Code of Conduct and Charters

For Members of the Southern African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association

Principles Governing Members
Standard Terms
Specific Terms
Short Term Rentals
Fleet Management And Leasing
Complaint Handling And Conciliation
Rental Charter
Leasing And Fleet Management Charter


Statement of Intent

This Code and Charters establish standards of good practice for the passenger and commercial vehicle rental, leasing and fleet management industries. They are intended to ensure that customers who obtain rental or leasing facilities from association members receive the highest levels of service, honesty and integrity in all of their dealings.

Compliance with this Code of Conduct is a condition of full membership of the Southern African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (SAVRALA) and is read in conjunction with the Savrala Constitution.


The Southern African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association was formed in the early eighties to assist in the development of the vehicle rental, leasing and fleet management industries.

This Code of Conduct has been developed in consultation with all current full members and it updates, consolidates and replaces all other Codes that have been issued previously. In the event of any ambiguity or conflict in the interpretation of the Code of Conduct, the Charters and the Constitution, the provisions of the Constitution shall take preference.

SAVRALA is the major representative body for the rental, leasing and fleet management industries, representing over 90% of the vehicles operated in these industries, and is responsible for over 20% of annual vehicle registrations. The association has, as full members, car rental and leasing and fleet management companies, all dedicated to providing their customers with the levels of service and products that they require.

The association works to promote and maintain the standards of ethical trading and service through the adoption by all full members of this Code of Conduct covering, in particular, standards of safety, quality of service, and clarity of contract.

The association may inquire into a member’s business to ensure that the Code is being followed and persistent or serious failure to comply with the Code may render a member liable to expulsion or appropriate sanction.

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Principles Governing Members


In the event of a complaint being received by a member, the association requires that the member follows a customer complaint procedure that ensures that the complaint is handled promptly and efficiently, with an internal conciliation service available to resolve any dispute.

Customer Charters

Charters are available, and in use by members, which summarise the SAVRALA Code of Conduct. Rental members should display the Rental Charter at rental locations and Leasing and Fleet Management members should forward a copy of their Charter to their customers on request.

Vehicle Safety

The association places considerable emphasis on ensuring that rental vehicles provided to customers are in a safe and roadworthy condition and as a minimum are maintained in accordance with manufacturers’ servicing requirements.

Right of Inquiry

The association has the right to inquire into a prospective member’s business in order for it to be considered for admittance as a member of the association. It also has the right to make inquiries of members to ensure that the Code of Conduct is being fully adhered to and in the event of serious or repeated failures, to terminate that membership.

Signage, Logos and Display Material

Members are encouraged to display the association’s approved logo or material on their premises, documentation and stationery. Customers will therefore be able to identify easily those companies committed to upholding the Code of Conduct. No company is permitted to display the logo or signage unless it is a member, and the association will take steps against any entity wrongfully claiming membership.

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Standard Terms

These terms are applicable to all members and cover all of the services provided by them.

Members will:


Conduct their business lawfully and comply with all relevant legislation and judicial decisions and trade fairly and responsibly.

Behave at all times with honesty and integrity and endeavour to ensure that all other entities with which the member has a commercial relationship behave similarly. Members will not, knowingly, misrepresent facts to a customer concerning any aspect of a rental or lease transaction.

Members shall uphold the good name and high standing of SAVRALA and of the rental, leasing and fleet management industries.

Financial Status

Provide evidence upon a reasonable customer request as to the financial stability and reliability of their organisation.

Highest Standards

Commit themselves to observe the Code of Conduct which protects the interests of all customers, ensuring that the services provided are of the highest possible standard.


Operate from an established commercial place of business and comply in full with all local regulations. In premises where customers are dealt with, the facility should provide a professional, disciplined and well regulated appearance.


Ensure that their staff are adequately trained to deliver services at consistently high professional standards.


