South Africa

Renting a car in South Africa – what do you need to know?

Rent a car in

South Africa

The best way to discover much of South Africa is by renting a car. This is easy as all major international car rental companies are represented here. Still, there are some things to look out for and know when renting a car in South Africa. You can find these tips below.

A car in South Africa

When renting a car in South Africa, it is important to rent a solid car that can take a beating. The roads here are not always of good quality. So comfort is very important! You can pre-book your car with one of the major international rental companies such as Avis , Europcar and Hertz . Although there are a few other options that you can find online. You can also easily book this through the Dutch Sunnycars and you can be sure of good insurance. Attention! You need a credit card when renting a car. It is also still necessary to apply for an international driving license .

Is it safe?

South Africa is a safe country to drive by car, especially if you are used to the busy traffic of our country. Traffic in South Africa is rather relaxed and pleasant, except for the major cities. However, it is recommended not to leave valuables in the car and to always lock your car. Locking the door while driving and not taking hitchhikers with you is also recommended. This is for safety reasons. Because South Africa is and will unfortunately remain a poor country and not everyone deals with it in the same way.

Week in South Africa
Car rental in South Africa

What to look for when renting a car in South Africa?

  • Condition of the car (tyres, spare part, bottom of the car)
  • Whether there is a good insurance that takes everything into account
  • Insurance against theft (be sure to check!)
  • Is there a roadside assistance service at the rental agency?
  • Unlimited amount of kilometres?
  • Surcharge for an extra driver?

Navigating South Africa

When renting a car in South Africa you often also have the choice to rent a GPS. This often doesn’t cost that much, but you can save on this. For example, you can use an app that works offline and ensures that you get everywhere. We always use the Maps.Me app and we have never been lost. This full application is free. If you do decide to rent a GPS, it is best to store it properly when you leave the car. This is to prevent theft and burglary in the car.

Traffic rules

  • Driving on the left in South Africa
  • 120 km/h on highways
  • 100 km/h on two-lane roads
  • 60 km/h in the cities
  • The maximum permitted blood alcohol level is 0.5 per mille
  • At intersections where everyone has a stop sign, the first stopped car may also be the first to leave.
  • A prison sentence applies for serious violations!

Useful facts when renting a car in South Africa

  • Refueling in South Africa is easy and often done for you. You only have to indicate the amount of petrol you want and the rest is done for you. These people expect a small tip.
  • In cities like Cape Town you will have to pay more for a full tank than at the gas stations on the coast or inland.
  • On a long drive in the interior, it is recommended to have it refilled with half a tank. You never know when you will encounter the next gas station.
  • South Africa has some toll roads. You can pay for these toll roads manually on the spot or automatically via a sensor built in by the rental company. The final toll cost is then settled afterwards with the rental company.
  • Most roads in South Africa are not lit at night! And the sunset can go very quickly in Africa. So always plan your rides well.

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