4x4 self drive hire - insurance does not seem to cover accidents





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    Default 4x4 self drive hire - insurance does not seem to cover write-off

    Hi

    My partner and I from Australia, we are planning a x40 day self-drive 4x4 in Namibia, Botswana and possibly Zimbabwe in May/June 2020.
    From research so far, Bushlore seems to come out on top for vehicle rental and we really like the look of their deals. (Landcruiser, RTT, fully equiped)

    but... I noticed in the terms that any major accident, or write-off of the vehicle, or theft, even with their full insurance package does not give you a replacement vehicle, but instead you have to start a whole new rental contract if you have to replace it. (zero excess on damage but no replacement vehicle in worst case scenario - is this normal terms as I dont call that fully insured?)

    for us on a x40 day hire this would be a disaster as it would end our trip on the spot, we simply would not be able to afford to hire it all a second time over.

    does anyone have any suggestions about this, or know a good, reputable hire company (Windhoek collect and return) that guarantees a replacement vehicle in their full insurance. a bit stumped at this point and I was about to book it with Bushlore when I realised the implications.
    Last edited by mdkb; 2019/09/16 at 02:11 AM. Reason: added detail on type of vehicle we are looking at + title clarity

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    Default Re: 4x4 self drive hire - insurance does not seem to cover write-off

    Contact Herman at Destination 4x4 rental. Tailor made packages for individual needs, you are not just a number here.

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    Default Re: 4x4 self drive hire - insurance does not seem to cover write-off

    Have you tried ASCO car hire?
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    Default Re: 4x4 self drive hire - insurance does not seem to cover write-off

    Quote Originally Posted by HugoNotte View Post
    Have you tried ASCO car hire?
    really? is there a particular reason you mention them because only a cursory search on the internet shows them to be pretty awful by all accounts
    https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowT...e-Namibia.html

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    Default Re: 4x4 self drive hire - insurance does not seem to cover write-off

    Quote Originally Posted by RAngerdog View Post
    Contact Herman at Destination 4x4 rental. Tailor made packages for individual needs, you are not just a number here.
    their web site is not very inspiring and I can't seem to find a single review on them at all. can you explain why you suggested them?

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    Default Re: 4x4 self drive hire - insurance does not seem to cover write-off

    Quote Originally Posted by mdkb View Post
    zero excess on damage but no replacement vehicle in worst case scenario - is this normal terms as I dont call that fully insured?
    I'm afraid you'll find this to be general practice for 4x4 rental companies. Plus, insurance conditions in Africa might not be exactly those that you take for granted in western world. For example, zero excess policy is not the same as all inclusive policies (kasko policy) that you might be used to. There are many exclusions, like roll-overs, single vehicle accidents, after dark accidents, undercarriage damages, damages due to water crossings, negligence, ....

    It is the norm to sign (and pay for) new renting contract if they have to replace your damaged rental vehicle.
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    Default Re: 4x4 self drive hire - insurance does not seem to cover accidents

    I think it is fair. The company will lose a lot of money, insured or not. What happens if you total 3 of their rigs, where do you draw the line...?

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    Default Re: 4x4 self drive hire - insurance does not seem to cover accidents

    Hi, Bushlore is a very reputable company with excellent backup across the region. I would pose these questions directly to them. My guess is that the requirement for a new rental contract is because any replacement vehicle would have a different vehicle identification number (VIN) and engine number and hence a different police clearance certificate - should you decide to do even a one day border crossing into a country outside the SA Customs Union (of which Namibia and Botswana are members), you would need that new info for Interpol clearance.
    So if you decide to cross from Botswana into Zimbabwe to Victoria Falls, then into Zambia to Livingstone, then into Namibia via Sesheke/Katima Mulilo (which can easily be done in two days) you would need the new vehicle papers and a new contract authorising you to take the vehicle across borders (Zambia and Zimbabwe are NOT members of the SA Customs Union).
    The rules are very strict on this one because of the high number of stolen vehicles, 4x4s in particular, that get moved from SA into other countries in the region.
    Last edited by Tony Weaver; 2019/09/16 at 01:08 PM.
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    Default Re: 4x4 self drive hire - insurance does not seem to cover accidents

    @mdkb, in case you have not read all the forum rules, one of the highlighted ones on the first page is "What Tony Weaver says."

