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Car Rental out of Windhoek, Round-trip 4x4 or 2x4

Beal100
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59 posts
6 reviews
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Car Rental out of Windhoek, Round-trip 4x4 or 2x4

Hi,

We are planning a 14 day self-drive in January of 2011. We need either a 2x4 or 4x4, no camping equipment. I am mainly looking for advice on which companies people have had a good experience with.

For instance, a woman on the Fodors forum rented through Hertz. She said she had problems with them- they convinced them not to get a second tire, and their tires blew. They said there was no drop-off fee and there was (although this is not applicable to us). She also said they didn't have good coverage throughout the country (lack of offices and emergency services), and when they needed their assistance on a "weekend" defined as Friday through Monday, they were charged double for it.

She also advised that if we use our credit card insurance, we don't need to get the no excess option, but that credit cards have very specific rules (she used her Visa Card) such as: no car can be valued over $65k original purchase price; you must rent it directly, not through a third party (such as cardboard box). Is anyone familiar with these issues and is it worth the hassle to save on the car rental insurance?

Thanks you in advance for the input!

Lauren

UK
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20 posts
13 reviews
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1. Re: Car Rental out of Windhoek, Round-trip 4x4 or 2x4

Recently rented a 2x4 from Europcar with no issues what so ever. Drove from Windhoek to Sousevlei/ Swakopmund/Damaraland/Etosha Park/Windhoek - a round trip of 1,800 kms. We had no issues with needing a spare tyre - but was glad we had one.

Later this year going back again(to visit Southern Namibia) and will hire a 2x4 again. Would not consider hiring a car - too near the gravel;-)

Beal100
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59 posts
6 reviews
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2. Re: Car Rental out of Windhoek, Round-trip 4x4 or 2x4

Thanks. I checked the europcar website, but didn't see any 2 or 4x4s available for those dates. Same with National and Avis. Is it possible they are all rented out that far in advance? Or do they not have their rates yet, so haven't posted/made possible the option to rent said vehicles?

Colorado
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229 posts
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3. Re: Car Rental out of Windhoek, Round-trip 4x4 or 2x4

Take a look into Gecko Car Rental or Tiger Car Rental (both with domain names to match), they should be able to offer you a smaller 4x4 without all the extra added camping equipment.

I would NOT recommend Africar.

I would recommend to have a minimum of one spare tire, and if one blows, get it fixed immediately. If you can swing it, have two spares. Flats are common, especially through the Namib-Naukluft and onwards to Sossusvlei.

It's just better to be prepared for the unexpected than to be stuck in a predicament.

As far as insurance goes, you don't necessarily need full coverage, but I would recommend coverage for the windshield, as sometimes rocks get thrown from other vehicles and chip/crack your window.

Jeremy

author of Namibia (Other Places Travel Guide) Owner: Wild Safari Africa

Essex
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40 posts
99 reviews
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4. Re: Car Rental out of Windhoek, Round-trip 4x4 or 2x4

I would agree with previous posters, avoid a saloon car, 2x4 or 4x4 is best. I drove a saloon extensively last year, and found it was possible (should 2x4 not be available) but as one poster said, you are too near the gravel.

As suggested by Jeremiah, a second tyre is a must, though I was lucky, I saw several who had punctures, and though it may seem to be bad luck to get 2 before you can reach a garage, given the distances on gravel roads this is a deffinate possibility.

My suggestion is also to carry plenty of water with you. We had 5 litres per person left in the trunk, plus about 3 liters per person " for use" in the front. If you break down you will be glad of this. Also in my case it got me going again when the radiator boiled!

Be prepared for the dust. It will find every crack in the vehicle and get into everything. Keep cameras etc in bags till needed.

I would insure, there is no cover for screen, wheels, and underbody, in any of the standard rental policies. Namibia is not kind to cars, and you could end up in disputes with the rental company over damage, better to have full coverage in my opinion. Don't know about the US but in the UK we can buy extra insurance to cover the rental policy excess and cover the exclusions from as little as $60.

