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Car Rental - Gravel Roads/ Excess prices and other...

Car Rental - Gravel Roads/ Excess prices and other...

Feb 26th, 2004, 05:47 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,218
Car Rental - Gravel Roads/ Excess prices and other...

I am just in the process of booking car rental for our South Africa self drive.

I'm going to have to make two separate bookings - one for Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and one from Durban to Johannesburg - but it seems that Tempest, the cheapest option, doesn't offer discounts for more longer duration bookings anyway.

This is what would they include in their quote:

Unlimited mileage
super cover waivers (reduced excess)
Airport surcharges
Personal accident insurance
Tourism levy
Contract fee
Oil And Maintenance
Additional Driver

Should I be looking for anything further to be included or added in as an optional extra?

I also need to contact them about crossing borders as their standard terms and conditions don't allow it but I'm planning on crossing through Swaziland en route to Kruger.

This means I can't book online. Any thoughts?

Lastly, it seems all the car hire companies insurance policies do not allow driving off road and that seems to include gravel roads. Given that roads in some game reserves are just gravel/ dirt roads, what should I do?

The excess charges seem very high- For example:

Rates are inclusive of collision damage waivers and theft waivers. In the event of an accident you are liable for the excess amount of 1,760 Rand (200kms/ day) or 9,000 Rand(unlimited mileage).


In the event of an accident on a gravel road, or an accident resulting in the vehicle being totally irreparable, an accident occurring during a weekend rental, the Renter is liable for 17,000 Rand.

Any advice?
Thanks so much

Kavey is offline  
Feb 26th, 2004, 10:28 AM
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I'm looking forward with interest to some good advice as I'm also in the process of booking a rental car for our Western Cape tour in April.
I got a good quote from Avis SA on basis of 100 km/day free, including everything Kavey has mentioned, excess on CDW and on TLW being both 1180 ZAR.
On my request for a quote with unlimited mileage, to my big surprise the excess was raised to 5900 ZAR (super cover) and the rental price was 35% higher! Really can't understand these huge differences.
MyriamC is online now  
Feb 26th, 2004, 08:00 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 149
Kavey: Maybe I like to ignore the fine print, but I took my rental car on a long dirt road in order to get to my lodge in Madikwe and returned it filthy in red dust and no one said boo!
kimwhits is offline  
Feb 26th, 2004, 10:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 9
Hi Kavey,

Sometimes it also depends what type of car your are renting. Some cars are not allowed off-road, while others are. have a look at this webpage: www.africarhire.com this is with Hertz, and when you want to take your car over-board, you can do so, without the excess being increased. Here is another webapage for car rental: www.southafricar.com

Enjoy your trip in South Africa.

Regards Stern
stern is offline  
Feb 27th, 2004, 01:46 AM
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The only thing that troubles me with that, Kim, is if we DO have an accident we'll have to pay out a FORTUNE!!!

The excess is so high as it is, I cant imagine what they would charge if I actually invalidate the cover!

We're intending to hire the smallest or second from smallest car for the Cape segment and a 4x4 (Toyota Condor or equivalent) for the KZN/Kruger segment.

The Tempest site doesn't specify that ANY vehicules can be taken onto gravel roads but maybe I need to contact them directly.

We did look at EVERY car hire company we could find and the prices were a lot cheaper at Tempest but the Excess does seem very high with them.

ALSO can anyone advise as to whether we will need unlimited mileage or 200kms/day would be sufficient.

Actually, I'll post my itinerary again to help with that last question.
Kavey is offline  
Feb 29th, 2004, 08:12 AM
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Topping, hoping ArthurSA and other experienced self-drivers may have further input...
Kavey is offline  
Mar 1st, 2004, 09:00 AM
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I asked my husband about this and here's what he had to say:
We've always rented the smallest or near smallest car available - stick shift, no air. We have driven all over South Africa and much of Namibia, through Swaziland and Lesotho, frequently on gravel roads. No problem, no hassle with Tempest, Budget, or Avis (maybe others). The kind of road they don't like you driving on would really take a 4x4 to negotiate. We like to refer to them as "virtual roads". Littered with rocks the size of your head.

Our own auto insurance or credit card coverage has taken care of problems we've had - scratch on the bumper in the parking lot, that sort of thing.

Be sure to take a picture of your car before and after in case there is any question of damage you didn't do. We had some hassle about a problem that wouldn't have occurred if there'd been someone around to sign off with when we dropped the car off.

We were somewhat puzzled by the excesses and their amounts, but what's been quoted here seems to be the norm.
Celia is offline  
Mar 1st, 2004, 12:08 PM
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I guess what worries me is that if we do have an accident on one of the perfectly servicable high quality gravel roads that they may try and use that clause to charge us the earth.

And those excesses seem sooo much!

I dunno what to do!
Kavey is offline  
Mar 1st, 2004, 12:59 PM
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Kavey -

Why not simply contact Tempest and have them clarify what they consider "gravel" roads that they are referring to? Also roads within the game parks, which you can/cannot drive on?

You don't have provide your name, but this seems to be weighing on you - so go to the horses mouth!

In a country like Namibia where there are so few paved blacktop roads, most are gravel, tht drivers have few options but to drive on gravel. And as Celia mentions, it's probably those roads that are more sand & ruts with boulders that one should avoid unless in a 4x4.

Contact Tempest or any of the other rental companies for clarification of this and an explanation of the "excesses" and what these actually mean.
Mar 1st, 2004, 01:05 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Yeah I guess that's what I'll need to do...

Should have done it today (wasnt working) but I'll try to do it this week when I get home from work.

Kavey is offline  

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