June 12, 2024
Car Rental in East Africa

Every individual has a reason as to why they hire vehicles, especially those that wish to travel up country or those wishing to travel to other countries on the road. Not every person that wants to travel has a vehicle but that factor shouldn’t hold you back, car hire companies are there for such people.

Let’s talk to those people to wish to travel to another country with a rented car, and if you’re asking yourself whether it is possible to cross the border with a rented car.

If you want to drive a rental car from one country to another, most car rental companies charge you an additional fee for crossing the border, to cover cross border insurance fees, regional taxes, etc. This additional fee also covers the extra insurance needed when you’re driving in a different country from where you hired the vehicle.

However, some rental companies don’t charge the cross border fees but they get you papers for crossing the border and even advise you on where to buy the insurance needed to drive in any country you wish to visit.

Can I cross to another country with a car rental from Kenya?

Countries offer different experiences and sometimes travellers are interested in exploring more than one country in a single safari. The question now is, “can I cross to another country with a car rental from Kenya?” The answer is yes, although some extra costs may be applied and these cover border crossing fees, national taxes, extra insurance fees and many other fees. With chauffeur-driven or guided drives, all these costs will be calculated beforehand and included in the overall cost of hiring the car.

Travellers are required to provide honest information on the destinations to be visited, especially if planning to cross borders. This is important because withholding information means paying insurance covers in case of uncertainties will not be made possible. With the correct information, the rental Company will provide the right documents and insure the car before you eventually cross the border to another country.

If you withhold information and unavoidable circumstances such as theft, accident or car damages happen in a foreign country, you will have to meet all the costs to the Car rental Company. Given the political instability in some countries especially South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia, crossing borders are limited to only relatively secure countries.  It is therefore important to first undertake research on the destinations you are planning to visit to avoid unexpected attacks during your safari.

Important requirements for renting a car and crossing to another country

Travel documents (Valid passport and Visas)

The travel documents required of travellers before crossing to another country are valid passports and Visas. It is important to first check with Rwandan immigration websites for information pertaining visa requirements, based on your country of origin. You can book for the East African Tourist Visa (at $100) allowing you to visit Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya with a single visa. Additionally, citizens from East African community member States don’t require Visas to visit Kenya, Uganda or Rwanda during the cross-border safari.  However, a Ugandan passport or National Identity Card is required for drivers planning to cross borders of East African countries.

National or International driver’s permit

You can cross to another with a car rental from Uganda when you possess an International Driver’s permit. If you have a local driver’s license (especially from any of the East African countries), it can be recognized in the member States. For instance, a valid Ugandan driver’s license is recognized in the neighboring countries of Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania.

Letter of Authority from the Car rental Company

Another important requirement for crossing to another country with a car rental from Uganda is a letter of Authority provided by the Car rental Company. This is a proof of consent or Authorization.

Vehicle registration

For a car to be allowed to cross the border from Uganda, it has to be certified and registered with documents being required at the border crossing offices. The vehicle registration or license papers should be accompanied by the Company’s letter of Authority to cross the border. Both vehicle license papers and letter of Authority must be signed by the Car (Company) owner.

COMESA Sticker

Travellers with rental cars from Uganda and planning to cross borders to other countries should bear COMESA Stickers that clearly indicate that they are foreign vehicles.

In conclusion, it is possible to cross another country with a rental car from Uganda but travellers/drivers are required to present travel documents that include valid passport and visas, COMESA Sticker, letter of Authority from the rental Company or Vehicle owner, vehicle registration or license papers and the National or International Driver’s license allowing you to cross borders to another country.


Thinking of traveling to any destination this season for a vacation, business or safari and still searching for the ideal transportation means to get you around. Even though it requires you to cross the border, just get a vehicle from your preferred rental company Kenya car rental.

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