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South Africa – Hiring And Driving A Car Safely

Apr 18th 2015 at 6:57 AM

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South Africa is a magnificent country. There is a huge array of natural wonders to see, people to meet and local cuisine to taste. It is a vast country where you can see huge numbers of wild animals and sea creatures. There are lions and elephants on land with sharks and whales just off the coast.

Driving a car is probably one of the best ways to see South Africa and provides the freedom to do this at your own pace. South Africa has struggled with apartheid for many years and there are still times when the country experiences serious violence and safety can be a real concern.

How To Choose A Safe Car Rental Company

As with many things in life one of the best ways to choose any supplier is to talk to friends and family. If any of them have had good experiences with a particular car rental firm it is advisable to follow their advice. Failing this you should pick any of the companies. It is important to check the following:

•    Check to see if the company has international offices – this will surely help in dealing with them and suggests they are a professional outfit.

•    Look for confirmation that the hire company is registered. This will provide security that any booking is genuine and that the car should be safe to drive.

•    Price comparison is always a good exercise and it is important to note any big differences in price.

•    Terms – it is very easy for a car rental form to appear cheap but have additional costs hidden in their terms. You need to read the terms and conditions to ensure you do not get any unexpected shocks when returning the car.

•    You need to know which size and type of car you would like before you start researching the best supplier.

Safe Driving

South Africa is not a country which can be appreciated within a day or two. The sheer scale of the country dictates days behind the wheel. South Africa is a lot safer than it used to be although, like many countries, there are still areas that are not safe to go. The following tips will ensure you make the most of your driving:

•    A map is essential. With a little skill there should be no issues getting where you want to go. Without the map you may spend days going round in circles.

•    Money will almost certainly be needed for the many toll roads across South Africa. Some do take credit cards but some require cash.

•    The main roads are in good conditions but the more rural roads will have plenty of potholes. Wherever possible plan to be on rural roads in daylight hours.

•    Keep your driving licence and rental documents with you at all times.

•    South Africans drive on the left in right hand drive cars – it is important to remember this!

•    Doors should be kept locked and windows wound up.

•    Never pick up hitchhikers or stop for what appears to be someone in distress. It is safer to report what you have seen in the next town.

•    Always park the car under a streetlight and preferably in a busy area.

•    Listen to any advice you are given by the authorities or people you stay with.

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