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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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TXDrifter
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Auto Rental advice needed

Unread postby TXDrifter » Thu Nov 17, 2005 6:02 pm

We will be flying into Nelspruit/Kruger airport and will need a rental car for three weeks. What rental companies do you recommend?

Thanks.

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Unread postby gwendolen » Thu Nov 17, 2005 6:16 pm

Hi TX,
There is quite a bit of advice about car rentals in the FAQ.
Please let us know if you have any more questions. :D

I let http://www.carhire.co.za/ handle my rental for August 2006. Same agent as mentioned in the FAQ.

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Unread postby Bushmad » Thu Nov 17, 2005 6:22 pm

Hi, its great that you'll be visiting!

Are you spending your entire time in SA in Kruger? It is beyond wonderful but there is so much else to see and do, especially since you will have come sucha long way.

Anyway, about the rental advice.

The most reputable companies all have offices at our airports including KMIA. Companies like, Avis, Imperial and Budget are all good and often have special rates. I suggest you take a look at their SA websites, perhaps someone could provide a link.

In terms of what kind of car to rent: Most have air conditioning but it is needed because it can get quite hot, however, you should drive around Kruger with the windows wide open, to take in the fresh air, sounds and smells of the bush that help you find game but are invigorating!!

A 4x4 is not needed as Krugers roads are very well maintained, however, the higher vantage point of cars like the Toyota Venture is better, it also has good luggage room and is ideal. However others should be fine (you will see people in everything from small two door cars to luxury German SUVs all of which do just fine in the Park and on national roads) Also, its worth paying a little extra for insurance, not that anything will happen but it is worth the peace of mind. You will also find that these companies give good deals on free daily kms.

Try to avoid a red car, purely because it is an eyesore among the quiet colours of the wilderness! :lol:

The others will give you plenty more advice..good luck!
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Re: Auto rental advice needed

Unread postby Catherine » Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:54 pm

TXDrifter wrote:We will be flying into Nelspruit/Kruger airport and will need a rental car for three weeks. What rental companies do you recommend?

Thanks.


We've always used Avis and they have been fine. On one occasion when the car developed a fault they sorted it out pretty quickly (bearing in mind where we were!) and gave us a free tank of fuel.

It is important to consider the internal comfort of the car, particularly the seats. You will be sitting on them for some considerable time. On our last visit we hired a luxury Mercedes which was a mistake, the seats were much too hard.

Catherine

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arks
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Unread postby arks » Fri Nov 18, 2005 2:45 am

I highly recommend AutoEurope, which is a consolidator that is actually based in Maine.
I used them for my last SA trip and will be using them again in 2006.
They use Avis in SA and their rates are excellent (far better than going directly with Avis or Hertz) as is their service. Locally in SA, if you have any problems you deal directly with Avis. I had a flat last trip and shredded a tire, which was replaced at the Avis office in Phalaborwa.

Your CD insurance may be covered by your US credit card, so you should be sure to check.
Better yet, if you have Diner's Club, they cover you as first party insurer ... others cover you only in excess of what your personal auto insurance covers.
I highly recommend always using Diners for auto rentals as they are invaluable if you have a problem that involves insurance reimbursement. I've also had a couple of after-the-trip problems with overseas car rentals and Diner's has simply taken over and resolved the problem.

There are pros and cons for what type of vehicle.
Some prefer the higher view from a 4x4, and you can also see over lower profile vehicles at the occasional sighting traffic jam, but I personally prefer the "direct" view from a sedan, rather than to be looking down at the animals.
Also, AC, which I almost never use at home, is a must in SA.
Even tho you will want to drive with windows open, when your car has gotten hot and stuffy while you've been relaxing over lunch, you'll be glad of the AC to cool it down before your drive :lol:.

You should have plenty of choice for car rentals from Nelspruit.
I've both picked up and dropped off a car there in the past and that was long before it became in "international" airport.
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Unread postby simonb6 » Fri Nov 18, 2005 9:13 am

lam wrote:One thing to bear in mind is that most cars in South Africa are not automatic. If you not used to changing gears, make sure you request an automatic. This might influence your choice of car.

Personally I prefer an automatic in the Kruger anyway - I find it much easier for edging forwards/backwards and crawling along slowly than a manual gearbox.

I had a problem with Hertz in SA - they rented me two consecutive cars with expired road tax. I didn't notice on the first one and was stopped and fined by the Police (although Hertz naturally paid the fine, and a letter of complaint got a huge refund). On my last trip I used Avis and their service was fine.
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Combi v. Vito?

Unread postby Schoemanskloof » Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:25 pm

Good morning everyone, thanks for the advice above.

