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Auto Rental advice needed

Find information and FAQ's not related to the parks, like Health & Safety, 4x4 etc.
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p@m
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Re: 4x4 versus saloon

Unread postby p@m » Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:54 pm

Stark -- how many of you are travelling in the Xtrail ? Be aware that the rear windows do not wind all the way down to flush with the sill as the rear wheel well is in the way. This is only a problem if you are wanting to take pics from the rear windows.

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ecojunkie
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Re: 4x4 versus saloon

Unread postby ecojunkie » Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:52 am

Another tip - find out which SUVs your hire company offers and go and look at them in a dealership in your own country. This will give you an idea of size, space, window problems, etc and whether you will feel comfortable driving it. There may well be differences between countries, but they will be minor.

Imberbe is right - the extra space is so useful in the parks. You will juggle binos, cameras, drinks, snacks....... If you are sitting close to each other this can become a problem - and add in heat too, and it can lead to irritability. If you can afford it without cutting down on the other experiences then go for it. MM is right too - make sure you do allow for things like a walk, sunrise and sunset drive - especially if it a once in a lifetime trip.

But - bottom line is - you will have a great time whatever you decide!
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Imberbe
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Re: 4x4 versus saloon

Unread postby Imberbe » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:41 pm

Meandering Mouse wrote:I think my concern is mainly that people do not feel that they are missing out if they decide not to go for the SUV option. Most roads in Kruger are extremely comfortable to drive with any vehicle.


I agree 100% with that! :thumbs_up:
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Re: 4x4 versus saloon

Unread postby FrancoisR » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:48 pm

I just want to add my 2c worth when choosing an ideal car for Kruger.

I am new to the forums but visit Kruger once a month (sometimes twice).

My criteria will be as follows:
1. In summer air-conditioning is a must - you will probably experience 30+ degrees on morning and afternoon drives and I have seen 40+ degrees on midday.
2. Automatic gearbox is great to have - a lot of stop and start driving.
3. I prefer a petrol engined car to diesel since it is quieter - although the modern diesels have come a long way.
4. If you consider hiring a minibus(5+ persons) go for the Toyota Quantum it has two opening windows for rear passengers on each side where the other minibusses (MB Vito, VW T5, Nissan and Renault Traffic) all only have one opening window at the rear on each side. (Seen from a photography point of view)
5. A saloon car is OK for up to 4 persons

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gmlsmit
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Re: 4x4 versus saloon

Unread postby gmlsmit » Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:11 pm

You can take my word.
You do not need a 4X4 unless you are going to the Richtersveld or certain areas in the Kgalagadi TF Park.
All you need is a vehicle with suitable window height and big enough to keep ALL your luggage in the boot . You need a vehicle big enough to be able to move in around comfortably. Ground clearance is not a problem on the Kruger roads.
By the way I own wheel drive vehicles.
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Re: 4x4 versus saloon

Unread postby anitagibbs » Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:15 pm

simon boaz wrote:. . . you will have to make more than on visit to SA and try every form of transport available :D ..good plan??
Excellent plan, Simon, if only the finances would run to it! :cry:
. . . think the idea of an auto grearbox is good
I think I'll stick with a manual gearbox as that's what I'm used to.
. . . confusing aint it!!
It sure is!
. . . when u get to park where a yellow ribbon and a note to show u were responsible for causing the usual car v 4x4 fight..
and if u want entertaining night round a fire just start of the conversation with " do you think a 4x4 is better then quietly withdraw and smile as there will be discussion till the small hours :thumbs_up:
The yellow ribbon's at the top of my shopping list, but I'm not so sure about the note. I'm not sure that I want to own up to causing the "4x4 versus saloon" debate! :redface:
have a bril time
si
xxx
Thanks. I know I will, whatever car I rent! :dance:
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Senyetse
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Re: 4x4 versus saloon

Unread postby Senyetse » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:47 am

It seems a difficult choice especially with so many different opinions. However, it is actually quite straightforward.

First and most important, rent what your budget allows. If renting a cheaper car would extend your holiday by a few days, then rent the cheaper car! If budget is not a problem then rent the SUV. Don't trade a few days of your holiday for an expensive SUV, a sedan will do the job and you will enjoy more time on holiday!

Second, make sure that the vehicle is large enough for your requirements. Don't rent a VW Golf if you are 5 adults. But for 1 or 2 it would more suitable.

