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With scenic routes, an excellent road infrastructure and left-hand-side driving, South Africa is ideal for self-driving. Car rental allows for a flexible and independent holiday, so you can choose how and where to spend your time. Choose from a range of vehicles and enjoy the open, winding, coastal, mountain and bush roads of this incredible country.


Driving in South Africa is fun, easy and ideal for families, friends and couples who enjoy a more independent holiday. South Africans drive on the same side of the road as the UK and there’s very little traffic compared with the UK. South Africa's roads lead to grand wine estates, Big Five game reserves and tranquil vistas stretching from protected fynbos reserves to Zulu battlefields. The famous Garden Route is spectacular self-drive territory – it’s a beautiful stretch along the coast that can easily be added onto time spent in Cape Town and whale-watching hotspot Hermanus. And best of all, you can round off your adventure with a classic South African safari in the Eastern Cape to see the Big Five. It’s ideal if you can share the driving so that you get the chance to enjoy views without having to keep your eyes on the road.

Car hire

Choice of cars
Our long-term rental partner, Europcar, offers a quality fleet and high standards of service. Choose from a range of cars, from small economy and compact vehicles to full-size vans and SUVs. All of the cars are easy to drive, with manual and automatic both available. If you're travelling on to a game reserve, we recommend a larger car or 4x4. It's important to consider your group size and how much luggage you'll have with you when choosing your vehicle.

Here are a few examples of the range of vehicles available.


Car hire vehicle models

Standard SUV (auto)

Group S
Nissan Xtrail XE or similar - 5 door

Compact sedan

Group C
Hyundai Accent or similar - 4 door

Elite sedan

Group H
Audi A3 or similar - 4 door

Passenger van

Group E
Hyundai H1 or similar - 5 door

Standard sedan

Group F
Toyota Corolla or similar - 4 door

Economy auto

Group D
VW Polo Vivo Trendline or similar - 4 door

Licence information
All drivers must present a full licence held for a minimum of 2 years. For all rentals, the licence must be in English, or a foreign licence with an International Driving Permit. Photographic identification required. For drivers under 23, a young driver surcharge applies.

In South Africa, the rental packages can vary but typically includes unlimited mileage, theft and collision damage waiver, personal accident insurance, airport surcharge, tourism levy, VAT and carbon emission tax.

Upgrade to the Classic Plus package which includes coverage against tyre, rim and sand blasting damage. The highest level, the Classic Max, also includes a GPS unit and permits additional drivers.

One-way fees
For all rentals returned more than 150km (approx. 93 miles) from the original rental office, a one-way fee is payable. One-way fees outside of South Africa to Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana and Namibia are permitted. Please enquire for details.

Travel tips

It’s important to take note of specific driving restrictions that apply to rentals in South Africa. Your rental vehicle must only be used on roads that are properly formed and constructed as sealed, metalled or gravel roads.

Carefully consider your luggage requirements before choosing your vehicle.

Tolls are only payable in cash. Further information is available when collecting your vehicle.

Cross-border journeys
Ask a Personal Travel Expert for details on documents and visa requirements for a self-drive itineraries that include travel between two or more countries.

Co-pilot kit

A number of our self-drive packages with our local representative, GoVacations Africa, include a personalised co-pilot kit. This provides you with all of the practical information you need to navigate the roads, plan your journey and make the most out of your South Africa self-drive adventure. You can also add this co-pilot kit to any tailor-made self-drive itinerary.


• Driving instructions

• Detailed day-by-day itinerary description and directions

• Road atlas

• Local visitor guides

• VIP Card with discount offers for various attractions

• Handy canvas folder.

Here’s a selection of our favourite self-drive itineraries for inspiration. These are purely suggestions and are completely flexible, so you can extend or shorten the length of time, change accommodation and add on your must-see destinations.

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1 / 2

Cape Town, Wine & Whales Self-Drive

Experience the diverse landscapes of South Africa as you spot whales in Hermanus, savour the produce of the Winelands and explore Cape Town.

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1 / 8

Route 62 Gourmet Self-Drive

This 14-night itinerary is the foodie’s guide to eating your way around the Cape. Try out the hottest local spots in Cape Town, sip your way around the Winelands, sup on seafood in Knysna and end on a...

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1 / 2

The Garden Route – Family Edition – Suggested itinerary

Go on a family adventure with this 16-night itinerary along South Africa’s Garden Route. Starting in Cape Town, this version of the famous self-drive route is created for families in mind with short d...

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1 / 6

KwaZulu-Natal Bush, Beach & Battlefields Self-Drive

Uncover another side to South Africa on this KwaZulu-Natal self-drive itinerary. Relax on a golden beach in Umhlanga, learn about the moving history of the Battlefields and find mighty African predato...

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