Are you ready to explore all that South Africa has to offer, by road? If you are, you have made a good choice. Renting a car and exploring on your own (whether on a work or leisure trip), affords you the flexibility to encounter a country’s hidden gems at your own pace. You may also find that a self-drive holiday is a more cost-effective option than a pre-arranged tour.

Leading car hire companies such as Europcar hire will offer you some exceptional rental rates to help you on your way. Of course, when hiring a car in South Africa for the first time, things can seem a little daunting. Below we feature a few top tips for getting a great car hire deal and a few tips on how to make the most of driving on South Africa’s roads.

Tips for getting a great car rental deal in South Africa

Want to avoid the hassle of getting the wrong car hire deal, paying too much, or being turned away because you just aren’t armed with the right information and documents? Use these tips to ensure that you get the best comparative quotes from Europcar hire or any other leading car rental company, first time around:

  • When booking car hire online, make sure that you read the information presented before you click “book” and before you pay for anything. Double check the dates, the package details such as third party damage, CDW (collision camage waiver) and TLW (theft and loss waiver) and the value of such waivers.
  • Also ensure that you reference the specials and discounts being offered by the car hire company at the time – you don’t want to miss out on a good discount just because the deal has ended by the time you collect your rental.
  • Ensure that you have all the required documentation when you collect the vehicle. You will need your booking voucher with a reservation number, credit or debit card for the deposit, a valid driver’s license and your ID. If you are a visitor to South Africa, you will also need your visa and passport.
  • When you collect your car rental be sure to ask about insurance cover. Make sure that you are fully covered with comprehensive insurance for theft, damage, loss etc. It’s always advisable to take out additional cover for windscreen and tyre damage. Having insurance in place will save you a great deal in the event of something happening to the vehicle during your rental contract period.
  • On returning the vehicle, opt for refuelling it yourself as the hire company may charge a higher price or even include an additional ‘refuelling charge’ if you don’t opt for the alternative.

Tips for using a rental car in South Africa

Once you have made your booking, you want to make sure that you follow a set of rules or tips that help you avoid unpleasant surprises during, or at the end of, your car hire period. Here are our 3 most important tips:

  1. Always do a vehicle check before leaving with it. If there are any nicks, scratches, dents or marks, take a photo of them and make sure that you log an official note of them with the car hire company. If you don’t, you might be charged for something you didn’t do when you return the car.
  2. Brush up on your knowledge of local road rules. If you break the speed limit, drive recklessly, park illegally or contravene any other local traffic rules and laws, you will most likely end up with a fine. The car hire company will expect you to pay the fine as well as pay an admin fee for handling the issue for you.
  3. Return the rental car on or before the stipulated time. Most car hire companies will charge you for a full day rental if you return it late. Car hire days are generally calculated in 24 hour periods, so if you collect your vehicle at 7am and then return it on the last day at 1pm, you can expect to pay for an additional day. Of course, all car hire companies have their own set of regulations in place, so just make sure that you know what the penalties are upfront, before you risk returning the car late.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As an example, the Europcar hire Ts& Cs as advertised online has the following to say about late returns: “You undertake to return the Vehicle to Europcar at the agreed place, on the date and at the time indicated on the rental agreement. The maximum duration of a rental agreement may vary from one country to another. The rental duration is calculated on the basis of indivisible periods of 24 hours, starting from the time the Vehicle is made available. However, a 30-minute grace period is applied at the end of the rental before the start of a new 24-Hour period. If you return the Vehicle to any other Europcar rental location than the agreed location, repatriation costs will be charged to you”.

It’s good to be aware of such terms, so always read the contract Terms & Conditions (the small print) before agreeing and paying for a car hire              contract.

Book Europcar hire online

If you are looking to experience the wildlife trip of a lifetime and you want to get the best car hire deals in South Africa to get you there, then you’ve come to the right place. At Car Hire South Africa, you will find fantastic daily rental rates from leading car hire companies, including Europcar Hire. Use our car hire search feature above to search, compare, and securely pay for your next car rental deal today and get the key to enjoying the perfect road trip in South Africa