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Compare Car Rental Companies

Many individuals and families plan their business trips or vacations intricately so as to make every moment of the tour enjoyable. These tours are planned well in advance in order to avoid any last minute hitches. Information related to their travel, hotel accommodation, local sightseeing and local conveyance are gathered from the Internet or from travel agents. Of the many arrangements to be made for a trip, whether business or leisure, securing a car rental is an important consideration.

Upon reaching their destination, travelers are advised to search information related to the various car rental companies in the city. Local newspapers and telephone directories are good sources of information for this purpose. After assimilating a list of various car rental companies, they should compare the services and prices being offered before taking a decision. In the United States, there are many popular car rental companies, some of them offering their services, nationwide. Alamo is one such company, which offers cabs on weekly rental basis in the price range of $189 to $249 depending on the type of car being rented.

With some car rental companies, customers can pre-pay and save 15% on weekday and weekend rentals. Most car rental companies provide a wide variety of services including flexible fuel and coverage options and 24-hour emergency roadside assistance. There are special rates for companies planning conferences, conventions and those requiring 11 or more cars at a time. Rental cars are also available for American citizens planning trips abroad.

Thrifty Car Rent is a car rental company that provides rental cars in both airport and local car rental markets. Through corporately owned and franchised shops, the company manages car rental services in more than 1,100 locations in 64 regions.

Customers with a valid driver license and a credit card in their name will find it easier to rent a car. The age requirement for a person to rent a car from these companies is typically 25 years. Younger customers can also rent cars but might be required to pay extra charges or have someone co-sign for the car, as well.

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50 PERCENT INCREASE IN BIKE TEST BOOKINGS

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Quality Car Hire in Cape Town and South Africa from AroundAbout Cars

August 18, 2008
By Maureen Marud

If there is a seemingly endless wait for an appointment at the local driving licence test centre, use another one, advises Vernon Little, assistant chief of Cape Town Traffic Services.

Little said: “You can go anywhere in South Africa to do a driving licence test if you have a valid learner’s licence. No centre may turn you away because you do not live in the area.”

And here are the numbers you’ll
need to dial in Cape Town.
 

Little recently unveiled plans to cut waiting times from the current six-months average to three months for a driving licence test, and two months for a learner’s test

‘Test stations were inundated early in 2008 by a last-minute rush’

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Booking backlogs were caused by various factors, he said, one of them going back five years.

Test stations were inundated early in 2008 by a last-minute rush of drivers trying to meet the five-year deadline for renewing licences they took out in 2003 when the deadline for changing to card licences created a “deluge” of applicants, many of whom were tested at an emergency station in the Athlone stadium.

He added that backlogs had been aggravated by higher fuel prices as more road users turned to motorcycles to save on fuel bills.

“Cape Town’s traffic departments have been inundated with a 50 percent increase in bookings for motorcycle learner and driving tests in the past year,” he said

‘Licence applicants are coming to the centres ill-prepared for their tests’

But only four of the city’s 16 testing stations are equipped to test for motorcycle licences – and at Gallows Hill in Green point licence tests for motorcycles and heavy motor vehicles are done in the same area but can’t be done at the same time because of space restrictions.

Another problem, he said, was that licence applicants were coming to the centres ill-prepared for their tests. For instance, a cracked windscreen or an expired licence disc meant the examiner could not conduct the test in that vehicle.

“We can’t take the vehicle out on the road, so that person fails automatically.”

The relatively low pass rate of 35 – 40 percent at all the city’s stations was partly the fault of driving schools, some of which used unregistered instructors.

“Province has identified the need for all driving schools to be accredited,” Little said.

Plans to cut the backlogs included opening new test centres and employing more cashiers, clerks and testing officers.

Little said three new centres opened in 2007 – in Khayelitsha, Joe Gqabi and Ottery – and one in Mitchells Plain was expected to open by November 2008.

A new centre in Fish Hoek, to serve the southern peninsula, would open within the next 24 months.

