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Rent a car in Samoa

Wien
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31 posts
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Rent a car in Samoa

Hi,

we want to rent a car for 9 days in August, but we have no idea of which company we should book with.

1) We'd like to pick up this car on a Saturday and return it on a weekday. Are the offices of all car rental companies open on Saturdays?

2) Can we have our car delivered to our hotel in Apia without charges?

3) Will the company (or which of the companies) help us getting a Samoan driving license? Do we have to have an international D.L.? (or is a translation of a European D.L. into English enough?)

4) As we like to take the car to Savaii, will the company prebook a ferry ticket for us?

5) Which insurances are normally covered?

Thanks in advance!

Auckland Central...
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1. Re: Rent a car in Samoa

Malo lava :o)

All the car rental companies will be open on a Saturday. You can get a taxi to the car rental place (will cost you like $5 tala if you are staying in Apia) and collect it yourself very easily.

A drivers license can be obtained from the Ministry of Transport, it is across the road from the fleamarket, and costs $12 tala. The car rental company can do it for you, but they will charge you around $40 tala for it. It's just a matter of paying for it, no test or anything else required. You just have to show your own license.

You will need to pre-book the car onto the ferry yourself, the offices to do that are in Apia. It's best to go in person (the office is a five minute walk from Aggie Grey's hotel in Apia) to book and pay it. Make sure you do it a few days in advance, as it does get busy during the busy season.

Full insurance is usually covered.

As to which car rental company to use, I would recommend Blue Pacific, but another TA advisor on here, Deb, has a list of car companies that she will be able to recommend to you.

Hope this helps.

Fa soifua

Tina

New Zealand
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2. Re: Rent a car in Samoa

Samoana charged $15 Tala for the driver's licence.

$95 Tala a day for a Getz special rate.$10 for insurance.You don't need to take out their full insurance if you have Travel Insurance which covers you for any excess in case of acident.

Incidentally, when they delivered to our hotel, no charge, they brought out a left hand drive Getz,(many cars are still on hire from before they switched to driving on the left)....so I told them not good enough as at home in NZ we have right hand drive for driving on the left.As they do now.

It is far too dangerous, for a tourist to be driving in a strange country, unused to their driving style/speed/congestion etc, and be driving sitting on the inside .When overtaking you have to pull right out to see your way past the car you want to overtake.

They drive on the left now.So insist on a right hand side drive new car.

Apart from that you'll find all the drivers were courteous, and drive very slowly.

Easy.

If you're driving around Upulo Island, there are no service stations on the West and South side so leave Apia with a full tank.

If staying at any resorts there, ask them to arrange for extra fuel to be brought down.Most resorts have a van that goes in daily, as a transfer for clients and supplies.

Have a great time.

Jim

Edited: 14 April 2010, 08:51
New Zealand
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3. Re: Rent a car in Samoa

I forgot to add, Samoana were very good about arranging an immediate replacement with the vehicle that they had driven to our hotel to pick up their delivery driver.So got upgraded with a Rav 4, 4wd.No extra.Great guys those at Samoana.

Auckland
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4. Re: Rent a car in Samoa

Hi

Just wanted to add that Blue Pacific is my preferred rental car company in Samoa. Their service and vehicles are excellent. Second preference would be Discovery Rentals. Both will deliver to Apia hotels at no charge but I'm not sure if they're able to issue licences or make a ferry booking for you. If they do, they will charge extra of course but it's easy and cheap enough to get these done yourself.

Avoid Funway and Samoana rental companies. Their vehicles and service are sub-par in my view.

Only other bit of advice I can offer is to pre-book a vehicle before you get there. Internet rates are cheaper and they'll guarantee a vehicle at the time of booking so save yourself the hassle and additional cost.

Other than that, hope you have a fabulous time. Having your own wheels is definitely the best way to get around and see the place.

Woolgoolga...
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for Apia, Samoa
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5. Re: Rent a car in Samoa

Malo lava Baerli

Firstly a list of the most reliable rental companies (some people have had bad experiences with a couple of them but that is few and far between) - Blue Pacific Car Hire (in the middle of town), Discovery Rentals (at the airport and both Aggie Grey properties), Samoana Rentals (abut 5 mins from Apia centre) Funway Rentals (about 50 mtrs from Samoa Shipping Corp at the main harbour wharf where you need to book the car onto the ferry) and Go Rentals at Fugalei near the food markets). They all have RHD available but ask for it just in case. Most will deliver but as Tina said they are all within a 5 tala taxi ride from Apia.

Some companies don't charge for obtaining a licence for you, some just a few tala extra but if one company wants to charge you 40 tala look for another company. A temporary Samoan licence is 12 tala for 2 months and you can't use your international drivers licence. If you decide to get the licence yourself you can no longer get it in Apia, you have to go to the Dept and Land and Transport at Vaitele (near the Vailima Brewery) which is about 10 mins out of town and a 10 tala taxi ride there and back. You're best to go with a company that will get it for you at minimal extra.

Rental companies won't book the car onto the ferry for you so you will have to go to Samoa Shipping, any taxi driver will know where they are at the wharf. Insurance is covered in the rental price.

Hope this helps and that you have a wonderful time exploring Samoa, the way you're doing it is the best, you may get lost occasionally but that's all part of the fun. Be sure to pick up a comprehensive map from the Visitors Tourist Burea in Apia (opposite Chan Mow supermarket and SamoaTel).

If you have any more questions just fire away.

Manuia le aso (have a great day)

Deb

Wien
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6. Re: Rent a car in Samoa

Hi all,

thank you so much for your details, information and help!!

We now sent an e-mail to Samoana, as they seem to have the best deals at the moment. But we also consider booking with Blue Pacific, as soon as we know how much Samaoana charges.

We will pick up the car on July 31 (Saturday) and need a ferry ticket for August, 3 - do you think this gives us enough time to pre-book a ferry ticket? Or can we prearrange from Austria via e-mail and confirm our prebooking on arrival on July 31?

Thank you again and

Manuia le aso!

Birgit

Woolgoolga...
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for Apia, Samoa
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7. Re: Rent a car in Samoa

Malo lava Birgit

Your welcome. You need only book 48 hours in advance. There are now 3 ferries which go to Savaii (1 from Apia, 2 from Mulifanua) so you shouldn't have any problems.

I suggest you email them (details can be found at http://www.samoashipping.com/ and see what they suggest, I'm not quite sure you can book prior to arriving in Samoa but give it a go.

Manuia le aso

Deb

New Zealand
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8. Re: Rent a car in Samoa

Samoana have now opened a depot at airport early this month.Ask about this as may mean you can pick up and drop off at that airport depot, for no extra.

Could save you $50 tala each way.

Best,

Jim

Wien
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31 posts
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9. Re: Rent a car in Samoa

Thanks for your help! We've now booked a car and are looking forward to exploring the islands!

Woolgoolga...
Destination Expert
for Apia, Samoa
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10. Re: Rent a car in Samoa

Seki a (fantastic) Birgit

I hope you have a wonderful time exploring and discovering this truly beautiful country, amazing people and very unique culture.

Take the time to get to know Samoa and you'll never want to leave.

Let us know how it was when you return.

Fa soifua

Deb

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