What are the different Car Rental Services Operating in Uganda?
The transport industry in Uganda has been evolving in the recent years. Different means of transport have cropped out to suit the travellers with different purposes of travel. One of the biggest revelation in the transport sector of Uganda is the car rental services. Car rental services are exclusive and private means of traveling. A person solely hires a vehicle for lone travel. Within the car rental world, there are different types of services offered to serve different reasons or purposes of traveling. The different car rental services are created to reach out to specific niche or market of people. Below are the different types of car rental types offered in Uganda:
Online and Structured Car Rental Services
These have a very well organised working system. They operate both online and on ground in an office establishment. Their main market is well streamlined and planned travel. They have professional personnel right from the reservation team to the drivers. They appeal to people traveling from 3 days and more. They have a big fleet of cars and offer different types of cars from sedan, crossovers to SUVs. They provide services like self drive traveling and car hire with a driver. Travellers who normally use Uganda car rental services are ones who are traveling for long distances or to further places than their usual ones for instance tourist and usually traveling for a number of days. These services come with a higher price compared to other services due to the purpose they serve and this is why the biggest demand comes from foreign travellers. They charge on a per day basis with unlimited mileage, and sometimes long term rental discounts are applied by the operators in case the hirer is going for a reasonable number of days.
App and metered car hire services
They are normally known as online taxis or cabs. They have just graced the transport sector of Uganda due to the technological advancement. Their booking is done through an app which is only compatible to smartphones with ios and android systems. These are normally used for short distance traveling less than 30kms. They are very popular in urban cities like Kampala, Entebbe, Jinja, Gulu and Mbarara. They charge basing on the distance travelled or time. Some of these services include uber, premium taxi, specio hire, quick taxi and bolt. They are popularly known as city cabs.
Local Special hire or Special Taxi
These are cabs that are owned by the local drivers. They are so informal and rudimentary. They were the first car hire services in Uganda. They have no structure; the traveller deals directly with the driver who is in most cases the boss. The traveller negotiates with the driver the fare. More to that, there is no specific or fixed fees for their services, the fare entirely depends on the traveller’s bargaining power and the mood of the driver. There are no protocols followed in this business, the driver sets his/her rules. Most of the cars used by special hire are old and not in very sound mechanical conditions. They operate in urban areas of Uganda.
Event Car hire services
These are car hire services that reach out to people in need of transport services for wedding, birthday parties, conference events and other events not mentioned above. They normally offer executive cars like Mercedes Benz, Range Rover, Jaguar, limousines and latest land cruiser models. The vehicles are always clean and very classy thus commanding a very high price. Due to the high expenses to start and maintain these kind of services. There are few companies in Uganda that offer such kind of services. They operate both online and on ground.
Before choosing any of the above car rental service, the hirer is tasked with knowing the purpose of travel and then opt for the most suitable means to go for. For instance if going to an expedition around Uganda for quite a number of days, there is need to opt for the structured system, and if you are only wanting to go from point a to point b with a maximum travel time of an hour, then it would make much more sense opting for a special taxi or metered car hire service.