Welcome to another session of ‘Ride with Magnus’.  In today’s article we will be looking at some things to note before renting a car for or during travels in Nigeria.

A lot of Nigerians make use of car rental services and this is usually for convenience when travelling or just for ease of movement. Many people generally select a rental company at random, e.g. arrivals from air travels just rent a car outside the airport. However, given the digital age, the way many businesses operate has changed from the traditional way of renting cars to virtual methods and platforms. You can now arrange to rent a car online in Nigeria.

Usually, you must specify your pickup and drop off point and / or whether the rental is for daily, weekly, or monthly usage. Now if you are planning to rent a car in Nigeria while travelling, here are a few tips you might want to consider.

  • Most car rental companies operate chauffeur-driven services:

Due to insufficient database of citizens in Nigeria, most car rental service companies in Nigeria do not allow self-drive, instead, they operate a chauffeur-driven system of car rental. However, if you would need a car on a self-drive basis, you need to get your credentials right. Many car rental companies require that you show them paperwork ready before renting a car.

Most car rental companies require you to be over 25 years old, have a valid driving license, a valid ID card, an international passport with a valid visa and any other required document. Before you make any arrangements, be sure that your driver’s license is valid. If that is not the case, you can apply for prerequisite documents that will allow driving around without being charged.

  • Check the car rental’s insurance policy:

You must find out if the car has current and valid insurance. Check if they passed a road test recently. This might seem like overkill but it’s very vital. Ask the car rental company specifically if the car’s papers are also in good order and find out when the car was last serviced.

All these actions will help you avoid any form of damage claims the car rental company might place on you without warning.

  • Check the terms and conditions:

Be sure to read the terms and conditions of the car rental service to which you’re subscribing. You might discover some unfavorable terms or conditions if you do take time to read the T&C document.

Find out exactly what the rental charges cover and whether there are any extra charges payable for either dropping off or picking up the vehicle. While some companies may offer this service free, others charge a fee.

  • Request proof of booking:

Many Nigerians don’t usually ask for receipts after purchase but when you’re renting a car you will want to ask the rental company for a receipt.

Ask for confirmation document of booking and read through the information on it thoroughly. You’ll also need your receipt in case you’re intercepted by a road official. 

  • Check their fueling options:

Check what the car fueling options are. Many rental companies tend to offer services like a car with a full tank while some give you the option of filling the fuel tank yourself. You need to decide what is best for you.

  • Aim for the best rates:

When looking for a car rental service in Nigeria, you must make sure that you take your time to compare different rates. Always compare for good rates.

If your car rental dates are flexible, ask about the company’s special offers, promotions, and discount periods. Many rental companies run promotional schemes so if you are looking to get the best rates, be sure to know what is on offer and how it will benefit you.

For some of these companies, if you book early, you get better rates than when you book closer to the date of use. The rates of the car might vary depending on the kind of car you wish to rent ranging from saloon, SUVs, and buses.

  • Choose a car spec:

Choose a car that will fulfil your needs. Find out about luggage storage and racks, how many the car will seat comfortably, and whether the heater/air conditioner is working. 

  •  Find out payment terms:

Some companies will not accept cash payment, so you must decide to carry a credit card with you for making a payment or an online transfer.

Also, find out if the company you’re working with has a contract with any car rental company. If so, you can use their relationship to decide. You will also get superior service as well as a great rate. 

  • 9. Check out their third-party policy:

If you are travelling with someone, you must decide if that person will be driving the rental car too. If yes, you must ask the car rental company what their policies are regarding an additional driver for a rented car.

  • 10. Get their emergency numbers:

This is very vital. You must request and take down the 24/7 customer service numbers where you can contact the car rental company in case of an emergency.

Now some key areas that will affect the quality of car rental service you get in Nigeria are quality of customer service, company flexibility, vehicle selection, and terms and conditions. The goal is to aim for a car that makes your trip easy, not a nightmare.

Thank you for sticking with us in another session of Ride with Magnus.

Curated by: Francesco Ojoko



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