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Cheap South Africa car rental tips and information

Although South Africa car rental transactions are simple and easy, people often find themselves at a South Africa car hire counter, only to discover that the car they had reserved is not available.

Often the price quoted on the phone does not include additional charges such as insurance, coverage for an extra driver, refuelling fees etc.

Good planning and preparation is important, in order to avoid unpleasant surprises and pitfalls as much as possible.

Before renting a car, plan your journey or trip, so that it is clear how far and where you will be driving and what kind of car would be most appropriate. This can make a big difference as most visitors underestimate the size of our country. South Africa is roughly about twice the size of Texas and driving across 3000 km without air conditioning can be very trying in our hot summer.

It will be a good idea to do some homework beforehand and get yourself informed and orientated about the basic rules, conditions and requirements that go with South Africa car rental transactions. The information on this page will help you achieve that.

Want to learn more? Use the menu below to get to the information quickly:


Hartbeespoort Dam near Pretoria - Cheap South Africa Car Rental, Car Hire in South Africa Info
Hartbeespoort Dam near Pretoria
copyright © South African tourism - Cheap South Africa Car Rental, Car Hire in South Africa Info


Popular rental cars,...

South Africa car rental companies offer a choice of cars that can be quite bewildering. Whether you are budget and economy conscious, want to cruise across our country in comfort and luxury, or prefer a 4 x4 cross country adventure, They will have the vehicle you need.

The average South Africa car rental fleet consists of the following categories;

  • Budget / Compact,... True budget travel with small and compact cars, yet comfortable. For groups of not more then 3 persons.


  • Economy / Medium size,... Excellent value for money to take on the larger distances. For groups of not more then 4 persons.


  • Mini vans / Motor homes,... Perfect for larger groups and families.


  • 4 X 4 / Campers,... The best way to explore South Africa’s more remote interior and out-of-the-way places.


  • Luxury,... All the comfort and style you want, to pamper yourself.
The following are some of the more popular car models available in the average South Africa car rental fleet;

VW Golf Chico - South Africa rental car. VOLKSWAGEN GOLF CHICO

Budget – Compact
Seats: 4 (2 adults, 2 children)
Doors: 4 small, plus 1 luggage
Tank capacity: 55 litres
Transmission: Manual
No air-con or power steering
volkswagen Golf Chico - South Africa rental car. VOLKSWAGEN GOLF CHICO

Budget Seats: 4 (4 adults)
Doors: 4 small, plus 1 luggage
Tank capacity: 55 litres
Transmission: manual
Radio /Tape: yes
No air-con or power steering
Toyota Tazz - South Africa rental car. TOYOTA TAZZ

Budget
Seats: 4 (3 adults plus 1 child)
Doors: 4 medium, plus 1 luggage
Tank capacity: 60 litres
Range: 545 km
Transmission: Manual
Air-con: yes
Radio/Tape: yes
No power steering
Toyota Corolla - South Africa rental car. TOYOTA COROLLA

Economy - Medium size
Seats: 5 (4 adults plus 1 child)
Doors: 4 ( 2 large, 2 medium)
Tank capacity: 60 litres
Range: 630 km
Transmission: Manual
Air-con: yes
Radio/Tape: yes
Power steering: yes

Nissan Almera - South Africa rental car. NISSAN ALMERA

Economy - Medium size
Seats: 4 (4 adults)
Doors: 4 (2 large, 2 medium)
Tank capacity: 60 litres
Range: 620 km
Transmission: Manual
Air-con: yes
Radio/Tape: yes
Power steering: yes

Volkswagen Polo - South Africa rental car. VOLKSWAGEN POLO

Economy - Medium size
Seats: 4 (4 adults)
Doors: 4 (2 large, 2 small)
Tank capacity: 60 litres
Range: 620 km
Transmission: Manual
Air-con: yes
Radio/tape: yes
Power steering: yes

Toyota Camry - South Africa rental car. TOYOTA CAMRY

Luxury
Seats: 5 (5 adults)
Doors: 4 (2 large, 2 medium)
Tank capacity: 72 litres
Range: 680 km
Transmission: Automatic
Air-con: yes
Radio/Tape: yes
Power steering: yes, plus ABS

BMW 318i - South Africa rental car. BMW 318i

Luxury
Seats: 5 (4 adults plus 1 child)
Doors: 4 large
Tank capacity: 63 litres
Range: 652 km
Transmission: manual
Air-con: yes
Radio/Tape: yes
Power steering: yes, plus ABS
Airbag: yes

