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Car choice/best vehicle/Insurance for Kruger

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DuQues
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Re: Car Hire Companies

Unread postby DuQues » Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:28 pm

In The FAQ are links to some companies.
Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

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Car Insurance. and Gravel Roads In Kruger

Unread postby MorganQ » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:29 pm

Hi I'm after some advice, we are going to Kruger next month and I have hired a Daihatsu Terios through Holiday Autos. I phoned to check on insurance for driving on gravel roads (didn't give my booking ref for obvious reasons) only to be told "you are not covered for damage to the underside of the car while driving on gravel roads unless it is a road recognised by SA government and is the only road available" Obviously we don't intend to drive off road but would we want to drive on gravel roads .......or just stick to the tarmac roads ....... what are the roads like ........... Please share your experience on hire companies, car damage, roads in Kruger and anything else you think appropriate

Thanks
Morgan

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Re: Car Insurance.............Gavel Roads In Kruger

Unread postby Pjw » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:32 pm

To the best of my knowledge Kruger roads are part of SA's national road system as all rules that apply outside the park are also relevant inside the park.
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freeclimb-64
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Re: Car choice/best vehicle for Kruger

Unread postby freeclimb-64 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:24 am

Hi Malealea - (Africa in Lesotho in a Nutshell....?),

right you are.
But: Pick-Ups are allowed in Kruger.

Doublecabs - whatever the brand - are not really suitable for 4 or 5 people hopefully seeking for a nice journey.
The backseats are poor - just made for some K´s between fieldwork and farmstead.
A Doublecab is useful with a Rooftoptent and 2 adults with some luggage & plenty of water, fuel & spares on the back.
We tried those types in Kaokoveld, Moremi & Okavango - good choice.

Back to Kruger:
We tried a Disco 4 the last 8 days - expensive, luxurious, powerful.
Never mind - it´s worth it - every pence.
4 adults, thereof 2 seniors, luggage, cameras, cooler...
What other car can carry that more comfortable?
AND: This car is definitively soundless for passengers.

LR Defender? :naughty:
Too expensive as hired car, no countervalue,
unconfortable, little legspace in frontrow,
miserable sealing against dust & water.
Inside = extremely noisy.
Aircon = overstrained.

Fatal mistake on Microbus:
This car is ment to have a high ground-clearance.
That´s a hoax/canard.
Only on the basis of the wheeldiameter: The microbus is far away of Groundclearance.

In all cases: A 4x4 is not needed for Kruger - but the seat-hight is important.
Aircon (all seats), luggage space & sealing (dust) is important.

Beware of that: More than 60% of your Krugertime take place in your car.
Think of that. :hmz:

Take care,
freeeclimb-64.
21.-25.4. 09: Berg, Sat, Oli, Shing, Punda.
3.-15.12. 09: Berg, Lower, Sat, 2x Oli, Mop, Let, Tam, Skuk, 2x Pretorius, Berg.
6.-14.10. 10 Berg-en-Dal, Lower Sabie, Satara, Olifants, Letaba, Talamati, Skukuza, Berg en Dal.
dec 2010: Transfrontier

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DuQues
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Re: Car choice/best vehicle for Kruger

Unread postby DuQues » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:29 am

Interesting to see all the remarks about clearance, 4x4 capabilities, but missing the really important points. :lol:

You want a bit of height, a Mercedes SLK or Ferrari would not do, unless you want to count all the sorts of grasses.
So you might even go for a Renault Kangoo, they even have a 4x4 model. Nice and high, but not too expensive to rent.

Image

Looks good what?

Wrong! :naughty:

This vehicle looks quite useful for Kruger, but in actual fact is not at all. Well, it is, but if you want to view only, with the windows closed and the airco on.

What is wrong with this car are the windows in the back. They can not open at all. So if you are seated in the back you'll be hot, will not be able to photograph or video...

So what do you want to look for?

- Space.
You'll be stuck in the car for most of the day, and will want a lot of it.

- Height
To be able to look over the grass or bushes.

- Windows that open all the way
Forget about photography otherwise.

