How Car Hire Works in Africa

African Car Hire explained in a straightforward way. Whether you are hiring in Morocco or South Africa we can help you understand your options.

Car Hire often says you must keep to highways - that means a signposted road even if it is a little less well maintained that a road you would find in the UK

African Car Hire Explained

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Africa is a continent that has been built on the laws that it inherited from its historic ties with its past colonial links. Which means generally its car hire rules are based on those that are in place in Europe, and thankfully familiar to us in the UK. I have detailed below some general guidelines, followed by extra information on certain destinations.

What car hire normally includes in Africa

  • Third Party Liability insurance is normally included. Cover tends to be at far lower levels than in Europe in line with local practice.
  • Collision Damage Waiver.
  • Standard Breakdown Insurance covering Mechanical Breakdown

What most agreements exclude

  • An excess - the amount you are liable for before the car hire firms insurance kicks in. A figure of about £500 for a small family car is average.
  • Damage to the tyres and wheels, glass and windscreen, underbody and roof.

Watch out for

  • Expensive Excess Insurance Insurance (guide price from rental firms £10 per day) and other add ons sold at the desk
  • Paying a large deposit up front to a local car hire firm - if you need to cancel later refunds sometimes never arrive. Always pay by credit card if you can so you get credit card protection.
  • If you are planning to offroad get a vehicle built for purpose - standard car hire firms take a dim view of their cars doing safaris!

Top Moneysaving Tips

  • Buy standalone excess insurance (guide price £2 - £2.20 per day)

Additional Country Specific Information

South Africa

  • If you are being asked to pay a cash deposit for the excess on your rental car think twice about using that firm. Pre-authorisation on your credit card is the norm but a few companies ask for cash and it can be difficult to case

Any questions? Why not 'Ask Mark'?

This content was last reviewed on 24/07/2014