Mercedes Benz 180C - South Africa rental car. MERCEDES BENZ C180

Luxury
Seats: 5 (4 adults plus 1 child)
Doors: 4 large
Tank capacity: 62 litres
Range: 646 km
Transmission: Automatic
Air-con: yes
Radio/Tape: yes
Power steering: yes, plus ABS
Airbag: yes

Nissan 4x4 DCab - South Africa rental car. NISSAN 4X4 DOUBLE CAB

4x4
Seats: 5 (4 adults plus 1 child)
Doors: 4 large plus luggage door
Engine capacity: 2400 cc
Tank capacity: 92 litres
Range: 730 km
Transmission: Manual plus 4x4
Air-con: yes
Radio/Tape: yes
Power steering: yes, plus ABS
Airbag: yes

Toyota Condor - South Africa rental car. TOYOTA CONDOR

Mini Van
Seats: 7 (4 adults plus 3 children)
Doors: 4 large plus luggage door
Engine capacity: 2000 cc
Tank capacity: 70 litres
Range: 610 km
Transmission: Manual
Air-con: yes
Radio/tape: yes
Power steering: yes

Volkswagen Caddy - South Africa rental car. VOLKSWAGEN CADDY

Mini Van
Seats: 5 adults
Doors: 4 large plus luggage door
Tank capacity: 65 litres
Range: 528 km
Transmission: Manual
Air-con: yes
Radio/Tape: yes
Power steering: yes, plus ABS
Airbag: yes

Volkswagen Touran - South Africa rental car. VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN

Mini Van
Seats: 6 (4 adults plus 2 children)
Doors: 4 large plus luggage door
Tank capacity: 70 litres
Range: 610 km
Transmission: Manual
Air-con: yes
Radio/tape: yes
Power steering: yes, plus ABS
Airbag: yes

Mercedes Vito - South Africa rental car. MERCEDES VITO

Luxury Mini Van
Seats: 8 adults
Doors: 4 large plus luggage door
Tank capacity: 75 litres
Range: 600 km
Transmission: manual
Air-con: yes
Radio/Tape: yes
Power steering: yes, plus ABS
Airbag: yes

VW Golf Chico - South Africa rental car.
VOLKSWAGEN GOLF CHICO

Budget – Compact
Seats: 4 (2 adults, 2 children)
Doors: 4 small, plus 1 luggage
Tank capacity: 55 litres
Transmission: Manual
No air-con or power steering
volkswagen Golf Chico - South Africa rental car.
VOLKSWAGEN GOLF CHICO

Budget Seats: 4 (4 adults)
Doors: 4 small, plus 1 luggage
Tank capacity: 55 litres
Transmission: manual
Radio /Tape: yes
No air-con or power steering
Toyota Tazz - South Africa rental car.
TOYOTA TAZZ

Budget
Seats: 4 (3 adults plus 1 child)
Doors: 4 medium, plus 1 luggage
Tank capacity: 60 litres
Range: 545 km
Transmission: Manual
Air-con: yes
Radio/Tape: yes
No power steering
Toyota Corolla - South Africa rental car.
TOYOTA COROLLA

Economy - Medium size
Seats: 5 (4 adults plus 1 child)
Doors: 4 ( 2 large, 2 medium)
Tank capacity: 60 litres
Range: 630 km
Transmission: Manual
Air-con: yes
Radio/Tape: yes
Power steering: yes

Nissan Almera - South Africa rental car.
NISSAN ALMERA

Economy - Medium size
Seats: 4 (4 adults)
Doors: 4 (2 large, 2 medium)
Tank capacity: 60 litres
Range: 620 km
Transmission: Manual
Air-con: yes
Radio/Tape: yes
Power steering: yes

Volkswagen Polo - South Africa rental car.
VOLKSWAGEN POLO

Economy - Medium size
Seats: 4 (4 adults)
Doors: 4 (2 large, 2 small)
Tank capacity: 60 litres
Range: 620 km
Transmission: Manual
Air-con: yes
Radio/tape: yes
Power steering: yes

Toyota Camry - South Africa rental car.
TOYOTA CAMRY

Luxury
Seats: 5 (5 adults)
Doors: 4 (2 large, 2 medium)
Tank capacity: 72 litres
Range: 680 km
Transmission: Automatic
Air-con: yes
Radio/Tape: yes
Power steering: yes, plus ABS

BMW 318i - South Africa rental car.
BMW 318i

Luxury
Seats: 5 (4 adults plus 1 child)
Doors: 4 large
Tank capacity: 63 litres
Range: 652 km
Transmission: manual
Air-con: yes
Radio/Tape: yes
Power steering: yes, plus ABS
Airbag: yes