If you don't recognise the models then e-mail the rental company and ask for more information on the vehicle and check ot the dimensions. Otherwise do an internet search, all the car manufacturers have excellent South African websites.
:)
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Re: 4x4 versus saloon

Unread postby acekam » Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:34 am

A high vehicle (whether or not a 4x4) can definitely improve\add to sightings in certain circumstances, but it is by no means essential. I've been in a low vehicle missing out on sightings that those in higher vehicles were enjoying and vice versa. I had a brilliant view from a Merc Vito of a martial eagle on the ground with a rock monitor in its talons. This was on the S100, the eagle was only 5 meters off the road and the normal sedans could not see a thing. However, this is very specific circumstances and for most sightings, the difference is very little.

I would estimate that a high vehicle adds maybe 10% to the quality of sightings IN SUMMER in the Kruger. They obviously cost much more than 10% over a sedan to hire, so cost-benefit is hard to justify. However, if its a once in a lifetime trip and you can afford it, I would squeeze out the extra 10%. If not, though, I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
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Senyetse
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Re: 4x4 versus saloon

Unread postby Senyetse » Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:31 am

a 4x4 gives you a small amount of freedom that is not experienced in a saloon.


Very true. And the roads in many of the parks are a bit tough on saloons, escpecially during the rainy season.

I must admit that there have been many times in the the parks except for Kruger that we could not experience a large part of the park in our sedan. I'm talking of places like Mapungubwe, Marekele, Namaqua National Park. That's why I'm looking at buying a 4x4 in the near future

We must also remember to distinguish between a 4x4 and a high clearance 4x2 vehicle/bakkie/soft roader/SUV. There are places that these softroaders vehicles would not be able to travel.

So it all depends where you are going and what the roads are like and how much of the park would you be able to visit in a saloon?
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TonyP
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Re: Renting a car in Nelspruit Airport

Unread postby TonyP » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:43 am

If you are comming from overseas then you need an International Licence.
There is Avis and Europcar.
Avis' number at the airport in Nelspruit is +27 13 750-1015.
Europcar's number is +27 13 750-2871. They both have websites where you can book on-line

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Re: Renting a car in Nelspruit Airport

Unread postby tletter » Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:11 pm

Audrey,

asilverfoote wrote:Do I need an international drivers license?

We rented this summer from both the Johannesburg and Cape Town airports and did NOT need an international drivers license nor was this even mentioned. Our licenses issued in Canada were fine on their own.

Thomas

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Crested Val
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Re: Renting a car in Nelspruit Airport

Unread postby Crested Val » Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:27 pm

Audrey where are you coming from.

UK driving licences are accepted if it's the photo one.
The old fashioned paper only ones are not accepted and one needs an International permit.

We have used both Avis and Europcar at Nelspruit.
Both were fine, Europcar is usually a bit cheaper.
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DuQues
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Re: Renting a car in Nelspruit Airport

Unread postby DuQues » Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:35 pm

Rhino car hire also delivers at KMIA, and has very good rates.
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Re: Renting a car in Nelspruit Airport

Unread postby Crested Val » Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:35 pm

Xankanka wrote:Hi Audrey,

I presume you come from the UK. You will need an international driving licence.

Hope this helps
Mike


Not if your UK licence is a combined photo and paper one.

We stay in SA 6 months each year on a holiday visa, and our photo/paper licence is all we need. We hire time and time again. Trust me.

If however it's the old paper only version you will need an international permit.
(That is of course assuming that you are from UK!!!!)
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Re: Renting a car in Nelspruit Airport

Unread postby melissal » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:25 pm

Hi - I think your questions have been answered, but I'll throw my two cents in as well: I hired a car from Nelspruit last November, and booked with Thrifty through their UK website, which was easier as I could book and pay direct via a UK website in pounds. Also, they were a lot cheaper than the others, particularly for an automatic with unlimited mileage :D The actual booking was then handled by Dollar/Budget at Nelspruit - I was very pleased with their service, and the car, particularly as the queue for Avis was out the door and Dollar/Budget had no queue at all.

I did get an international drivers license just in case (it only takes a few minutes at the post office in the UK), but it wasn't necessary as they just took the UK license (both the photo card and paper counterpart were asked for). Good thing it wasn't necessary anyway, as I forgot to pack it in the end :redface:
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