- A boot that you can access from within the car.
A ski-door in the backseat is extremely handy. Place a coolbox in the boot, opening to the front, and you can grab cold drinks and food without leaving the car. The boot is going to be reasonably cool, so the drinks will stay cooler there. And it saves space in the car.

- an engine that doesn't keep cooling itself after you turn of the engine.
Mightily handy feature, but at sightings people will not be happy with a fan running...

- An alarm that can be turned off completely.
I can remember our alarm going off when leaving a few sightings.. :redface: :redface:

- legroom!
No need for explanation I think?
Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

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Rent car insurance-decline coverage/use credit card coverage

Unread postby jhawktx » Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:44 pm

For several trips we have taken to Europe we have declined all vehicle insurance coverage offered by the rental car agency and paid with a credit card thereby using the coverage offered by the credit card (Visa or Mastercard). It has saved a good bit of money. On the other hand, we have never had any car damage and never needed to file a claim. So in a sense I don't really know how well the credit card coverage would have worked if we had a claim since we never have had to use it.

I am pondering whether to do the same thing when we rent a car at MQP for our trip into Kruger. I'm a bit more nervous doing it for Kruger. Has anyone else rented a car at MQP, declined all insurance coverage from the rental car company, and relied solely on the coverage offered by the credit card company? And, even more, has anyone done this on a car rented from MQP and then had a claim and, if so, how did that turn out?
Lower Sabie Sept 4-6
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Re: Rent car insurance-decline coverage/use credit card coverage

Unread postby bert » Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:02 pm

Personally i wont decline the insurance. These days i take full insurance with windows and flat tyres included.

Had windowscreen damage twice, 1 flat and lost a rim.
But if this is all covered by the USA credit card company not worries

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Re: Rent car insurance-decline coverage/use credit card coverage

Unread postby arks » Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:16 pm

Hi jhawktx and Welcome!

I always decline the insurance, but I have a Diners Club card, which provides primary insurance cover for rental cars — other US credit cards only provide secondary insurance cover, after your personal car insurance cover. I highly recommend getting a Diners Club card if you regularly rent cars overseas, as claiming for any damages is very easy.

Before I had a Diners Club card, I only once ever needed to claim on my Visa, but that was easy because at the time, I did not have personal car insurance, so the Visa cover was the only cover that I had. I think that it is a bit more complicated when you have to claim against your personal car insurance first and the CC insurance cover only kicks in for any excess that your personal car insurance doesn't cover.

I have had a variety of damage claims in SA since becoming a Diners Club cardholder and all have been resolved quickly. The only "complication" that I have ever had was this past March when Avis lumped the charges for the damage — hyenas in KTP "ate" my wing mirror :roll: — with the rental charges, so it took a bit of time to separate the charges for the repair so that Diners could credit me for that charge.

Good luck and have a great trip!
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Re: Rent car insurance-decline coverage/use credit card coverage

Unread postby iLoveMeerkats! » Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:53 am

I too always decline and count on my credit card coverage. Never had a claim so don't really know how well I am covered. I pray. So far so good. We did have a flat tire in Kruger but just paid the charge for fixing it at Letaba. They did a great job and as I recall the cost was not too much.

One of the things that you have to watch carefully is the number of days that the card will cover the insurance. Some are a month, some 2 weeks. Check it.

I find the cost of insurance in SA to be really high. Cost of car rentals is really high. :(

Arks - I love the story of the hyena and your mirror. Funny!

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Re: Rent car insurance-decline coverage/use credit card coverage

Unread postby Stark » Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:56 pm

I decline rental insurance, but I do add on the small amount for primary auto coverage via the travel insurance I purchase.

