South Africa remains one of the most diverse, culturally rich countries to visit for both local and international tourists. However, navigating between destinations can prove to be a logistical nightmare, especially if you do not have the transportation to do so.

Booking a rental car is one of the best ways to avoid this logistical nightmare, since taking taxi rides can be more expensive than renting a car to use during your stay.

In light of this we provide a detailed guide on how to book a car rental. Whether you are seeking clarity on requirements, pricing, or overall logistics in this regard, read on below.

What Cars Are Available For Car Rental?

One of the biggest questions in terms of car rentals is what types of cars can be rented out. The answer is that there are car rental services that offer the types of cars required by most renters.

Incidentally, economy, mini, and compact cars are generally less expensive and easier to book than 4x4s, luxury cars, and SUVs.

In terms of pricing, South Africa is regarded as one of the countries that has cheaper car rental services than other countries. On average, one could pay between R350 and R1 210 for a car rental in South Africa.

This is because car rental services have a limited number of the latter, therefore, booking them is more competitive and the price is generally higher than that of economy, mini, and compact cars.

Prices And Logistics Of Renting A Car In South Africa

Of course, the price will depend on the type of car, model, and brand and the more limited the car brand and model is, the more expensive it will be.

Additionally, it is recommended that you book the car well in advance. For cars such as 4x4s, SUVs, and luxury cars, it is recommended that a booking is made at least three months in advance.

This is because booking in advance increases the chances that the rental will be cheaper than it would be if it is done a week or a couple of days before the car is required.

However, for cars that are less in demand, you can take the risk of booking the car closer to the travel date.

What is required for renting a car in South Africa?

For most reputable car rentals in South Africa, the requirements are a valid South African ID, a drivers licence that is older than one year, and you should be over the age of 18. Upon collection, you will be required to have a valid credit card or hybrid cheque card in your name.

For international tourists visiting who want to rent a car, they will be required to present a valid passport, a valid ID, and proof of their international driver’s licence.

If you have a temporary licence, you will have to present a receipt of the licence renewal, a valid ID, and the old driver’s licence, if possible.

Can I rent a car without a credit card? 

Most of the reputable car rental services strictly do not allow persons without a credit card to rent a book. As such, they do not accept debit cards or cash as a form of payment.

Moreover, depending on the type of car you are renting, some rental businesses will require two viable payment options with which to book the car.

It is stipulated that the credit card or hybrid card used when renting a car must be in the name of the renter. Therefore, you also cannot rent a car using someone else’s credit card.

Best car rental services in South Africa

While the aforementioned are the general rules to consider when planning on renting a car, every car rental service will have its own specifications with regard to the terms and conditions of renting a car.

Therefore, it is important to read the frequently asked questions (FAQs) pages of the preferred rental car services to be clear, especially for any potential additional costs.

Below are three of the local, leading car rental services:

Avis: read all FAQs here

Europcar: read all FAQs here

Hertz: read all FAQs here

Final Thoughts

For people looking to immerse themselves in the beauty and diversity of South Africa, there is no better way to envelope yourself in the splendour of our nation than driving across the country or through a chosen tourist route. This allows the driver the autonomy of exploring the country on their own.

Car rental services in South Africa are considered some of the most competitive in terms of pricing. Of course, there are other logistics to consider as well, like what type of car is required, requirements for booking the car, and the terms and conditions, which are important to take into consideration, as mentioned before.