During the planning phases of the trip we went through lots of rental options – 4×4 vs smaller car, local vs international companies, etc. Ultimately we wanted a vehicle with some ground clearance, so at least an SUV, and the local companies I had contacted were quoting more than double some of the international companies for a Hilux 4×4. Eventually we booked with Hertz as we have had good experiences with them internationally, the price was right, and the vehicles were located at the airport.
About a week before the trip I checked the rental car prices and changed our reservation from a RAV4 to a Fortuner 4×4 for about $100 less. Upon arrival, the Hertz agent asked if we would mind an upgrade to a new Toyota Hilux 4×4. Sure! We paid 8,820N$ (~$612USD for 15 days) – a great deal.
There was a bit of an issue with getting the CDW coverage removed so I could use my credit card for primary insurance but the agent insisted their CDW was included and non-changeable which meant we were on the hook for their $2,000 deductible if something happened to the car. Thankfully this wound up not being an issue, the car performed beautifully on all the roads and we really appreciated having the extra ground clearance in certain spots!
A few notes:
- The Hilux has two spare tires plus a small compressor in the back.
- 95% of cars in Namibia are white and there are quite a few Hilux’s around – a quick memorization of the beginning of your license plate number will help you find your car in a crowded lot. (To be fair, this didn’t happen often).
- There is a Puma gas station right before the entrance to the airport, so filling up your rental car is pretty easy. However, the road from the Puma gas station across from the airport isn’t paved, so we went out the way we came in (back to the main road) to stay on pavement to the car rental drop-off. There is a new gas station being built so hopefully this won’t be as much of a problem in the future.
- The car checked-in fine and they didn’t seem to care that we had a small sand dune in the back cab (definitely not a great place for luggage unless you like dust). We had wiped down the interior the day before to avoid the extra cleaning fee.
Overall we were very happy with our rental experience at Hertz, no complaints.