Mercedes Benz 180C - South Africa rental car.
MERCEDES BENZ C180

Luxury
Seats: 5 (4 adults plus 1 child)
Doors: 4 large
Tank capacity: 62 litres
Range: 646 km
Transmission: Automatic
Air-con: yes
Radio/Tape: yes
Power steering: yes, plus ABS
Airbag: yes

Nissan 4x4 DCab - South Africa rental car.
NISSAN 4X4 DOUBLE CAB

4x4
Seats: 5 (4 adults plus 1 child)
Doors: 4 large plus luggage door
Engine capacity: 2400 cc
Tank capacity: 92 litres
Range: 730 km
Transmission: Manual plus 4x4
Air-con: yes
Radio/Tape: yes
Power steering: yes, plus ABS
Airbag: yes

Toyota Condor - South Africa rental car.
TOYOTA CONDOR

Mini Van
Seats: 7 (4 adults plus 3 children)
Doors: 4 large plus luggage door
Engine capacity: 2000 cc
Tank capacity: 70 litres
Range: 610 km
Transmission: Manual
Air-con: yes
Radio/tape: yes
Power steering: yes

Volkswagen Caddy - South Africa rental car.
VOLKSWAGEN CADDY

Mini Van
Seats: 5 adults
Doors: 4 large plus luggage door
Tank capacity: 65 litres
Range: 528 km
Transmission: Manual
Air-con: yes
Radio/Tape: yes
Power steering: yes, plus ABS
Airbag: yes

Volkswagen Touran - South Africa rental car.
VOLKSWAGEN TOURAN

Mini Van
Seats: 6 (4 adults plus 2 children)
Doors: 4 large plus luggage door
Tank capacity: 70 litres
Range: 610 km
Transmission: Manual
Air-con: yes
Radio/tape: yes
Power steering: yes, plus ABS
Airbag: yes

Mercedes Vito - South Africa rental car.
MERCEDES VITO

Luxury Mini Van
Seats: 8 adults
Doors: 4 large plus luggage door
Tank capacity: 75 litres
Range: 600 km
Transmission: manual
Air-con: yes
Radio/Tape: yes
Power steering: yes, plus ABS
Airbag: yes

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Car rental rates,...

Keep in mind that South Africa car rental rates are per 24 hr period from the time you sign the rental contract until the return of the vehicle. Usually a grace period of one hour is allowed on the final return of vehicle. After that you may be charged for an additional 24 hr period.

Most car rental rates do vary, depending on the level of insurance cover you take for the event of accident damage and theft. This can be 100% Super Cover with zero excess payment, including Personal Accident Insurance.

For an easy and userfriendly way of comparing prices, go to Car Rental South Africa. It's an independent company offering price comparisons of all the well known car rental companies in South Africa, including the availability of rental cars in most of the destinations in the country.

Rental rate inclusions,...

The majority of South Africa car rental companies include the following in their daily rental rates. This may vary between companies, so check carefully each time you rent a car.
  • 100 % Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW)
  • 100% Super Theft Loss Waiver (STLW)
  • Personal Accident insurance (PAI)
  • Zero liability excess
  • Unlimited kilometres
  • Airport and location surcharges
  • Tourism Levy
  • Maps and travel info
  • Free mobile phone rental (Not including outgoing calls and insurance)
  • Value added tax
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rental rate exclusions,...

The following charges and fees are generally excluded from car rental rates by South Africa car rental companies. Again, this may vary and it’s important that you check carefully each time you rent a car
  • Fuel deposit, to be refunded if you return the rental car with a full tank
  • Mobile phone insurance and outgoing calls
  • Contract fee
  • Delivery and collections fees
  • Drop off fees in cases of one way rentals
  • Young driver surcharges
  • Additional driver surcharges
  • Administration fees for damage and theft claims and traffic offences
  • Extension rates when you have extended the rental without approval
  • Baby seats
Usually at the beginning of each car rental contract, South Africa car rental companies will take an authorization on the client’s credit card to cover these charges. Final billing will be done at the end of the rental contract when you return the vehicle.

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Kgalagadi Transfrontier National park in the Kalahari desert region - Cheap South Africa Car Rental, Car Hire in South Africa Info
Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park in the Kalahari desert region
copyright © South African tourism - Cheap South Africa Car Rental, Car Hire in South Africa Info

Forms of payment,...

In general credit cards are the only form of payment accepted by South Africa car rental companies. For them and for you it’s also the easiest and quickest way to secure payment of outstanding charges and excess amounts. Debit cards, cash or cheques are not accepted. The credit card you present must be in the renters name.

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Insurance requirements,...