Ensure that all their advertising and literature will contain no misleading or inaccurate statements and use their best endeavours to avoid such misleading statements and comply with the codes and standards set by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Staff Access

Ensure that a copy of the Code of Conduct is distributed to all operating locations of the members and that all operational staff have a proper understanding of the relevant Charter.

Customer Access

When requested by a customer, provide a copy of the full Code of Conduct.

Licensing, registration, change of ownership and salvage vehicles

Ensure that they conform to the requirements for the reporting and processing of all these transaction types as required by the relevant Vehicle Licensing Authorities.

Member Obligations

Undertake to co-operate with each other in the best interests of their industries, the association and customers. This requires:-

  • Reasonable attendance at all SAVRALA meetings
  • Full co-operation in any SAVRALA disciplinary or conciliation procedures
  • Proper conduct in the spirit and intent of this Code and of the Constitution of SAVRALA
  • That a SAVRALA member shall report in writing to the National Executive any alleged unethical dealings and/or malpractice’s of fellow members, which come to its attention, accompanied by such evidence as will in its opinion, support the allegations
  • That all members comply with prevailing social and labour legislation.

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Specific Terms

The terms that follow are a part of the standard Code but have been segregated to apply to those members specialising in the rental and the leasing/fleet management areas. These terms are summarised in the Rental Charter and the Leasing and Fleet Management Charter which must be displayed or available at all members’ locations offering the relevant service.

Short Term Rentals – Passenger Vehicles

  • Vehicle Suitability

    Members should generally operate only vehicles acquired as new. Members may acquire and operate some “nearly new” pre-owned vehicles. Where practicable all vehicles must be current models. Vehicles should not exceed 3 years or 90,000 kilometres from the date of first registration.

  • Maintenance and Safety

    All members will undertake to maintain, inspect and operate vehicles to roadworthy standards and the relevant vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. These minimum standards are based on the prevailing National Department of Transport Roadworthy requirements.

    A valid license disc will be displayed at all times.

    In addition to the manufacturers’ recommended maintenance routines, arrangements should be made for vehicles to be inspected at appropriate intervals to determine the condition of those items which make a significant contribution to their safe operation.

    Vehicles must be subjected to a routine pre-rental check prior to the commencement of each rental to ensure that they are in a roadworthy condition.

    • Insurance
      Members must carry insurance to the following minimum levels at all times:

      1. Statutory Third Party cover as provided for by law
      2. Balance of Third Party and / or public liability cover must be provided for an amount of not less than R1 000 000.00 per incident.
    • Rental Agreement
      Rental agreements must be in writing and in a form which complies with current legislation.The terms and conditions in relation to:
      – basic daily rental charge
      – waivers offered
      – additional services and charges and
      – all other aspects of the agreement

      should be clear and unambiguous.

The member shall clearly specify the limit, and any mandatory responsibility level, of the customer’s liability for damage to, or loss of, the rented vehicle. Details of the insurance cover provided by the member will be available to the hirer on request.

The member’s standard form of rental agreement shall be available to the association on request. In addition, members are obliged to provide a copy of the agreement, and the rental terms and conditions applicable, on request by the customer.

  • Pricing and Payment

    The member will provide its customers with the basis on which all charges can be calculated and the required method of payment.

  • Refuelling Charge

    The member will state, prior to commencement of the rental, the basis on which refuelling of the vehicle will be charged to the customer and the options available.

Fleet Management And Leasing – Passenger And Commercial Vehicles

  • Statutory Controls and Regulations

    All members should have comprehension of, and full compliance with, all relevant current legislation and accounting practices and know their effect upon the customer.

  • Contracts

    As is required in law, all contracts, and amendments thereto, must be in writing, and a copy will always be supplied to the customer. Standard or master versions of contracts will be lodged with the association if requested.

