Custom Car Hire in South Africa - Driving Guide
Discover South Africa by car
Keep Left - Belt Up - Think Kilometres
In South Africa you must drive on the left-hand side of the road - and that includes rental cars! Vehicles are right-hand drive and all distances, speed limits and speedometers are in kilometres.
Seat belts are compulsory for ALL passengers. Using hand-held phones whilst driving is against the law; use a hands-free device or find a safe spot to pull over to use a mobile phone.
The general speed limit on national highways, urban freeways and other major routes is 120kmh (75mph). On secondary (rural) roads the speed limit is 100kmh (60mph). In built-up areas it is usually 60kmh (35mph) unless otherwise stated. Be sure to keep an eye on road signs.
The road infrastructure in South Africa is excellent so driving is a viable option, but South Africa is a huge country not easily traversed in a day so planning your journey in advance is advised. If you're not used to driving long distances then it's important to schedule regular breaks from driving as fatigue is a major contributing factor in motor vehicle accidents. While most roads are tarred and in good condition, the more rural the road, the more likely it is to be pot-holed and poorly surfaced.
Current information on the conditions of roads can be found through the Automobile Association of South Africa. The AA also provides invaluable guides for road users in the form of strip maps tailored for specific destinations and information for tourists on accommodation en route. Main roads are identified by colour and number rather than by name, so a good map which incorporates the route marker system will prove helpful.
Before you set off on your journey it is advisable to check your route. Many of the national roads between the major cities are toll roads. Check the toll fees before you leave and be sure you have either your credit card or some cash to pay the tolls. Toll fees for light passenger vehicles vary from ZAR2.50 to ZAR46.00
Watch Out For Animals
Be aware that the roads in many rural areas are not fenced, therefore you could find dogs, chickens, sheep, horses or even cows on the road. Large antelope crossing the road can also be a hazard in certain areas. Watch out for the road signs depicting a leading antelope and take it slowly, especially around dusk.
A variety of petrol stations are situated on both main and country roads. Most of them are open 24 hours although some do keep shorter opening hours. It's important to consider the distance you may be travelling between towns, so it is advisable to fill up the tank before setting off.
Don't forget to check with the rental company staff which type of fuel the vehicle uses.
Many South African petrol stations do NOT accept credit cards for fuel so be sure to keep cash handy when refuelling.
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided above we can not accept responsibility for errors or omissions.
Car rental locations in South Africa available through Custom Car Hire