We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Hiring an automatic 2x4 or 4x4

Sydney
Level Contributor
22 posts
39 reviews
Hiring an automatic 2x4 or 4x4

Hi All,

We would like to hire a SUV or 4x4 for the comfort factor when we visit Namibia next year. However, I can't drive a manual car. (I fully expect to be pilloried for this - my only defense is that it is not uncommon in the US where I learned to drive!) So as not to lump my husband with all the driving I would therefore like to hire an automatic, but am having trouble finding one to rent. Has anyone got any suggestions? Hertz appears to have a Kia Sportage 2x4 Auto, but I have read some negative posts about Herzt Namibia on this and other forums - does any one have any experience with them?

Thanks!!

Hermanus, South...
Destination Expert
for Namibia
Level Contributor
1,699 posts
11 reviews
1. Re: Hiring an automatic 2x4 or 4x4

You will struggle trying to get an automatic 4x4, I can't think of anywhere.

Toyota do make a Hilux automatic but I have never found them available for rental. The Prado also comes in automatic, but the only ones of them I have driven here we brought over from the UK.

I have had clients hire a Kia Sportage from Hertz and they did have a few problems as I remember, I think the window got stuck open on the way from the desert to Swakop so they arrived quite dusty and they lost a couple of tyres, and I believe their may have been an overcharging issue, but I am not sure of the details.

Avis also have the Kia Sportage, so maybe rather book with them.

NB: The Sportage is not a 4x4

London
Level Contributor
524 posts
5 reviews
2. Re: Hiring an automatic 2x4 or 4x4

I don't know how accurate the website is, or what the company is like, but there are automatic 4x4s and SUVs listed here:

http://www.ascocarhire.com/vehandpricE.htm

These people also claim to have Hilux automatics: savannacarhire.com.na/Toyota-GLA-Automatic-D…

and

savannacarhire.com.na/Toyota-GLAS-Special-Of…

Hermanus, South...
Destination Expert
for Namibia
Level Contributor
1,699 posts
11 reviews
3. Re: Hiring an automatic 2x4 or 4x4

I can't comment on Savanna Car Hire as I am only allowed to book vehicles from companies that are members of CARAN.

A quick search on the forums for Asco brings up some colourful reviews!

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
40,063 posts
452 reviews
4. Re: Hiring an automatic 2x4 or 4x4

<< Asco brings up some colourful reviews!>>

I can imagine!

Not embarking (again) on the 4x4 debate but will comment on the Automatic v Manual aspect. Nobody will pillory cloudycat either as somefolk genuinely do believe they cannot drive other than an automatic.

All I will say is that where autotranmission is coupled with a turbo engine the combination is dreadful with both systems fighting each other. Revs build up for incline, turbo kicks in followed immediately by an involuntary auto change up. There are times (bad surface, steep incline etc.,) when you need power on the road and low torque to avoid wheelspin. Auto and turbo deny you this. And lets not talk about what happens if/when you get stuck!

Hermanus, South...
Destination Expert
for Namibia
Level Contributor
1,699 posts
11 reviews
5. Re: Hiring an automatic 2x4 or 4x4

Exactly! If you want to get an automatic then you basically have the choice of a Toyota Corolla or the Kia Sportage, these are the most readily available and they do handle ok...not as good as a manual but ok.

I have driven auto 4x4's here and frankly it was a torrid experience because in a car like that you want to change gear when you need to and not when they decide to....just an observation! And also a reason why we don't use automatic 4x4's

London, United...
Level Contributor
33,603 posts
79 reviews
6. Re: Hiring an automatic 2x4 or 4x4

I drive an automatic 4x4 and I live in London. Great for bumping up on pavements and seeing over stationary cars in front of you at junctions.

I wouldn't drive one in Namibia for the reasons given above.

How often do you need to change gear when driving around Namibia? Probably about 10 times a day. Not difficult.

Cary, North Carolina
Level Contributor
385 posts
4 reviews
7. Re: Hiring an automatic 2x4 or 4x4

Some companies like Asco Car Hire (I think) rent Jeeps which are automatic. But as peterscot said that you hardly change gears on the long roads. A manual transmission's heaven.

Sydney
Level Contributor
22 posts
39 reviews
8. Re: Hiring an automatic 2x4 or 4x4

Hi All,

Belated thanks for your advice (and for not making fun of my lack of manual car driving ability!). I've been so busy that even my favourite activity - trip planning - has been put on the back burner. But have just now found a bit of a lull so am able to get back into it - no doubt will have many more questions to ask.

I've taken on board that driving conditions in Namibia are very different to what I'm accustomed to in Sydney. Maybe a manual will be managable for me if I only have to change gear 10 times a day rather than 10 times a kilometre!

Cheers,

Claudia

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
40,063 posts
452 reviews
9. Re: Hiring an automatic 2x4 or 4x4

Goodday Claudia,

I wondered where you had gone.

Namibia is certainly not Sydney. You will be fine AND in control with a manual.

There are traffic lights in Windhoek and a few other towns but in between nothing but open road. Game driving is usually in 2nd or 3rd in Etosha etc., so even less changes.

I am sure you have friends with a Manual car. Go and ask them if you can try it.

Braver still go to a Dealer and ask for a test drive. Tell them that you are new to manual and not being able to drive one may be a deal breaker. Watch them sweat on getting you comfortable.

Good luck with the rest of your planning.

Market Bosworth...
Level Contributor
1,752 posts
225 reviews
10. Re: Hiring an automatic 2x4 or 4x4

Is your licence for both auto and manual? I know in the UK if you pass your test in an auto you cannot drive a manual (or at least that used to be the case) Just didn't want you to arrive and find that you could not be a named driver....

We had a 2x4 for most of our trip and it was perfectly comfortable if that helps.