I will be returning to Kruger for too-short of a trip in May, and am asking for advice on which car to rent. We will be renting at Joburg, and driving to the park. We travel reasonably lightly (we're coming from the US, though). In addition to which car, is there a company which is the obvious standout for rental prices of these two options?

On previous trips, we've rented Combis and enjoyed them (although the single back window not opening is annoying ...). On our last trip we rented a Mercedes Vito.

We will have at least 5, maybe 7, people, for 8 days, staying at Letaba, Mopani, Satara and Lower Sabie, for 2 nights each. We will be bringing in much food and wine from outside the park.

What are the thoughts and advice on how to select between the two options? We will consider the price differential later, but we are more concerned about space, height, window size, noise, etc.

I look forward to everyone's reply. Thanks in advance!
We are South Africans returning for our annual trip to the Kruger.

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arks
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Unread postby arks » Thu Dec 22, 2005 4:09 pm

lam wrote:I have heard that it is much cheaper for foreigners to wait and book car hire once they get here.


This has not been my experience, lam, and I wouldn't advise waiting and taking the risk. You can, on occassion, get a lower rate from using a local, rather than international, rental company, but they will insist that you take full insurance cover, which the internationals don't if you have your own insurance cover, as many Americans do, through either personal car insurance or from the CC you use (Diners Club, for example, provides primary insurance cover to its customers, which is the reason I carry it and always use it for car rentals).
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Unread postby Sphynx » Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:54 am

madach wrote:Hi Graeme,

Try this website for cheap car rental. I always use this company and I'm very happy with their service and rates.

M.


Based on recommendations of many people from this forum, I was going to rent a sedan via this company. However, before doing that, I specifically asked the company about "unsuitable road conditions" and if the car will be covered by insurance when driving in Kruger on gravel roads.
here is the answer:
"Thank you very much for your email. The "unsuitable road conditions" refers to the fact that should you not drive according to the road conditions in the mentioned area keeping in mind the gravel roads you will not be covered with regards to insurance. If you are speeding on the gravel roads being negligent and a stone hits up and damages the engine parts or any other part of the vehicle the car rental company
will also charge you for damages".

Such answer sounds quite woolly for me... :?

how you guys deal with this renting company if anything happen on gravel road? :o Advise or real experiences are highly welcome! :D We set off to Kruger in 2 weeks time and need to book a car quite urgently.

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car rental advice

Unread postby additionbuilder » Fri May 19, 2006 5:08 pm

If doing a self-drive in KNP, is a small car ok (Toyota Tazz at r1100) or is 4x4 needed (Nissan X-trail at r2800).
Dave

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DebM
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Re: car rental advice

Unread postby DebM » Fri May 19, 2006 5:21 pm

A normal car is fine, unless you are planning to do one of the 4x4 trails.
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Unread postby graemy » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:54 pm

Hi there

According to several "on line" definitions, 4WD and 4X4 are the same thing...

There is actually a very fine difference:
4X4 means four wheels powered by four wheels (cars for example -maximum 4 wheels)
(the first digit is the total number of wheels X the number actually powered)
4WD is not necessarily a 4X4 (could be a 4WD truck with 6 wheels (only four of the six wheels are powered) and so is 4WD but a 6X4.

A car (in this case a x-trail) is definitely both a 4WD and
a 4X4
Does that sound clear???

Graemy
Last edited by graemy on Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread postby Jaco V » Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:35 pm

I think what the rental company is trying to say is the following:

4wd in their deffinition means that the vehicle has drive going to all four wheels, but the gear ratios are standard like in the 4x2 (two wheel drive) X-Trail. Thus the vehicle will not be the best choice when it comes to serious off roading, but it has superior traction to it 4x2 stablemate.

Much like a Audi Quattro is 4wd, but who is going to try taking that in to the bundu?

4x4 would reffer to a 4wd drive vehicle that has a low range gearbox/transfercase fitted, i.e. ideal to use in the rough. These would be vehicles like the Land Rover Defender, Toyota Hilux 4x4, Nissan Hardbody 4x4 etc.
Jakes

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Unread postby bert » Sun Sep 03, 2006 1:21 pm

madach wrote:Hi Straylia,

The Touran is not as big as the Condor but it is big enough for luggage and camping gear for two people.

M.


3 adults, 1 child, 3 suitcases, 3 small cases and three camera backpacks fitted into our Touran. When moving from camp to camp we also had space enough to take photographs

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Unread postby gwendolen » Sun Sep 24, 2006 11:22 am

We rented a 2 berth campervan last year. Holidaying in a campervan is wonderful, but quite expensive in SA. A 2 berth is definitely not hard to drive. They do not have a toilet and shower on board. Renting a campervan from Kruger International won't be a problem and the car rentals mentioned in this thread do campervans too. You could also book directly at Maui or Britz.
Last edited by gwendolen on Mon Oct 02, 2006 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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