I think you could really get by without one. We drove without one, only had a tourist map - and didn't get lost once.
Suggest you phone a UK based Car Hire Broker such as :
HolidayAutos – 0871 472 5229 (10p/min)
CarHire3000 – 0800 358 7707 (free)
Explain to them exactly your requirements about the one way SatNav. They will check their SA suppliers – usually Hertz, Europcar, Budget or Thrifty – to see if they will do this. Expect some companies only have SatNavs allocated to individual offices so they must be returned there but the broker should find out. One other big advantage – the broker cost, for the whole hire, will be around 40 percent cheaper than booking the same car directly on-line with the company!
Then most people who don’t have one, think a SatNav is just a substitute for a paper map to stop you from “getting lost”. Once you have used one for any time – even in your home town - you realise that it is much more. On holiday, for the first time in a new area or a new country, it especially just makes driving and your holiday that much easier. I am just comparing what I would and could do here in SA before I had a TomTom SatNav, and after.
Driving around the city in the dark trying to peer at every street sign to get to a new restaurant I have never been to before or coming to a new town and looking for the guesthouse or B&B in an obscure location - compared to putting in the address and being guided turn-by-turn to within 5 metres of my destination is no contest. Coming to a traffic jam or major roadworks on a cross country trip and just being able to take the first turning, having the SatNav recompute the best route onwards within 5 seconds (and knowing how long it will take!) - no contest. Having the SatNav compute not just distance to my destination but continuously estimate the time of my arrival - no contest. Allowing my passenger to keep their eyes on the fantastic scenery of South Africa, or even go to sleep if they want, rather than having their eyes glued to a map to ensure that we don't miss that vital turning coming up in three kilometres, or is it really two - Definitely no contest - and you both will still be speaking to each other at the end of your wonderful holiday. I could go on.
Then make sure that you have up-to-date SA speed camera locations loaded. Cameras in SA (and especially along the N2 from Cape Town to PE) are sometimes in much sneakier positions than in the UK. Getting an aubible and visible warning of an upcoming camera 400metres or so ahead, could save you a fine that would pay for your whole SatNav rental - plus change!
We now head off to places we would have hesitated to go before - "it just looks too complicated on the map".
Then also be sure that you have up-to-date speed camera data loaded on the SatNav. There are lots of cameras on SA roads in situations where you don't expect them. Getting an audible warning 400 metres before the camera with a display of the limit is not only No Contest - it can also save you a good percentage of the cost of the SatNav in one fine!!
Sure this is just my opinion but in the three years or so since I had a SatNav my travel experience has significantly improved. I have used it already in four different African countries, in seven in Europe and in the USA. I have all three maps available interchangeably on SD card. In addition I can take all my own music on SD card and play it back through the car radio using the SatNav. I can use it as a full telephone handsfree linked to a Bluetooth Cellphone. I would never travel without it. After the wife it’s the first thing I take – and I would maybe think twice about that ;-) Maybe not!Edited: 09 April 2011, 08:54
Hi VDC, great to have you back with all your advice. You have just answered a question similar to the one that i have just posted, regarding car hire. .
It seems that going through a UK broker is the way to go.
Can the same be said of hotel bookings and game reserves ? The problem is that the big UK tour operators such as Trailfinders, Travelbag, do not deal with those delightful guest houses that seem to be available throughout SA. Should I use a SA tour operator or email the guest house direct to save a few bob ( I am paying for 4 adults) .
I have just returned from a month in Vietnam, the first few day's hotel stay was booked direct to the hotel, but once in Vietnam I found that if you used a reputable Vietnamese tour operator, they could get very good discounts on your behalf.
How does it work in SA?
Thanks to both.
Anyone have any info/suggestions on SA-sourced one-way satnav rental?
If you have an iPhone (or I assume an Android device) you can download the TomTom SA App; that's what I've done. D
Yeah, if my son was willing to part with his .... not! ;-)
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