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Top tips for renting a car in South Africa
Navigating the wide South African road network means that you need to understand the different types of roads. The N-routes are national roads that connect large cities and often have tolls. If you take the N1 all the way from Johannesburg to Cape Town, you will drive 1,400 km (more than 850 miles). The R-routes are divided highways, while D-routes are local roads that vary in quality and may require a four-wheel drive to handle them.
If you are bringing your children to South Africa, you need to be aware that any child under the age of three or under 21 kg (about 45 lbs.) must be traveling in a car seat. Children over the age of three are required to wear a seatbelt. Before you leave the airport, you will need to restrain your child in the appropriate child seat, so it is recommended that you bring your own car seat or rent one from your car rental company for around 192 ZAR (13 USD) per day.
If you are keen to cross the border in your rental car in South Africa, you must obtain permission from your car rental company, and you will owe an additional fee. You may be allowed to cross over to Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.
If you need to park your rental car in South Africa, you will find a good choice of spaces in towns and cities, mainly multi-story car lots, along with others at shopping centers. There are also roadside parking spaces, which are metered and which often have attendants.
FAQs about renting a car in South Africa
On average a rental car in South Africa costs $40 per day.
Mini (Hyundai i10 or similar) is the most frequently booked rental car type in South Africa.
In the past 72 hours, the cheapest rental cars were found at GREEN MOTION ($21/day), 1First Car Rental ($23/day) and Bluu ($34/day).
Based on ratings and reviews from real users on KAYAK, the best car rental companies in South Africa are Avis (8.0, 225 reviews), Dollar (6.5, 121 reviews), and Hertz (6.4, 182 reviews).
Based on car searches on KAYAK, the most popular cities to rent a car in South Africa are Cape Town (44% of total searches of users looking to rent a car in South Africa), Johannesburg (33%) and Durban (7%).
On average a rental car in South Africa costs $268 per week ($38 per day).
On average a rental car in South Africa costs $1,147 per month ($38 per day).
When you rent a car in South Africa, you need to remember to drive on the left-hand side of the road. On traffic circles, you will need to give way to the right; however, at four-way stops the driver has priority. All road signs are in English, and there are toll roads connecting national routes to major cities with fees that start from 4.50 ZAR (0.30 USD). It is mandatory to wear a seatbelt when you are driving, and you are not permitted to use a mobile phone unless you have a hands-free kit.
The age restriction for renting a car in South Africa is 23 years old, and you must have held your license for at least two years. If you are under 25 years old, you may incur a surcharge. You will need to show your valid driver’s license along with your passport to rent a car.
You will find that the average price of gas is 16.44 ZAR (1.11 USD) per liter or 4.20 USD per gallon, when you rent a car in South Africa. Because the price of fuel is fixed by the government, you do not need to search for the lowest rate at gas stations. You will find that gas stations are full-service and open seven days a week from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, with some open 24h.
Before you drive on South African roads, you need to know the national speed limits. On national roads and other major routes, the maximum speed limit is 120 km/h (74 mph), while on rural roads, you may travel up to 100 km/h (62 mph). Through towns and cities, the maximum speed limit is 60 km/h (37 mph).
The rates displayed include all taxes and fees for car rentals for the class listed and were found by KAYAK users in the last 24 hours. Offers are subject to change and may not be available on all car rentals listed or dates of travel. Some car rental providers charge additional fees for other services (GPS, infant car seats, etc.). Please check the car rental providers' sites.