Car Rental prices in South Africa

Sep 18th, 2003, 09:57 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,218
Car Rental prices in South Africa

Hi Friends

I just received quotes back from EuropCar for my trip next year and was surprised at quite how high they are.

Can anyone advise any (reliable) company that would be cheaper but would have cars for one way rentals from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and from Durban to Jo'burg?

Here's the prices I was quoted:

Client: Kavita Favelle
Hire Company: Europcar South Africa
Car Group: Group B ? VW Polo (or similar)

Cover: Super cover

Rental days: 17 Length of rental is calculated in cycles of 24 hours from pick-up to drop-off

Pick-up location: Cape Town Airport on: 06 May 2004
Drop-off location: Port Elizabeth Airport on: 23 May 2004

Rental: per vehicle
Group B : 17 days @ R438 /day R 7 446.00

Plus: One way R 300.00
Contract fee R 20.00


Client: Kavita Favelle
Hire Company: Europcar South Africa
Car Group: Group D ? Toyota Corolla auto (or similar)

Cover: Super cover

Rental days: 16 Length of rental is calculated in cycles of 24 hours from pick-up to drop-off

Pick-up location: Durban Airport on: 23 May 2004

Drop-off location: Johannesburg Airport on: 08 June 2004

Rental: Per Vehicle
GroupD : 16 days @ R582 /day R 9 312.00

Plus: One way R300.00
Contract fee R 20.00

Excess liability: R 4 000.00 (authority taken on credit card on pick up)

Rates Include:
Super Damage & Theft Waiver (within South Africa)
Unlimited mileage, Airport surcharge; VAT @ 14%, Tourism Levy, Touring Atlas, The Europcar passport,

Rental Rates Exclude: (authority taken on credit card - relevant items charged at end of hire)
1. Non-waiverable excess (as shown above) required at the start of the rental
2. Additional R1 000 deposit on collection for possible extensions during rental ? refundable if unused.
3. Fuel deposit of R500.00 (credit card);
** Option: A full tank of fuel can be purchased at point of rental at the prevailing fuel price in
that area (no surcharges). There is no refund for unused petrol.
4. Mobile telephone (to be pre-booked): Free daily rental
Option 1: Loss/Damage Waiver ? R7.75 per day; Excess R 1 500 (taken as deposit)
Option 2: Loss/Damage Waiver ? R18.95 per day; Excess Nil
+ Claim Handling Fee ? R250 (if loss/damage to mobile)
Customer Care email address: [email protected]
5. Additional driver charge of R100.00 (per additional driver per hire)
6. Optional equipment ? Child seat: R130 p/rental; Second spare wheel: R525 p/rental
7. Young driver surcharge. Minimum age is 23 years. A surcharge of R50.00 per day per driver applies to renters under 23 years ? must have held a valid drivers licence for 2 years
8. One way drop-off charges (if applicable)
9. Delivery/collection fees: Office hours ? R100.00 per rental if delivery/collection is 25 km or less from the nearest branch; or R3.50 per km if delivery/collection is 26 kms or more.
After hours/Public holidays ? R200.00 p/rental and R3.50 p/ km respectively
10. Contract fee of R20.00
11. Traffic Fines payable by renter. (if Europcar debits clients credit card - Handling Fee of R100.00)
12. Windscreen, water and under-carriage damage are not covered by Europcar
13. Cross border insurance excess - on application
14. No Show fee of R250.00 will apply
Kavey is offline  
Sep 18th, 2003, 10:21 AM
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Kavey - Those prices are high enough to make you think about walking or hitching!!

But you have "super cover" which should cover everything, so surprised by those extras at the end.

When we got a bid for trip to Namibia (which we have since postponed) was also surprised by the cost (based on a 1-wk rental) - which averaged about $100/day for an Automatic a/c car, believe Class D.

I had gotten quotes direct from Avis and then thru a tour operator and while Avis mentioned "super cover" the had very little detailed numbers for this. The tour operator on the other hand had all the details and the price through them was a little better.

Alot also has to do with the exchange rate and I think this holds true for the British Pound and USD. Only last year a friend rented a Land Rover, a/c, automatic out of JNB for travel across borders (SA, Zim, Zam) and return with all insurances and the cost was barely $100.

Did you check the price without Super Cover, but the next level down?