  • Clarity of Contract Terms and Conditions

    The leasing and associated contracts should be clear in respect of contract conditions to the fullest extent required by law. These contracts should address as a minimum the following issues:

    • Price Changes
      The circumstances under which the monthly rental might change prior to delivery, or after
      contract inception.
    • Payment Terms
      A statement of the number of payments required under the contract and their timing, as
      well as a clear definition of breach.
    • Termination of Contract
      A definition of the terms governing the termination of a contract. Such terms should
      include early termination provisions and methods of settlement.
    • Contract Extension/Restructure
      A definition of the terms governing the extension, either formally or informally, or the restructure of a contract. Such terms should include the following items:

      • Any change to the services provided, “allowed” kilometerage and/or the monthly rental.
      • Circumstances in which the vehicle might be recovered by the member during an extension.
    • Excess Kilometer Charge
      A definition of the terms governing excess kilometers travelled during a contract. Such
      terms should include the following items:

      • Any requirement to return the vehicle at a nominated
      • Any circumstances relating to kilometerage which would
        require a compulsory restructure of the contract
      • Mechanisms for charging or allowing for over or under
        kilometerage at contract end.
    • Make-good Charges
      A definition of the terms of a contract dealing with the condition of returned vehicles and refurbishment or make-good charges. Such terms should include the following items:

      • a statement of what constitutes “fair wear and tear”, and if appropriate, reference to the SAVRALA Fair Wear and Tear Guide
      • the type of damage which will be chargeable and the basis of
      • the right of the customer to inspection and/or photographs
        of the damaged vehicles
      • dispute resolution mechanisms.

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Complaint Handling And Conciliation

The member will ensure that its staff are instructed in the handling of
complaints and in the manner of their dealings with the customer. Staff should always
adopt a friendly, positive approach and avoid a defensive or evasive attitude when
handling a complaint. Clear levels of authority must be established to ensure speedy
remedial action.

All members should assess complaints continuously and should take action based on this
information to improve their level of service to customers.

In addition, a conciliation procedure should exist to help resolve those disputes that
cannot be quickly settled.


Unresolved disputes may be referred to the association by the customer and/or the member
involved. Details should be submitted in writing to:

The President
Southern African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association
131 Greenway Avenue

A dispute will be promptly handled by the Conciliation Committee, a Committee whose
members are appointed by the National Executive of the association. Dependent on the
nature of the dispute, each Conciliation Committee will be comprised of three members from
the relevant rental or leasing section.

The outcome of disputes referred to a Conciliation Committee will be notified to the
customer by the association within a reasonable period from the referral of the dispute to
the Conciliation Committee.

Ambit of Conciliation Procedure

Conciliation procedures will apply solely to matters arising out of the vehicle rental and
leasing activities of members. Associate members, who are suppliers of services to the
rental and leasing industry but who do not operate their own rental or leasing operations,
are not subject to the Code.

No Restriction of Rights

Nothing in this Code restricts, nor is intended to restrict, the rights of a complainant
or a member, to pursue remedies through the courts.

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Rental Charter


As a member of the Southern African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association we pledge to provide for our customers:

  • Complete details of pricing, ensuring you are aware of all charges before commitment to a rental contract
  • Vehicles that are serviced and inspected to the manufacturer’s operating specification as a minimum standard and complying with all statutory requirements
  • Vehicles that are fully valeted and inspected for safety and comfort before each rental, from a selection of low mileage, current model vehicles
  • An appropriate range of risk protection products and other services
  • Commitment to SAVRALA’s Code of Conduct
  • An effective complaints procedure with access to a conciliation service administered by SAVRALA.

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Leasing And Fleet Management Charter

As a member of the Southern African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association we pledge to provide for our customers:

  • Integrity in pricing, ensuring you are aware of all charges before commitment to a contract
  • Compliance with and understanding of all relevant statutory controls and regulations
  • A simple, clear statement relating to the number of payments, their timing, and reasons for any changes in them
  • A clear statement of policy on early termination, extension or restructure of a contract, excess kilometer charges and restoration charges
  • Commitment to SAVRALA’s Code of Conduct
  • An effective complaints procedure with access to a conciliation service administered by SAVRALA.

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