Beginner’s Guide To Renting A Car In Kigali City

Strategically located near Rwanda’s geographic center in the rolling hills region is Kigali– the capital and largest city once ravaged by the 1994 Genocide. Founded as an administrative post in 1907, Kigali has been Rwanda’s cultural, economic and major transport hub and the best base for exploring Rwanda. The good transport and communication network coupled with security ensures anyone including foreigners can easily tour Kigali city without limitations.

Renting a car is one of the easiest ways to explore Kigali city and Rwanda, allowing you to explore away from public transportation limitations so you get the full feel of a true Rwandan road trip experience. There are a variety of Rwanda car rental companies ready to offer any type of car depending on your budget and personal interests so it shouldn’t be that hard to pick your choice.

Rent A Driver Rwanda presents you with an easy guide if it is your first time to visit or rent a car in Kigali on a self-drive or driver-guided tour. Read through so you get a clue of what to do and what is required when you decide to opt for private transportation when in Kigali.

Who can rent a car in Kigali?

Both locals and foreigners are allowed to book a private rental car but you must be 19 years and above with a valid driving license held for at least a year. Non-East African residents should possess an International Driver’s License that allows them to drive within any country outside their nationality. Only one additional driver is allowed and must meet the above requirements.

How to select the right car

You can choose from a wide range of rental cars in Kigali city with the economy option being the cheapest, but you can opt for a more spacious car for just a few extra dollars. A small car like a sedan is the best option for fuel consumption while a mid-sized car will offer more comfort when exploring Kigali city. You will be shown a variety of special options like family cars, 4×4 safari cars, executive business rentals and project vehicles among others

How to protect your rental

All basic insurance and protection services are fully included in every rental including Rwanda government taxes, fees and surcharges. The majority of Rwanda car rental companies offer comprehensive insurance- an option that protects against damage to your vehicle by non-collision events outside your control. Rent A Driver Rwanda offers 24/7 hour road assistance within Kigali including replacing lost keys and jump-starting your vehicle in any location you are stranded.

What documentation do I need?

All you need to rent a car in Kigali for the self-drive trip is a valid Rwanda driving license and an International Driver’s license if you are not an East African resident. You may be asked to also provide government-issued documentation like a national ID or passport.

How do I pay for my rental car?

Once you have confirmed the type of rental car you prefer, you will be asked to deposit 30% to 50% of the total amount charged and the balance to be paid upon arrival just before the road trip begins. An invoice will be issued to you containing bank details where the deposit will be made. Well-established companies offer online payment modes like PayPal & Pesapal while locals can also pay for a rental car in Kigali through MTN or Airtel mobile money.

Where can I pick up & drop off my rental car?

Luckily most of the car rental companies in Rwanda are situated within Kigali meaning you can easily pick up a car at the office without any extra charge. However, you will incur a small hidden fee for picking up your rental from Kigali airport so be aware of this before settling the final price. You will be charged extra if you decide to drop off your car at any other location other than Kigali or the airport.

So if you’re planning to explore Kigali city on a cultural tour, business trip or leisure vacation and would love to rent a car for the first time, we hope the above guide will help you make the right choice. You can rent a car and driver in Rwanda today for a much safer and more comfortable road trip in Kigali city, Nyunwe forest, Akagera Park, Volcanos Park or any other destination for that matter. Contact us now by sending an email to or call us at +256-700135510 to talk to our reservations team.

Bryan Muhoozi