The car hire industry in Kenya has over the recent past witnessed an upsurge in not only the clientele but also in the demand for the latest vehicles models, owing to the fact that the wave of modernization and sophistication has finally caught up with the population unawares.
Many transport companies, travel agencies, car rental and in rare cases hotels are offering a variety of car hire services that include self drive and chauffeur driven vehicles according to the various needs of the clients.
Clients hire these vehicles for different purposes and for dissimilar periods of time depending on the hiring companies’ rates as well. Weddings, birthday parties, graduation ceremonies, company meetings and exhibitions, airport transfers and trips are some of the reasons as to why people would need to hire vehicles. In relation to that, the hiring companies charge their clients on mileage according to the distance covered and the period of time the vehicle is being hired for.
Some of the vehicles which are available in Kenya today for hire are the Toyota brands including the Toyota Prado, the latest Toyota Vista, the Toyota Corolla, the Toyota Caldina, the Mercedes Benz, the Hummer H2, Omni vans among others. Some of these vehicles are however not chauffeur driven and in most cases the clients do not require their services either. Nonetheless, most car-hire companies have come up with regulations that help them in safeguarding the standard and quality of their vehicles.
It is in this regard that one might find vehicles such as the Mercedes Benz, the BMW, the Hummer and the Nissan Patrol flashing well groomed chauffeurs with excellent service. In some cases, the Omni vans, the Toyota Shark, and the Toyota Prado may as well be chauffeur driven.
Limousines, though not very popular, are available but they have always been thought to be very expensive for hire in any occasion. In most cases these limousines whether hired for weddings or other private functions have always been charged on per-hour rates.
Vehicles that are chauffeur driven are in most cases hired on special purposes and special occasions, but with extra costs that cater for the chauffeurs’ allowances. For instance, the Mercedes Benz, the BMW and the some of the Omni vans are quite commonly used for airport transfers. These are sometimes owned by hotel properties and big travel companies and they come in handy when offering an after sale service though at a little extra cost. Car rental companies also hire vehicles such as the Nissan Patrol, the Prado and even the Mercedes Benz out to their clients for airport transfers at their standard rates which include chauffeurs allowances.
The Mercedes Benz, the Hummer, the BMW and the Jaguar are some of the executive cars available in the market. They are commonly hired for weddings, award ceremonies that are star-studded and executive occasions such as conferences, business meetings and official opening ceremonies, and they all come with exquisitely dressed chauffeurs. These vehicles are however costly to the middle class population and are therefore best used by the well-to-do and private organisations and companies.
Tour companies that conduct safaris and itineraries to the various parks and tourist destinations also offer rental services to any group of people interested in travelling to these places. However, these vans are strictly accompanied with chauffeurs who double their roles as chauffeurs and tour guides. In most cases, it is the Toyota Shark 4×4 that is hired for game drives and safaris.