Other plans included a revamp of the Milnerton and Brackenfell centres, a new test track at Kuils River, an upgraded test track at Bellville and a new centre in Somerset West after the old one was closed. – The Argus

Driving in South Africa

Visit Aroundabout Cars for Cape Town Car Hire

Article Source: http://www.capespirit.com

Driving in South Africa is an enjoyable experience if one is familiar with the local driving conditions and nuances on the roads.

Licensing

Hiring a motor vehicle in South Africa requires that the intended driver of the vehicle has a valid driver’s license from their country of origin. The license mustbe printed in English and bare a photograph of the driver. However, it is more desirable to also obtain an international driver’s license from the relevant authorities in your country of origin before travelling to South Africa in order to ensure that you will be allowed to legally drive in the country. American citizens, for example, can obtain international licenses from automotive clubs associated with the AAA. Drivers should bring their local and international driver’s licenses with them when visiting South Africa.

Most car rental companies in South Africa will only provide their services to individuals over the age of 21, with some only allowing those older than 25 to rent cars.

The Metro Police in South Africa are responsible for policing the country’s roads and are a separate body from the South African Police Services (SAPS). These officials maintain a high visual presence on the country’s roads and will request presentation of a valid driver’s license should you engage with them on South Africa’s highways and byways.

Rules of the road

South Africa’s road rules are similar to those of most developed countries with the exception that in South Africa one drives on the left hand side of the road, just as in England, Australia and Japan, and unlike central-European countries and the USA. This means that drivers in South Africa are seated on the right-hand side of the car.

Adjusting to this is simple for most drivers from countries that drive on the right-hand side of the road because it makes sense once presented with controls on the other side of the car, and when following the traffic on the road. The only danger can be when turning right into a road, when the propensity to stay on the right hand side may kick in for American and European drivers.

It is also therefore illegal to overtake on the left hand side of the road in South Africa. One must move into a right-hand lane when passing by other vehicles. Unfortunately this is one rule that is not adhered to by all South African drivers, so one must be wary of over-takers in the left hand lane.

In general, and especially on highways in South Africa, it is recommended to maintain a following distance of at least three seconds. The speed limit on highways is usually 120 kilometres per hour except in denser areas where it drops to 100. On national roads the limit is usually 80 kilometres per hour and in residential areas this is reduced to 60. South African roads are clearly sign-posted with the relevant speed limit but remember that in South Africa speeds are presented in kilometres, not miles!

It is also illegal to talk on a mobile phone or any other communications device while driving in South Africa, unless one makes use of a hands-free solution in doing so.

Road network nuances

Given the diversity of terrain in South Africa its road network provides driving experiences in a number of different environments.

In the Mpumalanga province one can travel through high-altitude grasslands and lush mountain passes. In fact, Mpumalanga sports the highest tarred road above sea level in the world.

When visiting the bushveld, and particular in the Limpopo and North West provinces, one must be wary of potholes. It is easy to miss these as you stare out at the beautiful African grasslands and savannahs from your car window. Potholes are, in fact, a regular occurrence on South African roads and while the National Roads Agency does a good job of patching these regularly, many escape attention – especially in more outlying areas of the country.

The Garden Route in the Western Cape of South Africa is a highly popular route for travellers to South Africa. Stretching from Mossel Bay to Storms River, the Garden Route is one of the most scenic drives available anywhere in the world. This famous stretch of road, sandwiched between the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountains and the Indian Ocean takes one through indigenous forests and a mix of Cape Fynbos and temperate forests with various eco-tourism activities scattered along the route. Roads on the Garden Route vary from narrow and windy to long and straight and, once again, the challenge is keeping your eyes on the road while passing through the staggeringly beautiful surroundings.

Another popular area of travel in the Western Cape is through the Cape Winelands. This is the largest wine producing area in South Africa and is divided into six main wine regions, each offering their own unique wine route. Driving through this area allows travellers to stop off at various wine farms and enjoy a range of famous South African wines, cheeses, olives and other produce. But one must obviously be careful of enjoying too much wine before getting behind the wheel of a car, and the blood alcohol limit in South Africa is 0.8. So take care when being seduced by the excellent wines of the Western Cape and remember to drink lots of water in-between.