This has worked for me, as it was far cheaper (and with better coverage) than what was offered from the agency, and the coverage from my credit cards was less than ideal.
"Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors." West African Proverb

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Re: Rent car insurance-decline coverage/use credit card coverage

Unread postby Lockie » Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:01 pm

Insurance or not be sure to take that extra 5 minutes to do a walk around the car and note any nicks or scratches before you leave the rental place...no matter how small they may be. It's almost a sure thing to get a few scratches, and if existing ones are noted before hand it will be much easier. for example, most companies have a vague notation process ie..right front quarter panel. If there are existing scratches...how to prove the extra ones you may get on that area? :twisted:

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Re: Rent car insurance-decline coverage/use credit card coverage

Unread postby jhawktx » Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:33 pm

Arks,
I went to the Diners Club website and fished around and think I found the conditions for the Rental Car insurance coverage for Diners Club. I noted in there one sentence of concern and it is the same sentence that shows up in the conditions for Rental Car insurance coverage for one of my credit cards. In talking about what is NOT covered it says, "Damage sustained on any surface, other than a bound surface such as concrete or tarmac". I assume this is the same wording in your agreement with Diners?

This would seems to indicate that damage sustained while driving on gravel roads would not be covered. You mentioned you have been reimbursed for tire damage several times and I would guess at least one of those times might have been on a gravel road in Kruger. So perhaps it was not an issue for the Diners Club card. In many cases, no one is likely to know whether you sustained the damage on a gravel road or a "bound surface". But I will likely want to drive extensively on gravel roads in Kruger so this wording concerns me.

I have a different credit card that says damage is not covered for "Loss due to off-road operation of the rental vehicle". This wording sounds a bit better to me since it would seem that a gravel road is still a road and traveling on a gravel road shouldn't be considered "off-road".

I'm going to contact the card with the "off-road" wording to clarify the "off-road" definition. Assuming they say gravel roads are not considered "off-road", I may lean toward using this credit card as I think the wording might be slightly more favorable to the renter than saying you must be on a "bound surface". Depending on what I found out I may also inquire about the "bound surface" wording with the other credit card company.

I'll report back what I find out.
Lower Sabie Sept 4-6
Satara Sept 7-9

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Re: Rent car insurance-decline coverage/use credit card coverage

Unread postby jhawktx » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:08 am

I checked on the precise definition in the contract with the wording that they will not cover "Loss due to off-road operation of the rental vehicle". The person I talked to said a road is not considered "off-road" as long as:
1) the road can be found on a map, and
2) it is a government maintained road.

Gravel and even dirt roads would be covered so long as they are government maintained roads and can be found on a map.

So I think I should be covered in Kruger for the roads there (S-100, S-25, etc) .

I also asked about flat tyres and windshield damage. She said both of those would be covered as well. This seems like a plus vs. rental car coverage as I understand they will sometimes try to make you pay for windshield damage even if you buy the insurance from the rental car company.

An actual PDF file of the coverage can be found at www.visa.com/benefits

This coverage is secondary which is not as good as primary which Arks has with Diners Club. In my case, I'm less worried about primary/secondary than about exactly what will be covered on which kinds of roads. The person asked which country I would rent the vehicle and I said South Africa...no problem. There are about 4 or so countries that are excluded from coverage but South Africa is not one of them.

Everything considered, I am now quite comfortable declining the insurance on the rental car and using the credit card insurance instead.
Lower Sabie Sept 4-6
Satara Sept 7-9

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Re: Rent car insurance-decline coverage/use credit card coverage

Unread postby iLoveMeerkats! » Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:53 am

jhawktx,
Glad you got all of your answers. I looked up my coverage (American Express) and it just says "public roads". Think I am safe with that. I am quite comfortable with "just saying no" to the rental company's coverage. :D

Another important thing to note. All of the credit card coverages that I have seen say that you MUST deny any of the coverage offered by the rental company. If you accept their coverage, the card coverage vanishes. I know there are some companies that insist on you accepting their coverage - they do not give you a choice.

Again, I want to remind people to check on how long they are covered. My AE gives me 31 days.

Soooo, now what shall we worry about? :D

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Re: Car hire in KNP

Unread postby TonyP » Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:04 pm

Hi Federal & welcome.
The Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport is halfway between Nelspruit and White River.
All the major car rental companies are there. ie Avis, Budget, Eurocar etc. so you won't have a problem getting a car.
What camp are you staying in for your first night?
I'm pretty sure you would be able to get a 4X4 in Upington which is your jumping off point for the Kgalagadi.


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