self drive companies offer cars with over 250,000 mileage in most cases. It is only on a lucky day that you may get a car with mileage below 250,000 but still this does not warrant you a well maintained car. Besides the maintenance, there are a number of things that you might find irking at the end of your trip if you are not careful.

These are the mistakes you should never make or repeat when you are hiring a car for self drive in Uganda;

Signing a contract without reading through!

It is a routine that every time you are hiring a car for self drive, you must present a copy of your identification document and drivers’ license before proceeding to enter into any agreement. The contract is meant to be signed after inspecting the car to see that it meets the agreed status.

Unfortunately, sometimes the hirer is so excited because they are on holiday thus signing the contract with many binding terms without reading through. At the end of the trip, they might have a lot of things to complain about unfortunately they already bound themselves in the contract.

Below are some of the things that often bind self drive car hirers without noticing;


Some contracts give the company the privilege never to refund your money regardless of what happens. Whether the car was faulty and you had to fix and repair something; you might not get any refunds since it is already stipulated in the contract

Car Insurance 

It is important that you ask for clarification from the car hire company regarding what is insured, the excess and everything that concerns insurance lest you end you in an accident only to be required to cover all damages you thought were covered by insurance.

Receiving the Car with Dents

We always recommend that photos of the car are taken before the trip. Even though the hirer concedes that the car had some damages at the point of hire, the contract might not state the same. There is often a clause in the contract claiming the you inspected the car before hire.

Car body damage dents traffic accident

To avoid all the hustle that might arise, it is recommended you take the photos of the car before you start your trip to keep in the driving seat.

Driving at Night

Companies have varying night driving perimeters. Before you sign a contract, you might have to first receive clarification on these perimeters to avoid all the trouble that might arise when found driving past a given time.

Hire Basis

Some car hire companies hire on a 12 hour day basis while other companies hire on a 24 hour basis. This has to be clarified before hiring a car lest you pay for an extra day or two when you hire assuming it is on a 24 hour basis yet the company is hiring on a 12 hour basis.

Cost For Extra Drivers

Fines for extra drivers are not common; however closing every possible gap for fines is key. Therefore it is recommended that you inquire on the company policy regarding extra drivers to avoid paying extra uncalled for charges when caught on the wrong side of the contract.


There are mainly three forms of deposit policies in self drive car hire; deposit that are refunded after removing surcharges, deposit that are never refunded but carried forward to a future trip, and deposit that are withheld by the company as a separate amount for deposit.

It is therefore recommended that you inquire about the company policy regarding deposits. Some companies claim a free cancelation policy but never gets into the terms and conditions.

Some companies avoid cash refunds due to surcharges and taxes. For instance you might call for a refund after the end of a financial year implying that this money has already been taxed thus far less than the amount you deposited. For this reason; most companies simply carry the deposit to your next trip.


Sometimes the contract states a certain amount of gas requirement upon returning the car yet sometimes the car might not be delivered with the stated fuel amount. Therefore it is recommended that you get this clarified