Accident Procedures | Car Hire FAQs

Accident Procedures and Information

All prices and fees quoted on this site are correct. However, our prices are regularly reviewed and are subject to change without notice.

  • Q: What do you do in the event of an accident or theft of your rental vehicle?

    A: Once you have received medical attention, please contact First Car Rental immediately on our Emergency Roadside Assistance toll-free number 0860 888 911 (SA only). If outside of SA borders with a roaming cellphone, please dial +27 11 230 9920.

    • Where an accident has occurred, a full report must be made to the nearest Police Station within 24 hours and case number obtained

    • Remember to make a note of the particulars of any other parties involved in the accident.

    • If repairs are necessary, please obtain prior authorisation from First Car Rental

    • Should you feel uncomfortable about divulging personal information in the event of an accident, please note you are not obliged to do so. All you need supply the relevant parties involved is the fact that the car is rented from First Car Rental, and your rental agreement number. Only the police and First Car Rental need to know personal information.

    • In the case of theft, a full report must be made to the nearest Police Station immediately and a case number obtained.

    • A First Car Rental Accident & Theft report must be completed within 24 hours of either incident occurring. These are obtainable from any First Car Rental branch.

    • Please note that personal belongings stolen or lost during an accident or theft are not covered.

    • It would be advisable for renters to obtain personal belongings insurance prior to their trip.

    • A claim handling fee of R650 will be levied for all incidents.

    • If your vehicle requires towing, this will be for your expense.

  • Q: What is Personal Accident Benefit?

    A: Personal Accident Benefit (PAB) is offered at a nominal fee and covers the driver and occupants collectively in the event of an accident.

  • Q: What are collision damage/theft waivers and how do they apply to you?

    A: South African car hire companies do not offer insurance, they offer Waivers. They are not allowed to offer insurance (as in the word "insurance") because they are not authorised financial service providers. This is an important difference because many renters are under the illusion that they are purchasing insurance that will cover them for anything and everything, including all wrong-doings.

    Responsibility Waivers are legal, compulsory agreements between the car hire firm and renters, and generally limit the claim against a renter in the event of loss of or damage to the vehicle.

    Many of First Car Rental's daily rental packages include all the waivers such as theft protection, collision damage waivers and personal accident benefit or similar. In the case of corporate clients, many have their own insurance in place that covers them for driving in a rental vehicle. First Car Rental offers these customers an own-cover rate option.

    Please note that waivers differ between car hire companies so please ask the rental agent to explain in detail what you are covered for and always read the Rental Agreement terms and conditions. It is good to know that the top 5 car hire companies (Avis, Europcar, Bidvest, First Car Rental and Hertz) all have very similar responsibility waivers and that they all prescribe to SAVRALA's (South African Vehicle Renting and Leasing Association) general recommended car rental terms.

    In the event of an accident or theft, the renter is liable for the non-waiverable Renter's Responsibility amount (previously referred to as "excess") applicable to your rental package selected.

    Waivers are not honoured by car rental companies in the case of negligence, meaning the customer would be held liable for the full amount of damage (and not just the renter's responsibility amount).

  • Q: What are the factors that cancel out waivers?

    The LIABILITY WAIVERS do not cover loss of, or damage to the VEHICLE in the following circumstances, and the renter will be liable for all such loss or damage:

    • Gross negligence.

    • Driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances.

    • Unauthorised persons driving the vehicle.

    • Unauthorised cross border rentals.

    • Not adhering to traffic, road and driving regulations.

    • Unsuitable driving or road conditions.

    • No other vehicles involved in the collision unless exceptional circumstances apply.

    • Not reporting the collision to First Car Rental and the nearest Police Station.

    • Failure to obtain authorisation from First Car Rental to extend the pre-booked rental period.

    • Failure in reporting the loss to First Car Rental within 3 hours in the event of theft.

    • Failure to produce the vehicle keys in case of theft unless exceptional circumstances apply.

    • Not reporting the exact details of the last known location of the vehicle prior to theft.

  • Q: Does the renter's responsibility amount cover damage to tyres, glass and undercarriage?

    A: No, the renter's responsibility amount does not cover repairs to tyres, any glass and undercarriage, and the costs for these repairs will be for the renter, unless additional waiver against tyres or windscreen has been taken. Should these components be damaged as a result of an accident, they are covered by the renter's responsibility amount. Negligence negates all cover.

  • Q: What about Third Party claims?

    A: If the renter is involved in an accident where the cause was not that of the renter, the renter is still responsible for the non-waiverable renter's responsibility amount until such time as Third Party Recovery has been paid to First Car Rental. First Car Rental will then reimburse the renter. The amount reimbursed will be subject to the Third Party Recovery amount.

To read First Car Rental's Car Hire FAQs, click here.

To read First Car Rental's Terms and Conditions of Rental Agreement, click here.

First in Car Hire. First in Service.