Unfortunately, I can't recommend any other company - am in the same situation here. It sure is a high cost.
Sep 18th, 2003, 10:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 251
Hi Kavey

That daily rate is way too high, try Imperial, Tempest, Budget or even Avis should give you a better deal than that! I'm comparing it to the rate we get from Imperial for a Group B (VW Polo), we get a 30% corporate discount and pay R163 a day, plus R1.76 per km.

traci_local_in_sa is offline  
Sep 18th, 2003, 11:55 PM
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Thanks I'll look into those and another friend gave me on to try also.

I knew car rental would be a huge chunk of our budget but the EuropCar rates nearly gave me a heart attack!
Kavey is offline  
Sep 19th, 2003, 12:09 AM
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We booked our car in Namibia through the German tour operator, Dertour. They use Hertz. We're getting a standard transmission with a/c, super coverage with no deductible for 36 euros per day. They had similar rates for SA.
Sep 19th, 2003, 12:29 AM
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Thanks P!
Kavey is offline  
Sep 19th, 2003, 07:43 PM
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we have rented a car compact with a/c, standard shift for 27 days in october/03 all inclusive {not super cover} for R4509. The daily rental fee is R167. The car is a fiat palio 1.4 or similar with 5 doors- the drop off fee from Jo'burg to cape town is R400. This the cheapest I found. you can find it at It is through National rent a car.
Sep 19th, 2003, 09:47 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 149
Hi Kavey: While my car was being repaired I got the fender bender special from Avis, which I was told was the cheapest. I didn't go over the kilometers allowed, but I am sure you will be, and the total for 4 days was R1000. This was for a tiny Chico with stick shift, no radio, no air. You can extrapolate from there! (about $30/day)
kimwhits is offline  
Sep 24th, 2003, 12:27 PM
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I'd like to comment on Tempest Car Hire. We used them on our recent trip to Namibia and South Africa. In South Africa, the charge for an 8-day rental, including tax and VAT, was R1360.00 This didn't include the super insurance. Everything was fine, but when we got home, our credit card bill included that amount, plus a whopping lot more! We asked about it by e-mail and were told it was for damages to the car. In fact there were no damages to the car, and the car had been accepted at the drop off point by a Tempest employee with no mention of damages.

We haven't been able to get any details out of Tempest about why they think there were damages; they also are using overland mail to discuss it. Naturally we are contesting the charge with our credit card company.

We have rented from Tempest several times in the past with no problems, and our Namibia rental on the same trip as this one was just fine. I hesitated about including this information in a public forum, because I don't want to badmouth a company for what probably is an honest mistake. But I decided to do so because of two things: Tempest's failure to describe the so-called damages or to give us any information about why they think there were damages; and their use of snail mail (not even air mail!) instead of e-mail. A company that rents to overseas travelers should know that a letter mailed in SA on June 2 gets to the US about the middle of September.

We've also used Avis in South Africa, and been pleased with them. I hope Tempest figures out that they've made a mistake (which could easily happen -- they could have mixed up our car with another one rented and returned the same day; they could have copied a license number wrong) . As I say, we have rented from them without troubles several times in the past.
Celia is offline  
Sep 25th, 2003, 02:11 PM
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I spent a great deal of time pricing rentals in Cape Town and found Avis to be the least expensive, through its website at, with Alamo a relatively close second. We have reserved a compact (Toyota Corolla) for 999.29 ZAR ($140 US) TOTAL for 6 days including all taxes & fees & unlimited miles, which I thought was quite reasonable; subcompacts are even less. You might want to try Avis' website. I just checked and if we were to drop it off in Port Elizabeth rather than Cape Town it's an extra 285 ZAR/$40 USD. The only extra is a flat fee of 50 ZAR for the entire rental period for adding an additional authorized driver to the contract. This does not include insurance which is covered by our credit cards in South Africa.
lisa is offline  
Sep 25th, 2003, 11:53 PM
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Thanks folks!
I've been busy with work this week but am off most of next week and will look up all the options offered.
Celia we had that same thing happen with a car we rented in Nice, France from Hertz - we had to contest it through our credit card company. Infact, although we did get the refund in the end, the credit card company staff were so unhelpful that we switched credit cards immediately we'd sorted it out.
I know logically that all car rental companies must have customers with stories like ours, but I still won't consider Hertz Europe ever again.
THanks for the story. Looking for good as well as bad, to make most informed decision.
Kavey is offline  

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