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South Africa Driving Tips

Driving in South Africa Tips

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Car Hire Driving Distances in South Africa

Licence Requirements

A full valid driver's licence is required for a minimum of 2 years. An International Drivers Licence is reccommended for Australian drivers licence holders.

Age Restrictions

Generally the minimum age is 21 years, but can vary between the car hire company and location. Maximum age limits apply in some locations, a young/senior driver surcharge may apply. Please check Terms and Conditions when making an enquiry or booking.

Rules, Laws and Regulations

General driving rules, laws and regulations in South Africa;


Whilst there are no laws regarding equipment you must carry with you in the vehicle, it is important to make sure you are prepared for whatever driving conditions you may endure.

Child Safety Seats

Children under the age of 12 years of age should ride in the back seats of the vehicle wearing a seatbelt or using an appropriate child seat.

Speed Limits

Speed checks are often carried out by police using radars, speed traps are also used regularly. Below are the speed limits in South Africa, unless signed otherwise:

Drink Driving

Driving under the influence is illegal, any one found to be over the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of 0.02mg/100ml will be fined and may be arrested.


There are a number of South African National Roads where tolls exist. Tolls are payable by cash, credit cards (South African issued), Garage Cars or Petrol Cars (South African issued), Fleet Cars (South African issued).

Road Signs

If you understood the road signs in the European Countries, understanding the signs in South Africa shouldn't be a problem. Although some signs are quite unique within the country with differences such as colour, shape, typeface or arrows.


As a general rule, it is always considered best to park in a multi-story or a shopping centre / store car park. Most of these will be barrier-entry with a pay-by-ticket system, and will have security staff on duty in the car parks. If you park on the street, most parking is charged, and some may have coin meters for each bay, with a timer system, so make sure you have the coins to pay. Some bays will be pay and display. If you’re parking on the streets, always look for a parking bay. And bear in mind that in South Africa it’s illegal to park facing in the wrong direction so if you see a bay on the right hand side of the road, you can’t cross over and park facing the traffic.

Visa Information

Visa, passport and entry requirements for Australians visiting South Africa:

Winter Driving

There is no legal requirement for the use of snow tires or snow chains. However, driving in winter conditions may be hazardous for the unprepared driver. Although South Africa is not as well known for extreme winter, such conditions may be extremely hazardous and many drivers might need to consider driving in situations where they do not feel confident.

All information provided is to be used as a guide only. Distances and time may very according to the route taken. The information shown on this page may have changed since the date of publication. Please refer to the countries local tourist office for up-to-date advice. Last updated: November 2016.