With a steady increase in travellers to Rwanda, car rental in Rwanda services have skyrocketed in demand. Whether it’s to explore the nation’s stellar attractions, meet family, attend business conferences, or participate in political events, many opt to rent cars for their journeys. If you’re contemplating renting a car in Rwanda soon, there are some pivotal considerations to bear in mind before securing your booking.

  1. Regional Restrictions

A significant detail to note is that many Rwandan car hire companies limit their vehicle use to East African nations only, namely Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, and Burundi. So, if you had aspirations of crossing out of this region with your rental car, you might need to reconsider. Plus, remember to budget for the COMESA fees you’ll incur when taking the car across the borders of these East African states.

  1. The Importance of Insurance

Car rental companies in Rwanda typically provide comprehensive insurance, which encompasses collision damage waiver and third-party coverage. However, it’s crucial to understand the nuances of this insurance. For instance, if an accident is determined to be your fault, you will be responsible for the damages. Always examine the car rental contract to know the exact terms of the insurance policy.

  1. Driver’s License is Non-negotiable

Rwanda is steadfast in its legalities, particularly when it comes to driving. A valid driver’s license is a requisite to get behind the wheel. Rental agencies will expect you to produce either an original international driver’s license or a valid national one before releasing a car to you.

  1. Full Payment is a Must

Complete payment for your rental car is expected before you embark on your trip. Whether you choose cash or electronic means, your full payment will typically be settled during your interaction with the car rental provider. Also, a preliminary deposit is often required when you book, serving as a reservation assurance.

  1. Age is More Than Just a Number

In Rwanda, the legal driving age is set at 21. Car rental agencies adhere strictly to this rule, meaning only those aged 21 and above can secure a car hire. To verify your age, you’ll usually need to present either a national ID or passport.

  1. Don’t Skip the Agreement

Always ensure you peruse the car rental agreement in depth. This document will detail the rental’s terms and conditions, and any breach could result in fines. It’s advisable to understand every clause thoroughly and seek clarification on any ambiguities.

  1. Adherence to Traffic Norms

Although Rwanda follows European traffic standards, driving on the right side of the road, it has specific rules you must observe. For instance, the speed limits are capped at 60km/h on highways and 30km/h in urban areas. For a smooth experience, familiarize yourself with Rwanda’s driving regulations, often provided by your car hire agency.

  1. Account for Additional Charges

Lastly, factor in the ancillary charges that might crop up. A common fee encountered in Rwanda’s car rental scene is the vehicle’s delivery and pick-up cost. For the convenience of receiving or returning the car at places like airports or hotels, rental companies might levy a fee, often around 50 dollars.

In conclusion, Rwanda offers a myriad of experiences for the eager traveller. Renting a car can be a liberating way to explore the nation at your own pace. However, being armed with the right information ensures your car rental experience is seamless, leaving you free to soak in all Rwanda has to offer.