In South Africa, getting around safely and on your own time is made simple with a rental vehicle. This is one of the best ways to get around when travelling in South Africa. A reliable rental vehicle gives you the freedom to travel wherever you want and it means that you don’t have to rely on the South Africa public transport system which as we all know, can be quite unreliable. From excellent safari and natural sights through to the stunning surroundings of the country, there are a wide range of attractions to enjoy, and the fact that many people speak English help to make this a fairly easy destination to explore too.
Are you feeling a little lost with the numerous car hire companies out there, and do you need advice on how to go about finding the ideal rental car to suit all of your travel needs?
Let us take a look at some points to consider when hiring a car in South Africa.
Book in advance
Always make sure you secure your rental car well in advance to avoid disappointment. This will also afford you the opportunity to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that everything is sorted a few days before your departure. Whilst doing this, you will also have enough lead time to inquire about possible free upgrades or discounted rates for your trip around South Africa.
What is the time frame?
Consider how long you will need your rental vehicle for. You will find that many car hire companies like Hertz Rent A Car actually have weekly car hire rates which are much cheaper than daily car hire rates. So if your time frame is going to be longer than usual, say -more than five days, make sure to do a comparison.
Who is driving?
The beautiful country which is South Africa is vast, with so much to see and do. Think about who will be driving. With South Africa being very spread out and if you are going to be travelling long distances in your rental vehicle, it might be worth adding another driver onto your car hire agreement to share the driving with you, as the long distances may become tiring.
What car do you have in mind?
Think about the type of car that you think will suit all of your purposes. Keep in mind that in South Africa many hire cars are manual gear shifts, not automatic, so you have to make sure that everyone who is planning to drive will be able to do so. Also take into consideration that South Africa has a fairly warm and sunny climate, consider whether you will need a vehicle with an air conditioner.
What about extras?
You should also keep in mind what extras you will need with on your rental car such as car seats or roof racks. It can also be difficult finding your way around South Africa. If you plan to drive your rental vehicle around a lot it might be advisable to see if you can get a GPS included in your car hire agreement.
You will have to pay for your petrol and this must be factored into the cost of your budget for your car hire. Petrol in South Africa can be expensive compared to other countries and if you want to save money why not rather go about hiring a more fuel efficient car. Remember that if your hire car comes with a full tank of petrol, make sure you return it with a full tank of petrol to avoid any additional charges.
Are you insured?
Always make sure you have the correct insurance when you hire a car. When you collect your rental vehicle, you should check with the car hire company or your personal insurance agent, making you are covered not just for accidents or breakdowns, but also for break-ins or theft of your hire car.
When you are driving around in your rental vehicle, make sure you know the rules of the road. In South Africa you drive on the left and all cars, including hire cars, are right hand drive. The general rule is ‘keep left, pass right’.
Here are some general points to remember whilst driving on South African roads :
-Citizens of SA drive on the left hand side of the road at all times
-You may not use your phone without a handset
-You have to wear a seatbelt at all times
-You have to be older than 18 years to drive on your own
-Drinking and driving is strictly prohibited
-Keep on the left side of the lane
-It is always a good idea to turn your headlights on, whether it is during the night or day.
-National roads in South Africa do have petrol stations, also known as garages, with restaurants, restrooms and shops.
-Never leave without checking that your vehicle has enough oil and water, and that all lights and indicators are in a working condition and the tyre pressure is adequate.
-Never drive too close to the vehicle in front of you
-Keep a healthy speed as speed limits on SA roads are:
Urban roads – 60 km per hour
Provincial Roads – 60 – 80 km per hour
National Roads – 100 – 120 km per hour
-Fuel prices are government regulated, meaning they are roughly the same price at all petrol stations.
-Petrol attendants provide fast and efficient service. While tipping is customary, it is at your discretion.
Renting a car is an ideal option if you want to go off the beaten track, or you want a little more freedom, but there are a few things to bear in mind.
Animals can be a problem on the roads and highways of the country, while you will also find that people can be walking late at night, so travel slowly, and if you are out and about make sure you have plenty of fuel, as gas stations can be few and far between in the outlying areas.
Hertz Rent A Car is an excellent choice for finding the best in affordable and reliable rental cars. With numerous branches located in and around South Africa, there are no limitations to your driving destinations. Hertz has different classes of rental vehicles to suit all of your needs, and they run some amazing specials throughout the year, saving you even more on your car hire in South Africa.
Their easy to use online car hire booking system will soon have you on your way. Book online today at Hertz.co.za, or contact their central reservations on: +27 21 935 4800.