Car and Driver in Cape Town

Feb 9th, 2005, 01:18 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 4
Car and Driver in Cape Town

Hi. I will be visiting Cape Town and would like to take a day trip to the Winelands. Would prefer hiring a car with driver/chauffeur for the day. Don't want a guide--just a 'designated' driver to take us around. Can anyone recommend a reputable/economical company?
There are 4 people in our party. Thanks.
sen11 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2005, 06:05 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
If you are staying at a 5* hotel, you will have no problem hiring a driver right from the hotel. It should be charged right to your room bill and will be pretty reasonably priced (not much more than a taxi, in all honesty).

My wife and I, for each of our two previous Cape Town visits, took advantage of the availability of such hotel drivers. They were always very friendly, very professional and had immaculate vehicles that they usually owned personally.

On one such occasion, when staying at the Mount Nelson Hotel, my wife and I visited a very popular seafood restaurant (Panama Jack's, I think was the name of it). We never bothered to make reservations and there was a line out the door. Upon learning of our failure to make reservations, our driver from the Mount Nelson, on his own behalf, intervened by escorting us inside and telling the Maitre D' that we were VIP guests of the Mount Nelson. Wouldn't you know it that we were promptly seated without reservations and ahead of the other guests.

So, I highly recommend the drivers at the 5* hotels such as the Mount Nelson, Cape Grace, Table Bay Hotel, etc.
Roccco is offline  
Feb 13th, 2005, 11:03 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 16
So--what if you're staying in a guesthouse and not a 5* hotel? Are there any recs on independent private drivers in Cape Town? Surely there has to be some because it seems to be quite a few companies that advertise their services.

ctheworld is offline  
Feb 13th, 2005, 12:01 PM
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Contact Selwyn Davidowitz, a regular poster here.

a number of visitors who post here have used his services; others have met with him as a "Fodorites Get Together"
Feb 13th, 2005, 08:59 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 43
I've used a company called Legend Tours which is located at the Cape Town airport. They do shuttle services but will also do tour guiding/driving if you want them to. I've also used a couple of other shuttle services in Cape Town, and this has so far been the most reliable (by far). Their email address is [email protected]
Oipuka is offline  
Feb 14th, 2005, 04:09 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,097

May I suggest that you go look at my posting on the following Fodors wepage:

Amongst others a sector that I am cutting and pasting into this mail so as to highlight something that most travllers do not know about is as follows:

1. NEVER EVER travel with a person who claims to be a tourguide but is not qualified to be as such. Ask to see his or her tourguide badge or THETA (old Satour) card showing their accreditation number that is if they do not wear the official badge. You could be faced with embarrassing situation whereby the so called guide is stopped by the authorities and fined on the spot and told to stop guiding there and then. This had never been enforced in SA up until about 3 months ago when the authorities started stepping up the pace against rogue guides by stopping tourgroups at the main tour places such as Table Mountain and Cape Point in Cape Town.

2. ALWAYS check whether your tourguide whom you are travelling with is driving an accredited and licensed vehicle,. When I say licensed I dont mean having normal licensing; I am also talking about having a license from the local road transportation board to carry paying passengers. You can sit back and say so what if he/she is licensed!? Heres a fair warning, if the vehicle is not appropriately licensed I can assure you that the guide is not appropriately insured be it for his vehicle or for you his passenger/s. If anything happens to you along the way you will be sitting high and dry NOT only with the local authorities but there also is a possibility that your own home based insurance company will not come out on your side only because you were travelling with an unlicensed tourguide/operator. I CANNOT EMPHASIZE THIS POINT ENOUGH and I would recommend that you discuss insurance with your guide BEFORE you travel with him/her. With all of the above said please do understand that not every person that you meet up with as a tourguide or tour operator in SA is a rogue as most have all the relevant qualifications. All that I am doing is I am warning about what definitely prevails and that is an unqualified rogue community in the tourguiding world.

3. Ensure that your tourguide driver is licensed to drive and if he is driving you he does not only need his normal drivers license; he also needs what is called a PDP license (professional drivers permit). Once again any local traffic officer can stop the driver and he will have to show the license or face the consequences. Thus ASK TO SEE THIS LICENSE BEFORE YOU TRAVEL.

4. Please bear in mind that anybody who carries paying passengers and is touring them in his vehicle and does not have a formal license is regarded as illegal. If however you are simply using the driver for his car facilities and he is licensed as a taxi operator to take you into the zones that you are travelling into then this WOULD be legal. Thus check the zones that his road transportation permit allows him to enter. The driver is by law obliged to carry this permit. If he does not have it you are already in an illegal vehicle.

I also want to point out that all of the above rules and laws apply to the whole of South Africa and I cannot speak for other parts of Africa in this regard. Finally all of the above generally tends to rear its head not when you are stopped by authorities by when you unfortunately land up in an accident or collision with the vehicle

Just my twopence worth.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Feb 14th, 2005, 05:53 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 4
Thanks for the advice/tips!
sen11 is offline  

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