A self drive holiday with a rental car is a popular way to travel in South Africa. Although you have to drive on the left side of the road and the traffic rules are slightly different than what you are used to in your own country, you will quickly feel at home on the South African roads. Generally speaking, the main roads are in good condition, but there are also untarred roads. Untarred or gravel roads will increase your traveling time.
Would you like to travel by car but not drive yourself? Please contact us to quote for a trip with a (private) chauffeur. Obviously there will be a price increase, but you have lots of advantages.
Which type of car?
The car type that’s best for your trip depends on the amount of people you travel with and the route you are planning to drive. Many people prefer have a car spacious enough to store luggage out of sight in the trunk. Are you used to driving an automatic car? We advise you to also drive an automatic car during your holiday. A car with higher ground clearance is advisable when you plan to drive many untarred roads. A car with higher ground clearance is also pleasant when you are going on a self drive safari (for example Europcar ‘s Group M) You will have a better view! For those who are planning to travel off the beaten track, a 4×4 vehicle is the best choice.
We will gladly advise you on which car is best for your specific route. Please take a look at all cars which you can safely book via us: Car rental.
Different car rental suppliers
We are based in South Africa and have great relationships as well as contracts with the local car rental suppliers. We negotiated good rates for our clients. We have a lot of experience with the different suppliers and know about the quality of cars, reliability and service. We have read all terms and conditions and sometimes hidden surcharges and have chosen our suppliers to work with. We offer Europcar, Bidvest, Tempest, Hertz, Avis and Thrifty. Europcar is our preferred supplier in southern Africa. They are very reliable and have in our experience the best service, both during the booking process and on the road.
Renting a car through a car rental supplier or a camper rental supplier
A few camper suppliers also offer cars (usually 2×4 or 4×4 cars). There are a few differences between these suppliers which might be handy to know about before making a choice. Car supplier have depots on all (major) airports. You can walk from the arrival terminal to their depots. Camper depots are situated further from the airport and you will need a transfer. Car depots on the major airports are open 24 hours. Camper depots are only open during office hours. The number of days you rent the car is also calculated in different ways. Car suppliers calculate the number of rental days per 24-hour period, so if you pick up the rental car on day 1 at 12:00 and return it on day 2 at 10:00, this is only 1 day’s rent. Camper suppliers work per calendar day, so in the aforementioned example this is calculated as two days’ rent.
The advantage of renting a car through a camper supplier is that you can rent extras such as a refrigerator or sand ladders (for example, when you drive long distances through areas with few facilities or unpaved roads, this is handy). Also the local costs such as border crossings and contract costs with camper suppliers are paid in advance through us and not via your credit card on site which is the case with at the car rental companies (see below).
When you rent a car via a car supplier, local costs are charged via your credit card. This includes a contract fee, any border crossing fees, GPS rental, delivery / collection fee if applicable and / or a one-way fee.
- Border crossing
Border crossings are on request. Not all cars are allowed to visit neighbouring countries of South Africa. If you want to cross the border with the rental car you must indicate this in advance and there are usually costs involved. The border crossing fees differ per country, car and supplier. You usually receive a document which you must show to customs at the border.
You can book a navigation system (GPS) for a small extra charge. Europcar also has a Wifi Dongle available which allows you to have access to internet on your phone if you want to use the GPS on your phone. Please ask us about the options.
- Delivery and collection
You can collect your rental car after arrival at the airport or at a depot. There are no extra costs for this.
It is also possible to have the rental car delivered to your accommodation or to have the rental car collected at the end of the journey. A surcharge is applicable for this. These costs differ per supplier.
We work with several car rental suppliers. If you think you have found a cheaper option elsewhere, please let us know. Comparing car rental is often confusing with the many insurance options and such. We try to offer the best price at all times!
For South Africa you officially need an international drivers license. For South Africa you need international license model 1968 and for Swaziland model 1949. In reality, the license from EU countries driving license is often accepted as well (provided that at least ‘Driving license’ is mentioned in English), but the police may ask you for an international driving license. Our Dutch drivers license was always sufficient during police road blocks. If you want to be 100% it is advisable to purchase an international drivers license before you travel.
Please note: an international drivers license is mandatory for camper rental.
Recently a client informed us that he traveled without an international drivers license. He received a R2500 fine when he couldn’t show the police his international license. This is the first time we heard about this in more than 10 years.
Insurance, what is covered?
Please click on the terms and conditions link at each car rental on our website or contact us for advice or if you have any questions.
Recently a few things were discussed on Dutch TV where people had an accident in South Africa because they were on the wrong side of the road. The car rental company held the renter liable for this and the all-risk insurance did not cover the costs, so that the renter pays for the damage to the car / replacement of the car. It is indeed true that generally landlords in South Africa see this as negligence and in cases of negligence you are not covered. Keep this in mind when traveling. This also applies to the camper and 4×4 suppliers.
Recently the Dutch media spoke about an incident where people had an accident in South Africa because they were driving on the wrong side of the road. The car rental company held the renter liable for this and the all-risk insurance did not cover the costs. The renter had to pay for the damage to the car / replacement of the car. It is indeed true that generally car suppliers in South Africa see this as negligence and in cases of negligence you are not covered. Keep this in mind when traveling. This also applies to the motorhome and 4×4 suppliers.
We have asked our preferred supplier Europcar, who is generally known for its good service, quality and also competitive prices, for a statement.
Europcar indicated the following:
“Our insurance for the lessor covers damage to the vehicle, the occupants, third parties, water and soil damage, tyre and rim damage and windscreen damage.”
These items are not covered when there is intentional or serious negligence.
This is for example:
– driving under the influence
– exceeding the speed limit
– ignoring the traffic rules
– driving on roads which you are not allowed on or driving in very bad conditions (including sandstorm)
– having a person driving the rental car not registered as an additional driver.
If you drive on the wrong side of the road out of habit and have not realized this, this will not be seen as serious negligence and you will be covered. However, if it is for 1 of the above reasons, the renter may be responsible for the entire cost of the damage. An example would be that the driver drives too fast, as a result of which he loses control of the steering wheel and gets on the wrong side of the road.
Each case will be dealt with and assessed individually. Only if it has clearly been intentional, Europcar will charge the damage to the lessor.Add to my travel plans