    A new insurance policy actually makes logical sense. The rental contract is tied to the vehicle, and therefore so is the insurance policy.
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    Default Re: 4x4 self drive hire - insurance does not seem to cover write-off

    Quote Originally Posted by mdkb View Post
    really? is there a particular reason you mention them because only a cursory search on the internet shows them to be pretty awful by all accounts
    https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowT...e-Namibia.html
    Maybe. But I know to take such "reviews" with a large pinch of salt. After all you only hear one side of the story, if you tend to believe those who scream the loudest, then Asco is probably awful.
    A few more reviews I have quickly googled:
    https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.ascocarhire.com
    https://www.facebook.com/pg/AscoCarHire/reviews/

    As I say, don't have any personal experience with Asco, but I do have personal experience with tourists and their claims. Up to you.
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    Default Re: 4x4 self drive hire - insurance does not seem to cover accidents

    Quote Originally Posted by JanB View Post
    @mdkb, in case you have not read all the forum rules, one of the highlighted ones on the first page is "What Tony Weaver says."

    A new insurance policy actually makes logical sense. The rental contract is tied to the vehicle, and therefore so is the insurance policy.
    Hi Janb, sorry not sure what point you are referencing maybe you could be clearer on that rule you are alluding to.

    maybe insurance that does not cover vehicle replacement makes sense to you, but not where I come from. In all the other countries I have traveled and rented vehicles (us, uk, australia and parts of europe) - a replacement vehicle is part of the reason why you rent one. or maybe I am just confused by the small print, I have never had to do it yet but I have had full cover that suggests courtesy cars are provided in event of accidents, though it is only from rental companies with huge fleets.

    I am now understanding better why this is not done in Africa thanks to peoples posts on here and elsewhere.
    If i had just asked Bushlore, then there might have been conflict of interest in the answer, whereas asking out here, I was also partly hoping to hear from people who had experienced write-offs or car thefts, and what they did to pass the next 40 days in a desert town in Namibia.
    Last edited by mdkb; 2019/09/17 at 02:48 AM.

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    Default Re: 4x4 self drive hire - insurance does not seem to cover write-off

    Quote Originally Posted by HugoNotte View Post
    Maybe. But I know to take such "reviews" with a large pinch of salt. After all you only hear one side of the story, if you tend to believe those who scream the loudest, then Asco is probably awful.
    A few more reviews I have quickly googled:
    https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.ascocarhire.com
    https://www.facebook.com/pg/AscoCarHire/reviews/

    As I say, don't have any personal experience with Asco, but I do have personal experience with tourists and their claims. Up to you.
    As a tourist travelling 10,000Klm to a continent I am not familiar with, to spend 10K on hiring a car, I have only reviews to go on.

    If I only asked the hiring companies, they would have their best interests at heart. So though I hear your point, actually it is our ONLY point of knowledge before we arrive, therefore reviews (good or bad) are vital to us tourists, and multiple bad reviews in the case of ASCO is in stark contrast to multiple great reviews for BUSHLORE.

    So I think it is of great benefit that tourists post their complaints, and their preferences too, but essential that they back up their reasons for posting.

    you say you dont have any personal experience with asco, but then you dismiss the claims of people who have. doesnt make much sense tbh, but thanks all the same those other links certainly suggest ASCO is good for some people.
    Last edited by mdkb; 2019/09/17 at 02:34 AM.

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    Default Re: 4x4 self drive hire - insurance does not seem to cover accidents

    Quote Originally Posted by mdkb View Post
    Hi Janb, sorry not sure what point you are referencing maybe you could be clearer on that rule you are alluding to.
    maybe insurance that does not cover vehicle replacement makes sense to you, ...
    As you commented elsewhere, it is easy to provide a replacement Polo at the nearest airport, but not so much a specialist vehicle from a niche company.
    Luckily (for me) I have not had the experience to be stuck with a broken vehicle deep in the bush. (Mind you, the few times it happened, we were so far away from help, we just had to make a plan. Problem solving was different before cell phones!)

