If you have ever gone on holiday and hired a vehicle, been in an accident and been given a courtesy vehicle whilst your car is in for repair, or if you’ve written your vehicle off and needed a hired vehicle to get you from point A to B for a short period of time, then you would have most likely, signed a piece of paper detailing the terms and conditions applicable to driving the vehicle.
You would have probably been unaware of the fact that this little piece of paper would also form the basis of your contract with the car rental company and the damages you would be liable for should the vehicle not be returned in the same condition as you received it.
Below is a list of a few things to keep in mind when you receive a rental car from a reputable car rental company but always refer to your own policy terms and conditions:
Delivery and collection fees
This will usually be free of charge during working hours. However, after hours, on weekends and on public holidays, you will most likely pay a minimum collection or delivery fee that is not refundable.
Appointing additional drivers
Before adding another driver, it may be wise to not let anyone drive the hired vehicle other than yourself or the nominated driver that you declare to the car rental company. This is because any damage caused to the vehicle whilst an unlisted/undeclared driver is operating the vehicle is completely excluded!! However, if you do decide to appoint or nominate additional drivers, an additional cost will almost always be applicable.
One way Drop off fees
If the vehicle is dropped off within the specified maximum distance (usually around 150km) then the drop off fee is usually waived. If you require a vehicle dropped off further than that, then you will pay a minimum fee for the drop off. Our advice is to always ask the car rental/hire company what their drop off fee would be according to your specified location – this will just mean that you can prepare accordingly.
There is always a car rental deposit
This is often refunded if the vehicle comes back in the same condition as it was given to you. However you will always pay a deposit, usually in the region of R 1 500 – R 2 000, as well as any e-tolls that are for your own account and you will need to pay for full tank of petrol (its best to always fill up prior to the drop off.
You can choose what type of cover you want on the vehicle. It is vital to understand what costs you are in for should you be in an accident or if the hired vehicle is stolen. Often you need to select the type of cover when collecting the vehicle. On your insurance policy, car hire includes limited insurance, however if you are renting a car because you are going on holiday etc, then you need to purchase the cover separately. Furthermore, be aware of the excess applicable. These excesses are usually very high – and hidden admin costs you may not be aware of will also be charged.
Technology is king and driver telematics devices are now installed in most rental vehicles. These devices measure speed, braking, cornering and much more. If you do drive like a cowboy, be aware that the rental insurance noted above will be cancelled and you will be liable for all costs and damages to the vehicle should there be an accident or theft – not to mention the traffic fines and traffic fine admin costs and accident admin costs the rental company will charge you – and these costs are always stated as a minimum and you could be in for a large personal cost.
If you do need car hire, please always check the terms and conditions from the supplier, taking special care to familiarise yourself with the costs and damages that you will be liable for should something happen to the vehicle.
For more information regarding your own insurance policy, please do not hesitate to contact our offices or your broker personally to discuss and explain your cover in more detail.
Disclaimer: The advice contained in this article is for general purposes only and does not consider individual circumstances, objectives, or financial needs. Accordingly, readers are advised to seek appropriate advice from licensed professionals prior to taking up a financial product or service or amending any current policy.