Top Car Rental Tips from SA’s leading car-sharing Owners

By Sanine Baird

Car rental is a great way to get around and having a private car while traveling gives you the ultimate freedom! Yet, finding the perfect ride to match your itinerary and wallet can be daunting. 

Don’t let this crash your holiday spirit or business travel plans! Renting your next ride through South Africa’s trusted peer-to-peer car-sharing platform could be the answer. 

After personally handing over their keys to many local and international travellers, the RentMyRide community of listed owners agreed. With so many successful rentals under the belt, they’ve learned a few things about renting out their cars and how to get renters behind the wheel hassle-free.

To help you go places, or maybe even rent a car for the first time, top car rental tips were collected by Abstract7 from these savvy car-sharing owners.

Do your Homework

Find the ride that suits you best. Ask yourself … where will you be traveling to? Who’s traveling with you, and how long will you be going? This will help narrow down what size car you need. Whether a two-wheel or four-wheel drive is best, or if you need a car that is pet friendly or has space for extra luggage.

When booking through RentMyRide you’ll have a chance to filter your search and browse Informative previews that describe all you need to know about the verified owners and their cars. 

The car owner’s name, vehicle make, and model is displayed as one so you know immediately which car you will be getting and who you will be dealing with.  Delivery arrangements to mileage options are clearly stated, and you can also see the cars’ previous trip information and a review rating given by previous renters. 

This peace of mind helps you make the best choice and is vital before you hit the road. 

Avoid last-minute Rentals

Another great tip for renting a car is to plan. Like with flights, you can find the best price for a rental car online before you need it. If you book a car from traditional car rental agencies with less than 24 hours’ notice, the price may go through the roof.

Reviews Matter

Part of doing your homework is looking at reviews. Important things to look out for are comments about vehicle quality, cleanliness, and owner reliability. Ratings also give you a good indication of the renters’ overall experience or the rental agency’s service and reliability. 

Like Airbnb, RentMyRide encourages two-way reviews after the completion of each rental. This helps build a car-sharing community built on trust while connecting great renters with great car owners daily.

Beware the Insurance Upsell

When renting a car, rental agencies will try to sell you extra insurance plans. It starts when you make the booking and continues until you pick up your car. If you decline, you might be prompted to reconsider with a few scare tactics, and before you know it, you’ve added more to your bill.

With peer-to-peer rentals, you know what you are in for. A nominal insurance fee is calculated based on the renters risk profile and both the car owner and renter are insured during the rental period. The renter gets added peace of mind with 24/7 roadside assistance.

Avoid Airport Fees

If possible, avoid renting from the airport. Airports typically charge a premium for the convenience of picking up your car right after your flight and dropping it off right before the departure flight.

Sometimes the convenience is worth the fee, but sometimes it’s not. Alternative car rental options, like peer-to-peer car-sharing with RentMyRide, offer lower rental rates and more convenient pick-up and drop-off locations.

Fuel Up Yourself

Take note of this simple rental tip. When renting a car, it will always be stipulated that it must be returned with a full fuel tank. Of course, you can decide to return the car without filling up, but don’t be fooled. The rental car company will charge a premium on the fuel and the service to refill the tank on your behalf. This amount will be deducted from your holding deposit. 

Stick to One Driver

You might wonder if you should add more drivers. You will often be charged additional driver fees if you want to add a second driver. Instead of paying for the extra person, you might choose a designated driver to stay behind the wheel.

Cut the Queues

Most traditional car rental companies are situated at airports, which can be handy if you fly in, but also quite timely when cueing behind several passengers waiting to collect a car. 

When booking a peer-2-peer car rental, you are dealing directly with the car owner, who will arrange a convenient drop-off and pick-up location that suits you best.  

Expect a Holding Deposit

A holding fee or refundable deposit is the norm, and you’re likely to encounter this at all car rental companies. The only difference will be the amount charged. 

The charge, while annoying and often a shock to yourself and your credit limit, is to cover unforeseen situations where the renter takes the car and is never heard from again. Or when they damage something and decline to pay for repairs. 

This charge is typically refunded within 7 – 10 days after safely returning the car. RentMyRide knows this is long! So we’ve committed to processing refunds within 48 hours of safely returning the car to our Owners. 

Opt for Split Payments

So if you can’t avoid holding charges, look for payment options that are kinder to your wallet. 

We know this matters and are thrilled that RentMyRide now offers our renters a convenient Split Payment option. This allows renters to split a rental payment with the first portion paid on confirmation of the booking and the deposit paid closer to the rental date. 

Inspect and Take Photos

Unfortunately, accidents happen, so this is our most important tip. 

It is safe to say that if you bump or scratch the car, you will be charged for repairs. And, if someone else bumped or scratched the car before you, but you never noticed during the handover, you could also pay for repairs. To avoid a scenario like this, always inspect the car – before and after, inside and out!  Take pictures and make notes if necessary. 

Skip the GPS

When you opt to add a GPS to your rental, you pay an extra fee per day. You can avoid this extra charge by using your smartphone to find your way. 

And if you’re still unsure. Remember, with RentMyRide; you’re booking from a local with in-depth knowledge of the best routes, restaurants, and experiences in their area. Tap into their knowledge. It’s completely free!

Stay in the loop. Get the scoop

Most rental agencies share discounts, special offers, and updates with loyal customers. Get the scoop first by following your favourite rental agencies on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn or by subscribing to their newsletters.

We hope these top tips will help you simplify car rentals – especially if it’s your first time.

For more ways to go places, visit

Peer-to-peer car-sharing – It’s like a rental, just better!

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