    I am sure you will find a great and safe trip. Please keep us updated on your experiences!
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2beFree View Post
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    Default Re: 4x4 self drive hire - insurance does not seem to cover write-off

    Quote Originally Posted by HugoNotte View Post
    Maybe. But I know to take such "reviews" with a large pinch of salt. After all you only hear one side of the story, if you tend to believe those who scream the loudest, then Asco is probably awful.
    A few more reviews I have quickly googled:
    https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.ascocarhire.com
    https://www.facebook.com/pg/AscoCarHire/reviews/

    As I say, don't have any personal experience with Asco, but I do have personal experience with tourists and their claims. Up to you.
    Watch the Trustpilot reviews carefully: the amount of reviews dated on 14-16 of august (I stopped looking further down) is clear: those are fake reviews !

    BTW .. the reviews have a checked "verified order" .. meaning that the review was written on Asco's request. It doesnt mean that the reviewer actually rented a car from them
    Last edited by wschulte; 2019/09/17 at 09:08 AM.

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    Default Re: 4x4 self drive hire - insurance does not seem to cover write-off

    Quote Originally Posted by mdkb View Post
    you say you dont have any personal experience with asco, but then you dismiss the claims of people who have. doesnt make much sense tbh, but thanks all the same those other links certainly suggest ASCO is good for some people.
    I said I would take reviews with a pinch of salt, I'm sure you are familiar with that expression?

    I have been in tourism for over 10 years and have worked together with some smaller car hire companies back then. I have seen first hand, what tourists do to rental 4x4s vs their side of the story afterwards.
    Same with light aeroplanes, I have seen how tourists, private and professional pilots, treat e.g. Cessnas they hire and their side of the story afterwards. Same principle applies.

    As for online reviews, good or bad: the good ones might be fake, so might the bad ones. People are also more likely to write a review, if they feel they have been treated unfairly. The majority of people having had a pleasant or normal experience won't write any reviews.
    One negative review I read was about the fact that gps trackers are installed and that exceeding a speed of 60 km/h on gravel roads would void any insurance. It is pretty normal practice and even Avis and other big rental companies have the same or similar policies, but certainly do make use of the gps tracker to assess the speed traveled at in case of an accident.

    As for your other concerns, I'm not quite sure why you are worried about "paying twice" for a new rental contract in case of damage or theft of your first rental vehicle.
    The moment the vehicle you have rented isn't available to you anymore, that contract ends and you would get paid back the remainder of the outstanding rental period. It would be in the best interest of any rental company to then replace the vehicle and let you continue your travels, if so with a new rental contract in place.

    Have you considered Avis Safari rentals? https://www.avis.co.za/safari-rental
    I'm sure their terms and conditions might be in line with international standards you are used to.

    Just be aware, that any rental company would exclude tyre damage, glass damage and what they call sand storm damage from their normal accident & theft waver. Sand storm damage can even occur without a sandstorm, but simply by driving on a gravel road, when passing or overtaking or driving closely behind other vehicles, stone chips and sandblasting to the headlights, windscreen or paint of the rental might occur. Usually you can take out an extra policy to cover those damages.
    Again, negative reviews where about that fact, that renters didn't take out those extra insurances and had to foot the bill at the end.
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    Default Re: 4x4 self drive hire - insurance does not seem to cover write-off

    Quote Originally Posted by HugoNotte View Post
    I said I would take reviews with a pinch of salt, I'm sure you are familiar with that expression?

    I have been in tourism for over 10 years and have worked together with some smaller car hire companies back then. I have seen first hand, what tourists do to rental 4x4s vs their side of the story afterwards.
    Same with light aeroplanes, I have seen how tourists, private and professional pilots, treat e.g. Cessnas they hire and their side of the story afterwards. Same principle applies.

