rental car user guide

Renting a car became very popular with backpackers and individual tourists in Southern Africa over the last couple of years. With it the risk of getting diddled grew incredibly. To avoid this we wrote the rental car user guide.
Renting a car means that you got the freedom travel to wherever you want to and that your not bound to any public transport, timetables etc., but it also means that you have to attend on the conditions of your rental contract very well when you rent a car. The first advice therefor is to make sure that you have read the contract precisely.

General information on renting a car
Any valid driver's licence is accepted provided it bears the photograph and signature of the holder and is printed in English (also see NATIONAL ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATIONS, 1999, pg.74-75). Otherwise you'll need a valid international drivers licence.
You need a valid credit card. The card holder must be the renter.
The rental company is placing a so-called “authorization hold” on your credit card, which allows them to charge your card with the possible applicable excess amount.
The driver must have the minimum age of (most of the times) 23 years of age. Some companies take a “young drivers surcharge”, which allows under-23s to rent a car.

What do the rental rates include?
The rental rates mostly include:
- Personal accident insurance
- Theft insurance
- Collision damage waiver
- Tourism levy
- Airport surcharge
- Value Added Tax (VAT)

What do the rental rates not include?
The rental rates mostly not include:
- Delivery and collection fees
- Additional driver fee / “young driver surcharge”
- After (office) hour surcharges
- Cross border fees
- oneway fees

Insurance, excesses, extra costs, breach of contract
The personal accident insurance covers the driver and all passengers in vehicle.
Personal belongings stolen from the car are not covered.
Towing due to mechanical failure is covered by the rental company – towing due to an accident must be covered by the hirer.
In the event of an accident you are bound to pay a certain excess amount.
Most insurances do not include:
- Acts of negligence
- Tyres
- Windscreens
- Torn upholstery
- Theft (if the car was parked in an unsuitable place)
- Accidents on non-suitable roads
Some examples for a breach of contract are:
- Accident occurring after the vehicle is due to be back at one of the rental company’s offices
- Driving under the influence of any illegal drug
- Negligence
- Unauthorized drivers

Cross Border Travelling
Cross border travelling is not generally allowed. To cross borders with a rented car you need a “letter of authorization”, which must be requested at the time of reservation. Some companies charge “cross border fees”. These fees can go up to ZAR 1000 or even more.

Online Internet Discounts
Many companies are currently offering discounts when you are booking on the internet. When booking online, print out the confirmation information and take this with you to the company’s office.

The “24 Hour clock”
Most companies use the “24 hour clock rate”. This means that they charge you an extra day when you are not returning the car within the 24hours.

Unlimited mileage?
Check if your contract with the rental company includes unlimited mileage, or not. If not, make sure that you stay within the limited mileage.

Check out the condition of your car!
Before you take off it is a good idea to check your car for scratches and or other damage. Any damage, scratches etc. should be noted on the contract.

Petrol charges
Fill your car with petrol before you deliver it back to the rental company’s office. Otherwise they will charge you with a premium rate for the “refill”.

We are trying to provide usefull information about renting cars in Southern Africa, but is not taking any responsibility for any information provided in the “rental car user guide”. All aspects mentioned are with out any guarantee and are due to change.


to download the tra:mag rent-a-car user guide
click here (requires Adobe Acrobat©)





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© Sebastian Hermanns - All Rights Reserved - last modified 2018-09-11 4:07 PM