Car hire in Kenya has always been hideously expensive and with lots of terms and conditions as well as disclaimers and that has not changed despite the great differentiation in the market. If you are not looking for a great deal of flexibility, you can use Uber or Taxify to get from point A to B cheaply. However, if you want a car that you can use flexibly and even use to drive out of town, then you will have to grapple with numerous car rental options in the market.
However, you don’t have to use the traditional car rental companies that charge upwards of Ksh.6000 or $60 per day. You can also hire cars from individual Kenyans or smaller car hire companies at a much cheaper price if you know where to look. If you are looking for this option, please drop us a message below:-
Typical Car Rental Requirements in Kenya
Some of the requirements needed to hire a car in Kenya include the following:-
The Minimum Age: Most Kenyan car rental companies require that the renters have a minimum age of 25 and a maximum age of 75. There are some I have seen that a lower minimum age of 23. If you are below this age, you may not rent a car at all or you may only rent certain categories of cars such as the “Economy” car hire options or cars with shorter wheelbase. If your age lies within certain brackets such as 21-24 or 70-75, you may incur additional daily charges depending on the rental company.
Driving License: Most car hire companies will require that you must have held your driving license for at least 24 months. However, there are a few rental company that only impose a 12 month threshold for your driving license.
Fuel Policy: Some car hire companies in Kenya will give you vehicles with a full tank at the time of pick up and you must return the vehicle with a full tank at the end of the rental. Some, on the other hand, give you the car with fuel that will only take you to the nearest filling station and you can return it empty. Read the car hire policy of the car rental company you are planning to use for additional information.
Crossing Borders: Inquire with your car rental company on their policy of crossing borders. You will usually need written permission to cross the border with rented car. Additional fees may also apply if you are planning to cross the border with the vehicle. For a smooth experience, make sure you inform the Kenyan car hire company in advance if you are planning to cross the borders with your car.
Car Rental Agreement: You will be given a rental agreement to sign at the time of collecting the car. Make sure that you read it carefully and understand all the clauses before signing.
Damages on the vehicle: While all cars are generally insured , many car hire companies will charge you an extra fee if you damage any part of the vehicle. You may also have to pay for damages or theft that are not covered by the insurance such as tyres, glasses, windscreens, tools etc.
Distance and Time: A single day of rental is generally counted as 24 hours. If you exceed the rental duration as specified in the rental agreement, almost all car rental companies are going to charge you extra fee per hour or per day over the specified duration.
Payment Terms: Car rental companies offer multiple payment options including Visa, MasterCard, MPESA, AMEX or even cash.
Price: For the traditional or “legacy” car hire companies in Kenya, expect a minimum price of Ksh.6000 or Ksh.8000 per day plus additional charges such as insurance if you will stay within a specified mileage. For example, some car rental companies impose a mileage cap of 500km per week. If you exceed this, you will pay an additional cost charged per km. Luxury cars have an even lower mileage cap per day or per week. A luxury car may for example have a maximum mileage cap of 50km per day. While most car hire companies state that they offer “unlimited mileage”, this limitless mileage is most likely capped so make sure you make inquiries about the mileage caps.