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SA car rentals offer world-beating value

Domestic car rental prices are the second cheapest in the world, one quarter the price of a comparable car rental in New York, writes Lance Smith, Executive: Sales at Avis southern Africa.

A 2016 survey by Deutsche Bank has reinforced what the car rental industry have been saying for years — South African car rental offers some of the best value in the world. Value is a critical conversation for the industry especially given the common misconception that domestic car rental pricing is expensive.

The reality is that nothing could be further from the truth.

The recent survey also found that South African car rental prices were in fact rated as the second cheapest in the world, sitting behind only China in terms of a like-for-like dollar adjusted rate per day benchmark. Interestingly, South Africa is also shown to be one quarter the price of a comparable car rental in New York City.

While the Deutsche Bank study uses Avis Budget Group LLC data, what it fails to highlight is the relative size of China’s rental market, which is a comparatively small rental market given that most vehicles are hired with chauffeurs.

Thanks to exchange rate shifts, the dollar price of SA car rentals has halved in the past four years — from $69.30 in 2012 to $35 in 2016. South Africa’s car rental rate came to $35 per day.

As car rental providers, we have been doing our level best to keep prices down in order to offer the local market the best deals possible. But when one looks at the rates international travellers pay, South Africa is almost unbeatable.

This is an important context in terms of increasing tourism numbers both domestically and internationally. The weekend getaway index saw SA pipped for best value by only India and Malaysia, and we placed second to Indonesia as the cheapest country for a pub meal.

South Africa is the cheapest place in the world to buy a pair of Adidas sneakers, and the second cheapest, after Philippines, to buy beers and cigarettes.

South Africa remains an incredibly affordable country to live and visit. When travellers visit, they can be rest assured that their car rental is among the cheapest on earth.