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Car hire

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Car hire

We are planning to go to South Africa and are somewhat bemused by the various offers in car hire, particularly the insurance. Can anyone recommend any companies, and also what insurance we are likely to need.

We need car hire from Johannesburg to Kruger for a week (including driving into a game reserve), and then a one way rental from CapeTown to Port Elizabeth.

Los Angeles...
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1. Re: Car hire

We are going to SA in April and used Jason at go2africa.com for our rental car hires - excellent rates with unlimited mileage and good service. Regards, Steven

Lunenburg, Canada
Destination Expert
for Saint John, Foz do Iguacu, Iguazu National Park
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2. Re: Car hire

Hi Joy!

This is not a direct answer to your question, looking for names. We rented from a major international firm.


In South Africa, you do not need insurance any different from what you'd expect to get if you rented in western Europe or Australia. South Africa has no unusual hazards that you would not encounter elsewhere. Driving is easy, and we found South African motorists among the most courteous in the world.

Note that if you are from North America, your standard North American auto policy does not cover you in South Africa, of course. (It wouldn't in Europe or Australia either.)

Destination Expert
for Cape Town
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3. Re: Car hire

The insurance offered by South African car rental companies varies enormously and you should read the small print carefully to decide what is being offered and if this is what you want.

Most SA rental companies say something like "includes CDW and Theft Waiver" with or without an "excess". You will find, in most cases this means that you are covered in the event of a collision with another moving object and also if your vehicle is stolen (providing you didn't leave the keys in the car). You will probably have NO OTHER cover for any other damage, however caused or whoever is to blame. Also, as you are driving to a game reserve you are almost certainly going to be driving on a "dirt" road - you will have no cover whatsoever whilst on "dirt " roads.

I discovered the lack of cover a couple of years ago when I was happily driving along when I got a puncture, the rear tyre blew, lost control and hit a tree. The rental company, National/Alamo Car rental claimed the total cost of a new car from me!! They still haven't got it but the case is ongoing and has been very expensive!

Having painted a picture of doom and gloom, I agree with the previous poster, the chances of you having to submit a claim are low, driving is generally good and courteous. Some companies now offer what they call "Total Cover" which does cover all situations (providing you are driving legally) but costs a fair bit more.

I still go to SA and still rent a car but take very great care to see exactly what insurance cover I am being offered. Obviously it is up to you what level you are happy with. As far as supplying good cars, on time etc most the big companies are pretty good, it is only if you are unfortunate, like I was, and have to submit a claim that problems can arise.

Belfast, United...
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4. Re: Car hire

We recently hired a car via aroundaboutcars(national alamo) and discovered when i returned home that i was charged for petrol on my credit card.The car was filled up at the petrol station at the airport in Port Elizabeth which is 1 minutes drive to the drop off point. The tank was filled up and luckily i have the receipt to prove it. I have not yet been reinbursed.Once they have your credit card you are at their mercy!

5. Re: Car hire

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