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Advanced 4x4 Car Hire in Windhoek... great experience.

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Advanced 4x4 Car Hire in Windhoek... great experience.

Just wanted to post about an amazing experience I had with Advanced 4x4 Car Hire in Windhoek. I rented a 4x4 single cab toyota hilux from them for 3 weeks in March 2016. The rental went without a hitch and we had the best time driving all around the country. For anyone looking for a 4x4 hire company in Windhoek, contact Carla at Advanced. She was very professional and also very patient, answering all questions I had about self-guided safaris in Namibia. She helped me work through the various rental options until I got a price that I felt great about. The vehicle was excellent, they do all their own maintenance and really look after their vehicles. Also, I did a massive amount of research about rentals and contacted a number of companies. I found Advance 4x4 to be the most responsive (something you need to rely upon if anything happens when out driving) and their prices were also the most competitive. I wrote a pretty extensive guide about how to search for 4x4 rentals, the questions to ask, etc. You can find that here:

postcardsfromyonder.com/4x4-namibia-truck-re…

Looking forward to our next visit to Namibia!

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Slovenia
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1. Re: Advanced 4x4 Car Hire in Windhoek... great experience.

A poem, a set of fantastic photos, and lot of useful informations ... Thank You Kevin ... and Katie!

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Advanced 4x4 Car Hire in Windhoek... great experience.

We also had a fantastic experience with Advanced Car Hire. Professional company, and reasonably priced. We hired a 4x4 Toyota Hilux single cab with camping equipment for 10 days. Amazing way to experience Namibia! Thanks Advanced Car Hire!

Oxford, United...
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3. Re: Advanced 4x4 Car Hire in Windhoek... great experience.

We can also support the above reviews - great welcome at the airport, great service and very competitive rates. Would always recommend looking at these guys before the international car hire companies. We got airport transfers before and after the hire too, very nice people to deal with.

Richard & Angharad.

.

Hong Kong, China
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4. Re: Advanced 4x4 Car Hire in Windhoek... great experience.

Add one more.

We were setup with Advanced Car Hire in Windhoek for a Toyota Helix double cab during a two week trip last September. Vehicle was well suited for the roads and driving conditions in Namibia, something that shouldn't be underestimated given the many long driving days.

Leuven, Belgium
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5. Re: Advanced 4x4 Car Hire in Windhoek... great experience.

I have used your guide as one of my references back in March to select the rental company. And I do agree that overall it is a great experience with Advanced Car Hire in Windhoek. Carla, the owner, was really patient in answering all my questions. The delivery was very good and nice and they took their time to explain everything. Downside was that we were picked up 1,5 hour late at the lodge which resulted in a rush to get at our first camping before it got dark.

We booked a 2014/2015 model. We could have selected older models, but I would not advise to do so. Based on the cross border papers the car is from 2014, but has now over 201000 km. It makes a lot of noise when driving on bumpy roads, I think due to a lose exhaust. At least something is hanging lose under the car. This makes it not really the best option for game driving. Animals can hear you from miles ahead. Also the breaks are end of life because they make a sharp noise. The horn is not working, but appears to be installed as an incidental push of the panic button on the keys make a lot of noise. Overall a lot of the items are worn out although a car of 2014 is still fairly recent to me. Based on the driving we did this is not abnormal as roads are not in the best condition. Namibia is rather OK, Botswana is not. Our fridge has been working and not working for days in a row and finally failed completely yesterday. A call to the service department was very efficient, but after all we choose not to repair it as it would delay us too much as we had to drive to a workshop. The first night we noticed that one of the tent zippers was broken. We managed to close it from the other side, but it is not really convenient. The fridge lock is soon to be broken as a crack is getting bigger very day. And the valve on our gas bottle is getting loose all the time resulting in a refill twice already with a nasty gas smell in the back. It appears to come lose from the bumps in the road. Since we are in Namibia we didn't had to refill it. The table and some of the kitchen equipment looks like is had survived a war, but as mentioned the road conditions are far from ideal, so I can understand that they quickly look bad. One of our plastic cups and a light did not survive Botswana. The reason we did not call the service department for these issues is because it would delay us too much in our planning. We can live with it. But I am certain that they would have handled correctly if we did call.

It may sound bad, but as mentioned overall we are very happy with the company. The reason for mentioning all this is to advise future customers is to book a more recent model. I feel they gave us an high mileage car and not so new camping set because the roads in Botswana are really bad. A new set would be ruined after the first trip. We did not see many of their cars in Botswana, but the customers we have seen in Namibia looked to have better cars and equipment.

I would certainly advise this company to others. Now wait and see if the return goes as good as the pick up.

Hope this helps.

Windhoek, Windhoek...
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6. Re: Advanced 4x4 Car Hire in Windhoek... great experience.

Good day Wim.

Thank you for all the information given to us in the review, I appreciate all the information so that we are able to correct this immediately.

I am glad that you are happy overall and that the car is mechanically sound. The vehicle is definitely a 2014 model that we have given you, unfortunately the cars pick up millage really quickly as they only do long distance traveling. I can assure you that even though this seems high, for the Toyota Hilux's its still OK. The engines are designed to last much longer and that is why we use them exclusively for renting out.

The horn that is not working is normal wear and tear and is luckily easy to sort out with the replacement of one part.

I will definitely make a note to check what is making such a noise underneath the vehicle so that we do not rent out the car like this again (this is not OK even if the car is traveling on bad gravel roads).

