South Africa advice requested



  • Hello.

    Wondering if anyone here has either
    (1) driven from the Johannesburg airport to Kruger national park;
    or
    (2) rented a car or minivan from JNB airport?

    It seems that Budget, Hertz and Avis operate there. Are there any gotchas to look out for? How do tolls on roads work (transponder from car rental company)?

    Thanks in advance!





  • @fw10001 said in South Africa advice requested:

    Are there any gotchas to look out for?

    They drive on the left side of the road.



  • You might have to explicitly state you need an automatic (unless you can drive stick).



  • @ganda said in South Africa advice requested:

    (unless you can drive stick).

    … with your left hand.



  • @nmimw said in South Africa advice requested:

    @ganda said in South Africa advice requested:

    (unless you can drive stick).

    … with your left hand.

    It’s easy, it is not like the gear pattern is switched over too.



  • I’ve done both.

    • The biggest issue I had was leaving the airport (tons of roads going in every direction with multiple forks and bad signage). Review your route via google maps first and have a navigator and you’ll be fine.
    • It is @ a 4-5 hour drive, depending on which park entrance you are going to.

    • Expect some police stops/road blocks further out in the countryside. Double check that you have the safety items (triangle, etc.) in your car when the agency has you inspect the car. The police will ask you for them, if you are stopped.

    • Note that some of the towns along the way have major crime issues and driving habits may be very different to what you are used to. Due to driving conditions, I’d ONLY drive during daylight.

    • Don’t let your gas tank go below half-full, sometimes there are long distances between gas stations.

    • The tolls outside of JNB have have booths to pay cash, so no problem, but in JNB, some of the toll roads don’t have booths - so email/call your rental agency to confirm that your car will have a transponder. At the toll booths, you can either use the transponder or “close” it and pay cash. Keep your toll receipts.

    You’ll have a wild and incredible time - enjoy!



  • @ganda said in South Africa advice requested:

    It’s easy, it is not like the gear pattern is switched over too.

    After the first day. It took me a little longer to be comfortable with right hand turns.



  • Thank you so much, everyone!



  • @slappycakes said in South Africa advice requested:

    Double check that you have the safety items (triangle, etc.) in your car when the agency has you inspect the car. The police will ask you for them, if you are stopped.

    I would never have known of that if not for you. Thanks!!

    Like in the USA, do the S.A. car companies also charge a daily fee x ALL days of the rental IF you use the transponder on even a single day?

    Am I better off closing the transponder and knowing that I will not get any strange bills in the mail once I am back stateside??



  • In trying some of the usual rental coupon codes for Avis and Budget, did not see any reduction in rental daily rates in S Africa.
    Is that because most codes are for use in the USA?
    Any suggestions/tips/tricks appreciated.
    Thanks!



  • @fw10001 One other thing to keep in mind. If you usually use your credit card or personal insurance instead of the exorbitant rates that rental car companies charge for quasi-insurance, check your personal policy and cc T&C. They usually don’t cover you outside of the country … or possibly North America.



  • @fw10001 said in South Africa advice requested:

    Like in the USA, do the S.A. car companies also charge a daily fee x ALL days of the rental IF you use the transponder on even a single day?

    Sorry, but I don’t remember about the daily transponder charge. We always just kept it closed and paid cash for the tolls. (JNB has the toll roads without the pay booths, but we always get out of JNB ASAP, so we’ve never had to deal with that.)

    I usually had good luck emailing questions like that directly to the location where I was renting the car from (for example - requesting permission to take the car out of the country).

    As far as prices, I’d check out autoeurope.com or autoeurope.eu .



  • Dear folks, using a Hertz promotion (https://www.hertz.com/rentacar/rental-car-deals/hertz-sale-save-up-to-25-worldwide ), a Toyota RAV4 priced at about usd 400 for the JNB location.
    I think I booked at a decent price…now waiting to see what other surcharges (cleaning valet fee, etc gotchas) they might tack on.

    Thanks for the autoeurope link, slappycakes. I liked their search and pricing. Currently, Hertz’s own cdp (link above) seems nice for S Africa and other locations outside N Americas.

    Thanks, honkinggoose. The aadvantage platinum select world mastercard switches from the usual Secondary to “Primary coverage” for rentals outside the USA. I almost went with Amex PRCP before I read the aadvantage card’s Benefits brochure 🙂



  • In case this helps anyone:
    https://www.hertz.com/rentacar/rental-car-deals?categoryId=F (global destinations may have some good promos)


 

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