Of course, safaris are a popular nature of trip to South Africa and this will take drivers through bushveld areas in game parks such as the Kruger National Park and Pilanesburg National Park. While in the parks travellers will spend much of their time on well-maintained dirt roads with very low speed limits, generally of 20 kilometres per hour. Off-road vehicles are definitely not a necessity for the national parks, but are desirable because of the elevated angle of view they offer that makes it easier to spot and enjoy the game in the parks. But virtually any car can safely be driven through the parks and used for game viewing. In times of great rainfall, however, the dirt roads can change overnight and require more care when being utilised as parts of the roads wash away.

Some practices on South African roads are irregular for drivers from other countries, such as that of moving into the emergency lane to allow other vehicles to pass by. While this is not strictly-speaking legal and drivers are not obliged to move over, one will find this a common practice amongst South Africa drivers, and especially truck drivers who will happily move over into the emergency lane on single-lane roads allowing faster traffic to move past. A colloquial etiquette has developed around this practice whereby drivers will use their hazard lights briefly to thank drivers who have allowed them past.

Personal Navigation Systems

GPS systems are an excellent addition to a road trips in South Africa and the local road data available is extensive and kept up to date, along with point of interest databases. GPS navigation systems can also be rented along with cars in South Africa, so that visitors do not need to bring their own systems along. However, should you wish to use your own navigation system, South African maps are available online for virtually all systems.

With GPS in hand it is possible to optimise time spent travelling and uncover more landmarks and places of interest to enjoy while travelling in South Africa. GPS systems also make it easy to plan trips ahead of time, along with intended stops, breaks and visits to services stations.

South Africa’s beauty and diversity is best enjoyed by taking to the country’s open roads and enjoying the scenery, historical landmarks, wildlife and culture of the country at one’s own leisure. With so much to do, see and enjoy a rental car is definitely the best way to travel in South Africa.

Driving in South Africa

Car Hire Cape Town | Aroundabout Cars

Rules of the Road / Traffic Enforcement

Drivers License

  • An International Driver’s Permit carried in conjunction with your national driving license is recommended and must be printed or authenticated in English.
  • If your license does not have a photograph on it, then you must also carry your passport with you so that you can be identified as the legal holder of the driving license.
  • Please note that the car hire companies might have different regulations regarding the length of time that you need to have held a driving license, so it is advisable to check with your hire car company about their requirements.
  • Always make sure documentation is carried with you at all times when driving.
  • Traffic officers will expect to see documentation if they stop you for any reason.
Rules of the Road

  • In South Africa we drive on the left-hand side of the road, and our cars – rental cars included – are right-hand drive vehicles.
  • Keep to the left and pass right
  • All distances, speed limits (and speedometers) are in kilometers.
  • There are strict drinking and driving laws – with a maximum allowable alcohol blood content of 0.05%. Translated that means about one glass of wine for the average woman and perhaps 1.5 or two for the average or large man.
  • Four-way-stops are commonly found at the quieter intersections – the first vehicle to arrive has priority. On roundabouts, give way to the right, although this is often overlooked and it is wise to proceed with caution.
  • Wearing of seat belts is compulsory. All occupants of a vehicle are required to wear seatbelts whilst traveling, if you are caught without you will be subject to a fine.
  • Using hand-held phones while driving is against the law – use a vehicle phone attachment or hands-free kit, if you want to speak on your mobile phone.
    Speed limit
Speed limit

  • The general speed limit on national highways, urban freeways and other major routes is 120km/h (75mph).
  • On secondary (rural) roads it is 100km/h (60mph).
  • In built-up areas it is usually 60km/h (35mph) unless otherwise indicated.
  • Check the road signs and obey the speed limit at all times
  • Speed limits are maximum speeds. If it is raining, misty or the road is congested, reduce speed.
  • Reduce speed near areas where there is pedestrian activity.

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