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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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Unread post by nunu » Mon Oct 23, 2006 11:36 am

No, if its says 4X4 then thats what it is. Otherwise it will be listed as an X-trail 2x4. BUT you probably should not take it on an adventure trail anyway because these sorts of SUVs are 'softroaders" in other words not for real 4x4 trails. If thats what you want to do then you should hire a landrover, landcruiser or a 4x4 bakkie (pick-up truck) like a toyota hilux.

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What Car?

Unread post by Simon UK » Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:10 am

I'm visiting Kruger for a second time in September as a group of five or six people. We need to hire a large car that's able to accommodate us comfortably for long days in the park as well as for travelling outside the park with a fair amount of luggage. I've seen the Mercedes Vito and VW kombi minivans which look ideal but i was wondering about how many of the windows actually open. Obviously on safari it would be ideal if everyone could have their own window which fully opens to allow good photo opportunities. My concern, especially for the Vito is that being a converted van and more like a minibus than a car, do they have fully opening windows in the rear.

I'm a bit paranoid that bringing three newbies on Safari could be spoilt by having them in the back stuck behind closed windows.

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Unread post by bucky » Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:02 pm

The vehicles have loads of space , with the vw being bigger , with a larger boot etc (I have a vw)
The windows do not open for the 3rd row of seats in either vehicle unfortunately .
Both vehicles are higher than the 4x4's and condors etc , so this is a big plus .

You have to weigh it up , either 2 people don't have windows or hire 2 smaller vehicles , and loose out on socialising as well as the enevitable when the first vehicle sees something cross the road and the other doesnt , or visa versa .

If you have 5 people , then the 5th person who goes on the 3rd row , has the advantage of being able to slide to either side of the vehicle for sightings .

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Unread post by Elsa » Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:16 pm

Otherwise just take turns, so everyone gets a chance to sit in the forward seats at some stage, a sort of rotation basis. :D

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Unread post by Snoobab » Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:33 pm

Hi Winny
Another option is the VW Combi. The driver and front passenger seat might be problomatic, but the side sliding door is easy to enter and exit, with handles to help. It is also higher than most sedans.

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Unread post by DuQues » Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:47 pm

Hi Max and welcome to the forums!

I think a Volkswagen Touran will fit you nicely. They are available at almost all rental companies.
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Unread post by Chris 18 » Sun Feb 18, 2007 10:57 pm


I would recommend a VW SHARAN. Available through most rental companies. I used one over Christmas and New Year in the park and found it very versatile, up to 6 can have window seats, also seats can be removed if required, nip down to your local VW dealer and have a look, you can compare it with a Touran. I believe that Budget are replacing their Sharans with Toyota Avansa under no account take one of these, they are IMHO totally unfit for the park. Ours was the 1.8T with 6 speed box which I found to be very economical.

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Unread post by BushCall » Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:55 pm

eladn wrote:Hi Chris,

Can you specify what's exactly wrong with the Toyota Avanza? It looks like the perfect vehicle for KNP/KTP - relatively cheap, has high clearance (190mm), fairly equipped, economical and not too big (at least for myself - we would be just 2 people).



The Avanza is the PERFECT vehicle for Kruger.

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Unread post by richardharris » Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:22 pm

I have searched for this info and can't find it - but apologise if it is out there!

I nearly always use Avis and have had excellent service. However I want to do a couple of the 4x4 trails in September and they don't seem to rent these.

Can anyone suggest:

a: a good and reliable company who do 4x4 rental

b: bearing in mind end September is still dry (usually) and the trails are not (apparently) for world class 4x4 experts only, which vehicle would you go for? I will be on my own - except for loads of camera equipment!



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Unread post by bokkie_ac » Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:10 am

Just got back from the park and had a hyundai tuscan for the 8 days.

Nice car to drive very comfy with only 2 of us in but boot was tiny. Wouldnt of been any good for 4 people.
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A word of caution concerning car rental

Unread post by madach » Sat May 12, 2007 1:01 pm

Car rental is discussed often on this forum, please take note of the following:

Last month I went on a four week trip to South Africa. I was travelling to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and Kruger and decided that I needed a car that gave me a high vantage point. I needed a high car because the roads in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in some stretches have turned 'U' shaped by road grading. If you rent a normal sedan car then your vantage point in some parts of the park (especially the Nossob road) will be too low to see anything. I decided to rent a VW Touran as this is the most affordable car to rent if you want a car that gives you a high vantage point.

The Touran was an excellent car, it was spacious and fast (we got a TDI model) and it had cruise control which was a welcome luxury on the long straight stretches of road in the Northern part of South Africa. I will however never rent a VW Touran again as it doesn't have a spare wheel! The Touran is a seven seater car and because of the third row of seats there was no place for a spare wheel. Instead of spare wheel you get a canister filled with foam which you can use to 'fix' a puncture. In Europe this system will work fine as most punctures will be caused by pieces of glass or nails. These punctures are typically small and can be fixed with a foam canister. In Africa it's a totally different ballgame though. Depending on where you go you'll probably drive considerable distances on gravel roads. On these roads the punctures you get are usually tears in the tyre caused by sharp stones. These tears can not be fixed with the foam solution which means that if that happens to you you're basically buggered. You'll have to depend on other people to help you. In a park like the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park getting a puncture in one of the Northerns camps may mean that you have to wait for days for a new tyre to be delivered to you from Upington (400km's away). This is not something you're looking for during a holiday so make sure that the car that you're renting has a spare wheel!

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Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Sat May 12, 2007 3:26 pm

A very good observation and certainly something nobody would think of unless they were in the bush 400km away from the nearest garage.
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Unread post by arks » Wed May 16, 2007 8:33 pm

jhquinn wrote:Anyone have an idea of the magnitude of the one-way drop-off charge (we would like to pick-up car at Phalaborwa airport and drop off in Johannesburg as we're coming out via southern gates)?

I suggest you have a look at AutoEurope, which is a consolidator that I have used many times. They usually have very good rates and you can ask them about any possible drop-off charges.
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Unread post by bert » Wed May 23, 2007 8:51 pm

I have rented a sedan with Hertz through
For a little extra insuranc against windshield , rim and under-
carriage damage.

During the past few years i had windshield and under-carriage
damage. Stone against the windshield and drove on a log in Kruger :redface:

Took me a bit and lengthy argument to plea my innocence.
Want to avoid this again

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Unread post by arks » Thu May 24, 2007 1:28 am

blasian wrote:Which credit cards offer more protection when you use them to hire a car? I think I saw Diners mentioned a couple of times. Just wondering so I can get a card that will give me full cover anyway so it keeps the price down. :) Is this a good idea?

Insurance cover through your CC depends a lot, I think, on in which country your card is issued. Diners in the USA provides primary insurance cover on rental cars, and IMO this is a huge benefit. But I don't know whether Diners offers this cover elsewhere. I'd suggest that you check into it, because it is worth the annual fee if you can get it.

Most other CCs offer secondary insurance cover, which means that it only comes into force after the insurance coverage you carry on your personal car. Of course, if you don't have a car (and thus don't have car insurance), this cover then becomes primary cover. But it is essential to do thorough research, because each card's policy can differ.
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