Yes you are correct. Our camping equipment is not brand new, they are re-used, but still they are supposed to still look presentable. Thus, when you return the car on Saturday, please show George (the rental agent on duty) all these equipment so that we are sure to replace them immediately. This is not the image or the service we want to offer or is known for.

With the fridge (in our experience) it can only be one of two things:

1. Either the connection at the back has pulled out of the fridge due to all the bumpy roads. This you can check yourself and just push it back in and the fridge should then be OK.

2. The battery is drained. If the fridge has been left on over night or while the car is not idling, the fridge will drain the battery and eventually the battery will not be able to recharge enough to keep the fridge cold. In this case, please switch the fridge off completely while you are traveling today and this should give the battery enough time to recharge and work again.

As you have mentioned the cars do a lot of traveling on bumpy gravel roads and unfortunately we are not able to guarantee that nothing will go wrong during a trip or that there will never be a break down. But, yes we would have attended to these immediately if we were informed. We sleep better at night if we are sure that each of our guests on the road is having fun and not worrying about their car.

Let me know if there is anything else that I can assist with before the vehicle is returned.

Kind regards

Carla

Edited: 30 August 2017, 07:09
Isle of Man, United...
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7. Re: Advanced 4x4 Car Hire in Windhoek... great experience.

I missed this thread first time around so thanks for bumping it back up for me to read and enjoy Kevin's excellent blog. (Now rated a top travel blog in 2017).

As another contented Advanced client may I add a bit of my own?

Whilst I would not like a really beat up relic I am more comfortable with a used but well serviced vehicle than a shiny show room job. That way I am not so conscious of each ping from a flying stone hitting the undertray and can relax more knowing I won't be the first one to put the odd scratch on the gloss. This is not to say I throw caution to the wind and, so far, the end of trip handover has always ended pleasantly.

Body Rattles. I pack Duct Tape and cable ties which come in handy at times when "something" shakes loose. Fridges when fitted, and charged for, are a pain. It is easy to knock the connections out.

I don't know what Advanced average usage per rental week comes in at but I would guess from what I read here of where folks get to in 14 days it must come in at 1,500/2,000 km per week. Given that, it should be no surprise if a one year old car has 80,000km or more on the clock so Wim's 210,000km for a 2014 model is par for the course.

Toronto, Canada
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8. Re: Advanced 4x4 Car Hire in Windhoek... great experience.

I also used Advanced for my trip and thought they were excellent. Had no real issues. We had new tires on the vehicle which we were very happy about. Didn't even get a flat tire. We did have one slight problem where the fridge stopped working but we discovered that the battery cable became loose. Tightened the cable and all was back in working condition.

We ended up with two good chips in the windshield from passing traffic on the gravel roads. Didn't even hear a peep from Advanced about them.

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9. Re: Advanced 4x4 Car Hire in Windhoek... great experience.

We also rented from Advanced after reading so many positive comments on TripAdvisor. The Toyota Hilux was from 2010 but we read that the cars are very well serviced and that there is no need to worry about their technical condition.

At the beginning the car seemed to be ok. The tyres were new and we didn’t have any problems with them to the very end of our journey. We didn’t expect the camping equipment (esp. table) to be that worn out but all in all it didn’t bother us that much. On the penultimate day, when we were setting for a whole day drive towards Windhoek, the car battery unexpectedly went dead. It also turned out that the cables included by the company to charge it are broken. An employee of the campsite had to pull our car a little with his truck so we could start the engine. We disconnected everything in the car, including fridge, and drove 500km but still the next day we had problems with the battery and hardly started the engine. The problem then repeated when we arrived at a gas station. We were lucky that we had enough time to get back and not be late for our plane.

The worst surprise however, awaited us at the very end. We bought a whole insurance package: zero excess together with tyres and glass insurance. The company warned us that it doesn’t cover both bumpers and the underbody. Unfortunately, we made a dent in the rear bumper when backing at a campsite. A dent which could easily be hammered out and the bended plastic cap (not broken) to be then straightened, or so we thought. But the company made us pay for a whole new bumper!!! Our suggestions of a possible repair were put off with a vague argumentation that there was no access to hammer the dent out (there was) and next, that they cannot buy the plastic parts separately (which weren’t broken, just bended)! They instantly decided it was neccessary to buy a new bumper and insisted on it, sending a quotation to the dealer for the price of all the parts. Nobody even mentioned a reparation! The new bumper (for a 2010 model!) doubled the cost of our whole 2-week rental! We signed the contract so we had no other option than to pay. Still we can’t help but feel cheated. A very bitter end to a great holiday we had. Although the majority of the rental was ok, we wouldn’t rent with this company again.

Slovenia
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10. Re: Advanced 4x4 Car Hire in Windhoek... great experience.

To my limited knowledge, plastic parts cannot be repaired as sheet metal parts can be. As much of the bumpers are plastic nowadays, one has nothing but to buy new parts. It is late now for you, but others might benefit from your unhappy experience: when renting a car always have an additional coverage!

I have bought zero excess CDW twice, but on third time, I have bought just the basic CDW, and covered the rest with an external insurance (Worldwideinsure) Even the expensive Campervan option was cheaper then zero Excess from the rental car company plus it covers everything, also the dreaded single car accident!

One question: did you book directly with the company, or through a travel agent, or through 3rd party of other kind?

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