South Africa car hire

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Road trips are a dream in South Africa, and car hire is key if you want to enjoy the gorgeous views under your own steam. Fortunately the country drives on the left, so you'll feel at home right away!

Language: English | Currency: Rand (R) | Avg. Flight time: 12 hrs

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What age do I need to be to hire a vehicle in South Africa?

In South Africa, the minimum age for hiring a car is 18, so long as you have held a full driving licence for at least one year. Some firms require drivers to have held a licence for longer than 12 months, sometimes up to three years, meaning you may need to be at least 21 to rent a vehicle.

What do I need to hire a vehicle in South Africa?

To hire a car in South Africa, you will need a full driving licence, a current credit card in your name, your passport, and an International Driving Permit. Check with your provider to see if any other documentation is required (such as flight details).

Do I need car hire excess insurance in South Africa?

You’re not legally required to have car high excess insurance (this is usually an optional add-on), meaning you’re covered to drive without it. That said, it’s recommended you take out car hire excess insurance whenever you rent a vehicle so that if you have to make a claim, the excess owed will be covered or reduced. Avoid on the day walk-up rates and book a policy from a standalone provider in advance.

Can I rent a car with a debit card in South Africa?

Generally, debit cards are not accepted by many car hire companies in South Africa. Most firms will require a credit card, both for payment of the rental and for the holding deposit.

Which rental companies are available at O.R. Tambo International Airport?

You’ll find the following car hire companies at O.R. Tambo International Airport: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Europcar, First Car Rental, Hertz, National, Payless, Sixt, Tempest Car Hire, Thrifty.

Which rental companies are available at Cape Town International Airport?

You can pick up a hire car at Cape Town International Airport from the following rental companies: Avis, Bidvest Car Rental, Dollar, Europcar, First Car Rental, Hertz, Tempest Car Hire, Sixt, Thrifty and Woodford.

Is it cheaper to rent a car at the airport or off site in South Africa?

Generally, it’s cheaper to hire a car off-site than at the airport, but you can still get a good deal at the airport if you shop around online beforehand. Booking in advance is recommended if you’re on a budget.

Can you rent a car in one South African city and drop it off in another?

Yes, if you need to drop your hire car off in a different location from the one you picked it up in, there are firms in South Africa that offer one way rentals. Expect a fee for this service.

Can you rent a car the same day in South Africa?

Yes, you certainly can find same-day rentals in South Africa. A couple of things to note. One, it’ll cost you more than it would if you booked in advance and online, and two, you might find your vehicle options to be limited.

Can I hire a vehicle at 21 years of age in South Africa?

You can indeed hire a car from the age of 21 in South Africa. To qualify, you need to have held your driving licence for at least one year, if not more (some firms require at least three years). As you’re under 25, expect a ‘young driver surcharge’.

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