Car Hire in Kenya

There are many possibilities for car hire in Kenya, from small cars to big 4WD Toyota Landcruisers. Traveling by car is often the only way to get to some remote parts of the country, and all national parks are open for private vehicles.

But as car hire in Kenya is expensive with lots of small print, you may also consider other options. If you only want to visit some parks, taking a tour operator is often cheaper (especially if you can find a group). If you need the car for a longer time, buying a second-hand car may also has it’s advantages (though it involves quite some paperwork for registering and road tax).

The advantage of car hire, on the other hand, is that you often can also hire a company driver with it for about KSH 1000 a day. The car is then also covered by the company’s insurance, so you don’t have to pay insurance and aren’t liable for any excess in case of an accident.

Costs and Insurance

Expect to pay a minimum of KSH 6000 for a small 2WD car and KSH 8000 for a bigger 4WD (without insurance). This usually includes a mileage of 100 to 200 miles. You’ll always have to pay for gas yourself, but you’ll have to pay the rental company for miles driven on top of the mileage.

Insurance is crucial, because without it you’ll have to pay for the full worth of the car in case of theft or total loss. Insurance costs about KSH 1000 to 1500 a day extra, but you’ll usually be liable for an excess between KSH 2000 and a staggering KSH 150,000 in case of damage or theft. It’s possible to reduce excess liability to zero, at another KSH 500 to 1000 a day.

To make it even worse, prices are typically quoted everywhere without 16% value added tax.

Deposits are always required, often amounting to the total expected hire sum. You can often use your credit card for this, or signed travelers cheques.

Other Rules and Requirements

Most rental companies require drivers to be of a minimum age, typically between 23 and 25, and to have at least 2 years driving experience.

Unless you only plan to drive on the main roads between major cities, car hire companies in Kenya will not allow you to hire a 2WD. You may also be denied entry in some parks without a 4WD.

Check the company’s policies in case of major breakdowns. Some may pick you up and replace the car, but most say you have to arrange the repair yourself, after which you may get a refund.

The car should be licensed as a PSV (passenger service vehicle) and should have a PSV sticker behind the windscreen. Police may ask for this at checkpoints.

Always bring back the car with a full tank of petrol, or the company will fill it up for you against the double petrol price.

Always check the car before you leave, and make sure it has spare tires (possibly two), extra water and extra petrol

The Best Rental Companies

Of the international rental agencies, Budget usually has the best deals and conditions for car hire in Kenya. Of the local agencies, Central Rent-A-Car has good vehicles, good back-up service and the lowest excess liability.

Related Pages:

Transport in Kenya - Getting Around
Kenya Airlines - For flights within Kenya

Available Airlines for International Flights

How to Find Cheap Tickets to Kenya

Practical Travel Information - Overview

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