If you are planning to manage some of your upcoming trip by road, chances are you will be researching your car rental options. With several leading car hire companies to choose from and some uncertainty from newbie travellers, there are always questions to be asked.
Whether you choose to hire a car from Europcar hire or any of the other leading brands currently serving the market, the answers to your questions are mere moments away.
We’ve trawled the web to find the most frequently asked questions and have drawn up a list of the 10 most asked and answered:
- Q: Can anyone with a driver’s license rent a car?
A: Anyone who has had a driver’s license for two years and is older than 25 years of age can rent a car without incident or surcharges. Drivers who are under the age of 25 will be expected to pay an additional “young driver” surcharge.
- Q:Does the person who reserves/books the vehicle have to be the driver?
A:The person who books and pays for the vehicle will be listed as the primary driver, and must be the driver of the vehicle. If anyone else is intending to drive the vehicle, they must be listed as an additional driver. To cover liability, an additional surcharge is charged.
- Q: Is a waiver an insurance contract?
A: No, a waiver is not insurance. It is a legal agreement between the car hire company and the renter. Standard waivers are agreements where renters guarantee to pay a limited amount of damage if something happens to the rental vehicle, or they are involved in a crash. This waiver is a low upfront amount. A super waiver is a higher amount paid upfrontto guarantee that a renter will pay only a limited amount towards repairs if something happens to the vehicle.
- Q:Do I need a credit card to rent a vehicle?
A: When a rental company, such as Europcar Hire, reserves a vehicle, a deposit is held against the credit card of the customer. This deposit is in case of an accident, damage, or loss. When the vehicle is returned on time and in good order, the deposit is then credited to the credit card. Most car rental companies allow the deposit to be paid with a debit card, but then you will need to supply your banking details for the refund, which can take up to 21 days from the date of returning the vehicle.
- Q:What will I need when collecting the rental car?
A: You will need a valid driver’s license and a credit/debit card. If you are a foreign traveller to SA, you will need your passport as well. If you paid for the car rental online, you must produce the credit/debit card used to make the booking on request at the rental office.
- Q: What optional extras are there?
A: Most car rental companies, including Europcar Hire, offer extras such as personal accident insurance, windscreen damage waiver, and tyre damage waiver – all of which are optional.
- Q:Will I get the exact vehicle that I booked online?
A:Vehicles online are advertised in classes/groups.When you book a vehicle, you will have the option of one of several vehicles in that particular class, depending on availability. Of course, rental offices do their best to give renters the vehicle they requested.
- Q:What happens if I cancel my booking or don’t turn up to collect my rental car?
A:Car rental companies have different policies in place to deal with cancellations, but most will charge a cancellation fee if the renter doesn’t show up. If you make an effort to cancel the booking, the rental company will still charge a cancellation fee, but it will be less than the rental amount. Cancelling as well in advance as possible will help to keep these fees low.
- Q:What do I do if my rental car breaks down?
A:While unpleasant, it is a reality that breakdowns happen. If you are on the road and your car breaks down, look inside the cubbyhole for the roadside assist number provided by the rental company. A breakdown number is usually found on the book or documents inside as well as on your copy of the rental agreement.
- Q:Will I be charged extra if I return the rental car late?
A: Renters are typically given 30 minutes’ grace period when returning a vehicle, but any time over that and the renter will be charged for an entire extra day’s rental. If you are going to be late, make sure that you let the rental company know, or amend your return date so that you can avoid extra fees.
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