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South Africa car hire tips
Where to pick up your car
There are over 70 car hire locations in South Africa, and the most popular city is Cape Town.
Top car rental brands
The most popular car rental brands in South Africa are Budget, Bidvest, Avis, Thrifty and Europcar.
Best time to hire a car
The cheapest month to pick up your car hire in South Africa is August.
Side of road
Hire a car in South Africa
South Africa is one of the world’s ultimate self-drive countries.
From wild safaris and striking landscapes to historic monuments and dramatic skylines, the rainbow nation is far more than what most visitors expect.
The country is a diverse blend of Western modernism and traditionally rooted cultures, which opens up endless tourism opportunities. Larger than it may appear on a map, driving distances within South Africa can be long, but there is always a scenic route worth taking. easyCar compares car hire brands across South Africa, so you can coast along the country’s panoramic roads for the best price.
Get to know South Africa
Car hire fast facts
|Frequently asked question||Answer|
|Most popular place to hire a car in South Africa|| 1. Cape Town Airport |
2. Johannesburg Airport
3. Durban Airport
|Most popular rental length||Five to seven days|
|Most popular month to rent a car||December, where a hire car costs on average £21.30 per day|
|Type of car||Average cost per day of car hire in South Africa|
When you imagine South Africa, you may instantly picture safaris and driving a hefty 4x4 around. However, 4WDs aren’t necessary and will simply cost you more money. It’s easier to drive through the cities in a small car and even if you plan on a self-drive safari, most parks (such as Kruger) have well-paved roads you can follow.
South Africa driving tips
When leaving your car unattended or parked, do not leave items on show within the vehicle. Lock your car, store valuables in the boot and take anything important with you. It is also advised that you do not pick up hitchhikers or drive at night.
If you ask for directions, you may be told to turn at the next robot. No, that doesn’t mean you will find a bionic traffic officer directing traffic. In South Africa, a robot is a traffic light.
You will often find parking attendants at car parks and popular street parking locations. They will insist on directing you where to park and watch over your car while you’re gone. In popular car parks, these attendants are typically official security guards. However, be cautious of hawkers pretending to be security.
As with car parks, station attendants will fill your car for you. So there's no need to get out of your vehicle. It is typical to provide a small tip of around 20 Rand.
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Points of interest in South Africa
A mountainous area of sweeping landscapes and green peaks, Drankensberg offers awe-inspiring climbs and drives.
Kruger National Park
Self-drive through South Africa’s most famous safari park, keeping an eye out for the Big Five.
Home to ostrich farms and the 20 million year old network of limestone chambers known as the Cango Caves.
This natural wonder drops directly into the Indian Ocean.
A popular wetland park which supports the country’s largest population of hippos and crocodiles.
Popular South African cities
|Cheapest month / most expensive month||Average cost per day of car hire in Durban*|
- Durban can get unbearably hot and humid during the summer months (from January till March). For pleasant weather, travel between June and August.
- One of the best ways to acquaint yourself with the city it to tuck into a bowl of Bunny Chow. The popular South African dish, consisting of a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with spicy curry, originated in Durban and is a must-try when visiting the city.
- Durban has a number of trendy markets. Zulu Muthi Market is a showcase of Zulu culture while Victoria Street Market has a diverse range of stalls.
|Cheapest month / most expensive month||Average cost per day of car hire in Port Elizabeth*|
- With steady all-year round weather, Port Elizabeth is a great destination no matter the season.
- The city is the start point of South Africa’s famous Garden Route, which runs along the coast to Cape Town.
- Port Elizabeth is close to several National Parks and wildlife reserves, including Addo Elephant Park, which is great for those wanting to do a safari but are sticking around the southern coast.
|Cheapest month / most expensive month||Average cost per day of car hire in Johannesburg*|
- Best road trip:From Johannesburg – affectionately called Jozi – head out to the Panorama Route. As its name suggests, you’ll find a bounty of magnificent boundless views. Be sure to make a pitstop at Blyde River Canyon and God’s Window.
- Gold Reef City – A theme park located on one of the city’s old gold mines. It’s a great place to bring the kids and to learn about the history of South Africa’s gold rush.
- Cradle of Humankind – Some of the most important fossils and anthropological finds were discovered at this UNESCO World Heritage site. Tour the Sterkfontein Caves, where Mrs. Ples – a 2.3 million year old ape-like skeleton – was found.