Best rental car for your South African Road Trip


The Types of Rental Cars to Consider for Your Road Trip

If you’ve decided to embark on a long-awaited road trip to one of South Africa’s top destinations, you want to travel in a style that suits your needs.

Most types of rental cars in South Africa are segmented according to size and price, but there’s a lot more to consider when choosing the right one for you.

Let’s get started.


What Size Car Do You Need?

Not only does your hire car need enough seats for everyone, but you also need enough space for luggage. Nobody wants to be sitting with bags beneath their feet on an eight-hour drive.

If you have a small child travelling with you, remember to make provision for their car seat. Sitting on laps isn’t an option. It’s unsafe and uncomfortable for everyone involved.

Most car hire websites will mention the number of seats provided in each car, but your best option is to find more information on the make and model of car you’re interested in before you decide. A visit to the manufacturer’s website can reveal plenty of helpful information regarding the car’s interior and how it might work for your family.

A two-door car isn’t a desirable choice on long road trips. There’s too much disruption involved every time you stop at a rest stop.


Consider Boot Space

A roof rack isn’t usually an option when you’re hiring a car, and can also affect your car’s fuel consumption, so you must ensure everyone’s luggage can fit inside the boot.

If you’re hiring a station wagon or other hatchback type of car, make sure the luggage won’t obstruct the driver’s view out the back window.

It’s never a good idea to leave luggage visible in your car either, it can prove too tempting for passing criminals and might impact your insurance claim if they do break into the car.

Are you intending to enjoy any sports activities during your holiday? Rather, investigate the option to hire large equipment like water skis to save space in the car.

Remember, you might come back with a little more luggage than you started with if you’re heading to a prime shopping destination like Cape Town.

What about food and drinks for the road? If you intend to take a cooler box along, make sure there’s enough space to keep it in an accessible place.


Fuel Economy is Vital Nowadays

It’s tempting to hire the largest, most luxurious vehicle you can find, but this could end up costing way more than you think.

Nowadays, you never know when the next fuel price hike will occur. So, you could end up blowing your fuel budget unexpectedly along the way, despite your most careful calculations. Investigate the fuel consumption of your intended vehicle thoroughly, don’t take the car hire company’s word for it.

Fuel-saving driving tips can help you save fuel down the line, but it’s always best to leave a little leeway in your fuel budget in case of increases.

Hybrid vehicles are becoming more common nowadays, so try to get one of these if you can find one in the correct size.

Remember, if you’re travelling to out of the way places, you must hire a car with a fuel tank that can go the distance between fuel stations.


Stick with What You Know

If you’re accustomed to driving an automatic car, stick with that. Changing gears in an unfamiliar car can be bothersome – it could eat into your fuel budget, too.


Where are You Going?

In some destinations, having a 4×4 is vital to your enjoyment. For instance, Namibia just isn’t the same from the highway.

Other destinations, like Cape Town, have plenty to offer that you can enjoy from the economical comfort of a hybrid 2-wheel drive vehicle.

City destinations are always best explored in small vehicles to automatically save you fuel and carry you safely along crowded roads. It’s also a lot easier to find parking with a small car.

If you’re heading to the Kruger National Park, you’ll find plenty of enjoyment on offer both on tarred roads and good gravel surfaces. Yet, this destination also offers some off-the-beaten-track routes available to 4x4s only.

For game viewing purposes, a high vehicle with large windows is ideal. You can still have a great time in a cheaper, smaller car as long as everyone’s comfortable enough for long-haul trips.

Remember, some car hire companies don’t allow you to take their vehicles off-road.

It’s always best to check with your host about the condition of the roads during the time of year you intend to travel. Some areas experience flooding and road closures during rainy spells.


Stick Within Your Budget

The less you spend on fuel and car hire in South Africa, the more you’ve got left over to enjoy meals out, activities, and shopping at your destination in this diverse country.

Choosing the best rental car is a constant juggling act between space, fuel consumption, and hire costs. It will take time to compare prices regarding all these aspects, but it’s worth comparing prices every step of the way while choosing your rental car.


Start Comparing Prices on the Types of Rental Cars Early

Our website features plenty of informative articles to help you plan road trips across the country. Browse some of these for inspiration and start comparing prices on the different types of rental cars, now.

The sooner you book, the more chance you have of getting a great price on the perfect vehicle for your road trip in this beautiful country.