South Africa car rental companies will hold you totally responsible for your rental vehicle in the events of accident damage and theft. They will ask if you want to cover that liability. It will cost you an additional fee. With many South Africa car rental companies it is included in the standard rental rate. Usually there are two options, a standard waiver option and a super waiver option. Make sure that the one you want is included.

The cover that you will be offered is usually the following;

  • Collision damage waiver (CDW)..., Reduces your total responsibility in the event of Accident damage to a predetermined fixed excess amount. This excess amount, which may vary between South Africa car rental companies, should be specified on your rental contract.
  • Super collision damage waiver (SCDW)..., Available at an additional fee, further reduces the amount of excess that the renter is responsible for in the event of accident damage. Many car rental companies will even cover you for 100% with the excess amount at zero.
  • Theft loss waiver (TLW)..., Reduces your total responsibility in the event of theft to a predetermined fixed excess amount. This excess amount, which may vary between South Africa car rental companies, should be specified on your rental contract.
  • Super theft loss waiver (STLW)..., Also available at an additional fee, further reduces the amount of excess that the renter is responsible for in the event of theft. Again, many car rental companies will cover you for 100% with the excess amount at zero.
  • Personal accident insurance (PAI)..., Covers you for accidental death and permanent disability, often including medical and hospital expenses. Chances are good that you already have this cover in your personal insurance portfolio. You should check that.
Remember that you will most likely be driving an unfamiliar vehicle on the left-hand side of unfamiliar busy roads with lots of new things to see and distract you. Make sure that you have peace of mind as far as covering your liabilities are concerned.

Some factors that can negate all your cover are the following;
  • Gross or criminal negligence
  • No other vehicle involved in the collision unless exceptional circumstances apply.
  • Unauthorized drivers - names not listed in the rental contract.
  • Extending the rental without authorization.
  • Not reporting damage to the rental company immediately.
  • Not adhering to traffic, road and driving rules and regulations.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or any illegal substances.
  • Unsuitable driving or road conditions.
  • Unauthorized border crossings.
  • Not being able to produce the keys in the event of theft, unless exceptional circumstances apply.
  • Not reporting exact details of the last known location of the vehicle prior to theft.
  • Not reporting an accident or theft to the rental company within six hours.
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Driver’s licence requirements,...

You must be in possession of a valid unendorsed driver’s licence. Some South Africa car rental companies accept an international drivers licence only. In South Africa however, it’s a legal requirement to carry your original driver’s licence at all times whilst driving a vehicle. This must be a valid up-to-date driver’s licence bearing your photograph and signature, issued by the country where you live and of which you are a citizen.

Your international driver’s licence must be in English and where possible also your national one. To be on the safe side and to avoid any problems, make sure that you are in possession of both, your international driver’s licence as well as the one issued by the country where you live.

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Golden Gate Highlands national Park in the Free State province - Cheap South Africa Car Rental, Car Hire in South Africa Info
Golden Gate Highlands national Park in the Free state province
copyright © South African tourism - Cheap South Africa Car Rental, Car Hire in South Africa Info

Minimum age requirement,... Most of the larger South Africa car rental companies have a minimum age policy. It varies between companies, but most of them put the minimum age for renting a car at 23 years. They do however offer young drivers between the ages of 21 and 23 a surcharge option, whereby they can rent a car at an additional fee, provided they have had their driver’s licence for more then 2 years.

This so called young drivers surcharge fee can vary between companies from R 80.00 to R 110.00 (South African rands) per day. Sometimes it is as low as R50.00 per day, so shopping around a bit might save you some money.

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Additional drivers,...

South Africa car rental companies will usually allow additional drivers to drive the rented car at the cost of a one-time flat fee per driver. They have to be authorized by the car rental company and meet all their requirements, the same as the renter. Their names must be registered and listed on the contract.

Make sure about that, because if an additional driver is not authorized and registered, the rental contract can become nil and void, which means that your protection and insurance conditions will not apply. Husband and wife are often allowed to drive the rental car at no extra costs. The one time additional driver fee averages around R100.00 (South African Rands) per driver per rental.

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Major South Africa car rental companies,...

All the major South Africa car rental companies and many regional operators, have offices at the airports and in the major cities. Check them out, together with the ones shown below. You will find some very competitive rates and benefits.

Europcar car rental
National Car Rental
Tempest Car Hire

For renting a Campervan or Motor-home, check out: Maui motor-home rentals






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Beautiful mountain scenery in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, South Africa

The Hartebeespoort dam in the Magaliesberg mountains near Pretoria, South Africa

Endless maize fields in the Free State province of South Africa

Breathtaking Drakensberg mountain scenery in Kwazulu-Natal province, South Africa


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