Check your charges at the end of the rental, from my experience (Avis) and other posts on this forum, it is not unusual to have damage charges and extras appear even from the major companies. In my case a quick email to head office got the charges removed.

Having said that enjoy Namibia, it is a great county, and a wonderfull experience.

Birmingham, United...
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195 posts
37 reviews
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5. Re: Car Rental out of Windhoek, Round-trip 4x4 or 2x4

Always fill up with fuel where ever you can - remoter places occasionally run out of fuel and you may have to wait a couple of days for it to be delivered.

Ask one of the travel agencies in Windhoek to organise your hire vehicle - they have the local knowledge to find a good one that is value for money (not necessarily the cheapest.

Try either Cardboard Box or the one I've used several times and been very happy with ATI = http://www.infotour-africa.com/index.php

They can also help with accommodation bookings - it's a lot easier to book NPs through them than trying to do it direct with the NPs central office.

Horsham, United...
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153 posts
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6. Re: Car Rental out of Windhoek, Round-trip 4x4 or 2x4

I would recommend a 4x4 in Januray, due to chances of rain, although that is a 'belt & braces' approach and chances are a 2x4 would also be fine. Extra wheel is a must. I would be surprised if Europcar are full already for Jan 11 but I suppose it's possible.

James - Africa Collection UK

Hermanus, South...
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433 posts
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7. Re: Car Rental out of Windhoek, Round-trip 4x4 or 2x4

I think with Europcar it is just the case that they haven't set their 2011 rates yet and not that they have no vehicles available. I checked several low season dates and it keeps saying nothing is available which is highly unlikely. You can maybe give them a call or drop them an e mail to see when they are releasing those new rates.

Cabs Car Hire and Camel Car hire I also recommend.

Gemma Dry - Safari Manager - Truly Africa Tours

Hermanus, South...
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433 posts
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8. Re: Car Rental out of Windhoek, Round-trip 4x4 or 2x4

Hey there

We have used Cabs Car Hire which has offices in Namibia and have found their service and vehicles very reliable.

Nolene is a great person to speak to there and was really helpful.

Pretoria, SA
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397 posts
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9. Re: Car Rental out of Windhoek, Round-trip 4x4 or 2x4

We have just come back and used Value Car Hire. My points for consideration:

I have a 2x4 with diff lock sitting in South Africa - the price had to be competitive enough for me not to want to drive my vehicle to Namibia and around.

Company had to be reputable (goes without saying I suppose).

We chose Value in the end as they had older vehicles. Experience of 4x4s says that something is as likely to go wrong in the first 5000 kms on one as on the 150-155,000 kms.

The vehicles were already a little dented/ scratched/ sand blasted. This was ideal as we would be travelling in conditions that could cause more minor damage. We heard of a guy that had rented a nearly new hilux from another company and was stung by a heavy fine on returning the vehicle for a scratch along one full side of the vehicle. I am sure we contributed to the scratches etc on ours but there is no way that they could tell which were ours and which were already there.

They offered really reasonable rates on camping hire and freezer hire - if you don't want to camp this may not matter, but I would really recommend it.

Personally I would choose a vehicle with a doble tank (i.e not a saloon). although 4x4s/ 2x4s use more fuel, the backup of a double tank is very reassuring. Ours had a range of around 1000kms. We also wanted to ensure there was a jerry can. This is not for ourselves but to aid others if they are stuck (we do this in SA also).

We had 2 spare wheels. Definitelymy preference. They were both mounted so did not take up any additional luggage/ packing space. Would also definitely recommend a compressor. We took our tire pressures down on the gravel roads, which definitely gave a better ride. We would put them back up before going on tar. The garages will do this but it is convenient if you can do it yourself. No puncture issues.

Many of my colleagues have used and been happy with value and I would also now recommend them. We had no issues with the bakkie, but colleagues have had issues and said that they were handled with little fuss or hassle.

Market Bosworth...
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1,740 posts
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10. Re: Car Rental out of Windhoek, Round-trip 4x4 or 2x4

75AT which firm did you use for your insurance policy to cover the rental policy excess?