    ....
    As for your other concerns, I'm not quite sure why you are worried about "paying twice" for a new rental contract in case of damage or theft of your first rental vehicle.
    The moment the vehicle you have rented isn't available to you anymore, that contract ends and you would get paid back the remainder of the outstanding rental period. It would be in the best interest of any rental company to then replace the vehicle and let you continue your travels, if so with a new rental contract in place.
    I hear what you are saying, kind of, but I have been hiring cars on long term rentals every year for a number of years, and the whole point of getting full insurance is that I then don't need the argument with the rental company of what I did or did not do. its all covered. this has worked well, and I am happy to pay for this privilege when it is on offer. in Africa it isnt. that's fine, but I know that now and will plan accordingly.

    as for your comment about the remainder of the rental period being paid back on the event of a write-off , that is not the case at all as far as I can tell. We have to pay the full rental on collection (100% is owed 30 days out, in fact) and I dont think there is a pay back option on early termination.

    either way at this point it is moot. someone on another forum mentioned a "safety budget" as a plan b , and I think that is our best option. whatever we can put together as a backup we will, then if it all goes wrong, we rent the cheapest banger we can find and limp our way round the country on a tighter budget.

    thanks for your input though, everything helps and its good to hear from a tour operator, I guess I never considered it from their side before.
    Last edited by mdkb; 2019/09/18 at 01:16 AM. Reason: clarified some of my comment

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    Default Re: 4x4 self drive hire - insurance does not seem to cover write-off

    For anyone interested, we decided to go with bushlore with the highest insurance they can offer.
    they have been really helpful in direct contact, seem pretty legit, have good reviews from other people who also respond to questioning so I don't think it is faked reviews. and pretty much everything is covered other than a complete write-off.
    hopefully we wont be putting that to the test.

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    Default Re: 4x4 self drive hire - insurance does not seem to cover accidents

    I have used Bushlore myself in the past - always found them to be very helpful and reasonable, even when dealing with those annoying small issues while on route...

    They also have local teams in several countries across Southern Africa who will come to your aid and, usually, fix the vehicle if there is a mechanical failure. They also maintain their vehicles well in the first place!

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    Default Re: 4x4 self drive hire - insurance does not seem to cover write-off

    Quote Originally Posted by mdkb View Post
    their web site is not very inspiring and I can't seem to find a single review on them at all. can you explain why you suggested them?
    I think I did made some reference to them once or twice: Herman is trustworthy and has outstanding equipment! He goes the extra mile! Rented with him in April.

    highly recommended, though not so much press yet as he’s in his second year now. (And also his oldest car in the fleet probably)

    We had bushlore, asco, and avis on our previous trips. All were fine (sometimes with some typical african flavour), though I later heard some bad press on Avis.

    All 4 have in their terms that if you destroy a vehicle beyond repair, you’re covered for the damage, but that it also terminates the contract. AND that they will provide you with a new one if available on a best effort basis. So yes, in short: smash it and holidays are over...

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    Default Re: 4x4 self drive hire - insurance does not seem to cover write-off

    Quote Originally Posted by mdkb View Post
    Hi

    My partner and I from Australia, we are planning a x40 day self-drive 4x4 in Namibia, Botswana and possibly Zimbabwe in May/June 2020.
    From research so far, Bushlore seems to come out on top for vehicle rental and we really like the look of their deals. (Landcruiser, RTT, fully equiped)

    but... I noticed in the terms that any major accident, or write-off of the vehicle, or theft, even with their full insurance package does not give you a replacement vehicle, but instead you have to start a whole new rental contract if you have to replace it. (zero excess on damage but no replacement vehicle in worst case scenario - is this normal terms as I dont call that fully insured?)

    for us on a x40 day hire this would be a disaster as it would end our trip on the spot, we simply would not be able to afford to hire it all a second time over.

    does anyone have any suggestions about this, or know a good, reputable hire company (Windhoek collect and return) that guarantees a replacement vehicle in their full insurance. a bit stumped at this point and I was about to book it with Bushlore when I realised the implications.
    Try Avis in Windhoek if not for afty I took out a full comprehensive policy from Australia including personal injury plus vehicle accident.

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