5 Tips to Help You Save on Car Rental in Uganda & Rwanda

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Often times one of the more frustrating aspects of travel planning, rental cars and the means by which you secure them can dig deep into your pocket if you’re not careful. Preparing for your trip car to rent may give you a little headache but, there are a multitude of ways you can save money on your next Uganda car rental. Utilizing these 5 easy tips and tricks will go a long way towards putting money back in your pocket that most travelers unwittingly surrender when renting a car.

Don’t rent at the airport.

If you’re willing to take the time to put some distance between yourself and the airport, renting from an rental company or through your hotel can help you avoid airport concession fees, which are often as high as 15% to 25% of your entire rental car fee. Although using a rental company may slightly go little higher than bus service, public transportation, or even a quick taxi ride before you begin your trip, but more convenient and will go a long way on saving you time and money.

Avoid signing along the dotted line for insurance.

Although optional in most states, additional insurance, like Loss Damage Waivers and Personal Effects Coverage, can account for an additional $20 to $40 per day on your rental fee. Major car rental companies offer comprehensively insured cars, before you go signing off on any insurance that the rental car company may be offering, make sure to check with your existing policy, AAA, and even your credit card companies to see if they already provide additional rental car coverage.

Make your reservation for longer than you anticipate needing the car.

Simply stick on on an extra couple hours or a day to your reservation can lower your base rate, even though you ultimately plan on returning the car earlier than you’ve arranged. The system will often discount your rate, especially if you can extend your reservation into Fridays or Saturdays to utilize weekend rates. On top of that, some rental companies will give you a prorated refund for an early return. Be careful, though, as some rental companies, like Self Drive East Africa may not charge early return fees. Make sure you ask them for clarity or check the terms and conditions of any rental agreement before confirming any rental.

Look out for and avoid sneaky fees.

Top off the fuel tank before you return your rented car if that was agreed in the terms of rental agreement, regardless of cost of fuel. Inspect your car for any dings and damage before pulling off the lot. I like to snap a couple pictures on my phone of the front, back, and sides of the vehicle, leaving little doubt as to the condition the car was in before I stepped foot in it. If you’re behind schedule when it comes time to return the car, call the agency you’re returning the vehicle to and ask if it will be cheaper to pay late fees or extend your rental. Always check for fees tied to GPS, electronic toll collection systems, and car seats. If you can manage to bring any of these items with you, you’ll save a lot in little fees that can add up quickly.

Ask yourself how much I really need to get out of my rental?

Before you book your rental car, take consideration of what you’ll actually be using the car for and consider its utility. How many miles do you anticipate putting into it? Do you need any extra room for kids? Need camping gears? Is there any reason you’ll need all that extra trunk space? Do you really need the sports car, 4X4, 4WD, tourist rooftops vehicles or premium SUV? Pick the car that suits your needs. If you’re on a quick business trip where your car will only serve as a means of transportation from your hotel to the office or meetings? Pick a budget compact. Planning on packing the kids in for a road trip to grandma and grandpa’s place? Grab a roomier van or SUV. At some point in the rental process you’ll be forced to endure an agent’s attempts at upselling any and all premium cars, packages, and the aforementioned additional insurance. By knowing exactly what you want you’ll be able to quickly and efficiently choose your car and gracefully decline any agent’s pursuit of an upsell.

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