Important Steps for Renting a Car in Tanzania

Car Hire in Tanzania

When renting a car while on vacation, your first thought might be how many passengers you will have or if you will share the driving with someone else. Then, you might take into account the refueling options and the return times to avoid penalty fees. However, you should also consider other factors like weather, safety, insurance, and how the car fits you as a driver. These factors will directly impact your driving experience and, if ignored, can make your vacation unnecessarily stressful. So, as you plan your next travel or vacation, follow the steps below before you drive off in your rental car in Tanzania:

  1. Consult Your Insurance Agent

Many car rental companies provide insurance packages. In turn, many insurance companies include rental cars in their packages. Prior to booking your rental car, check with your auto insurance agent to see if your policy includes coverage when driving a rental car. Additionally, be sure to list all possible drivers on the rental agreement.

  1. Review Basic State Driving Laws

Driving activities legal in your state might not be legal in the state to which you are traveling.

In Tanzania, foreign visitors are permitted to drive with their valid International driving permits for six months. Residents of the foreign countries may also use in Tanzania their domestic valid driver licenses for six months after their validation by local traffic authorities. Everybody who is going to stay in Tanzania for more than six months is required to obtain a Tanzanian driver license. Foreign registered vehicles are admitted into Tanzania for 14 days. The term may be lasted up to three months.

The main Tanzanian road traffic rules:

  • Driving is on the left hand side.
  • The minimum driving age is 18 years.
  • Seat belts are mandatory for the driver and passengers in the front seat.
  • Motorcycle helmets are required for all riders.
  • The third-party liability insurance is required.
  • The permitted blood alcohol level is 0.08 %.
  • The speed limit in urban areas is 50 km/h (31 mph), outside urban areas – 80km/h (50 mph).
  • The police phone numbers are 112 and 999.
  1. Rent a Car You Know You Can Drive

Double check that the company has the vehicle you want. Rental companies often offer small vehicles, such as compact sedans, at lower rates. Many of these vehicles might not include four-wheel drive or navigation systems, car features to which many drivers are accustomed. You will need to make the decision if the bargain price is worth the reduced features, especially when it comes to safety. For example; Land cruiser Prado, Toyota Rav4, Safari land cruiser, Safari Van, Coaster Bus, and Nissan Patrol among others.

Manual Gearbox

Manual transmissions are for those drivers who like to be hands-on with their cars. The gearbox is located in the middle of the front seats or right next to the steering wheel in some cars. Driving a manual car requires plenty of skill because you have to switch between three controls; the clutch, stick shift, and the gas pedal.

Automatic Gearbox

Cars on automatic transmission follow the same mechanism as manual cars. The only difference is that everything is done automatically hence, the driver has less work to do. Shifting of gears is done for you so you only have to think about the gas pedal and braking.

  1. Consider the Weather

Are you traveling to a city known for its rainy conditions or early nightfall? Don’t be too enticed by the cheapest rental model. Think less of style and more of practicality if you have a choice of color. Recall, cars that are brighter and lighter in color, such as white or gold, are easier to spot in the dark and during heavy rainfall.

  1. Check Your Rental Vehicle before You Drive

Before you drive off the lot, do a 360-degree inspection of the vehicle. It’s also a good idea to take photos of the vehicle before your first trip. Make note of any preexisting dents, scratches, or issues with the vehicle and share this with your rental agent to include in the paperwork. If you notice significant damage, it might be best to request a different vehicle.

  1. Fit the Car to the Driver

Just as you adjust your own vehicle for maximum comfort and visibility, you must do the same for your rental car. Even just a few inches in seat-height difference can make a significant change in your visibility. There are three important aspects of how your car “fits” that you should check every time you get behind the wheel. First, properly adjust your side and rearview mirrors to minimize blind spots. Secondly, adjust your seat for good foot positioning on your brake and gas pedals. You never want to have to reach for the pedals with your toes, as this can result in leg fatigue and slowed reaction times. Finally, position your seat so that you have at least 10 inches between your chest and the steering wheel. This space cushion reduces the risk of serious injury in the event of a collision or airbag deployment.

In conclusion, for more steps on how to stay safe on the road consult Traveling to a new destination means you’re likely going to a place where you don’t typically drive or may not be familiar with all state-specific driving laws. If you took a flight to this destination, it also means you’ll have to rent a car, so you’ll be driving a car that is not your own.


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