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South Africa car hire

We have Avis rental locations across South Africa, at all major airports, city centres and larger towns. Pick up your hire car from one station and drop it off at another and explore this beautiful country at your own pace.

Avis have a wide variety of vehicles to suit your needs, whether you’re looking for an urban run-around, a luxury saloon or a roomy SUV.

South Africa has so much to offer, go on safari in Kruger National Park, explore forests and lagoons along the stunning Garden Route and visit the numerous beautiful beaches of Cape Town.

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Planning your trip to South Africa

Western Cape
The original gateway to the country and now its signature city, Cape Town encapsulates much of what South Africa is all about. The dramatic natural beauty of Table Mountain overlooks a vibrant and varied mix of cultures with a lust for life and fun. Just offshore stands Robben Island, a silent reminder of a more racially segregated past.

Spreading northeast are the Western Cape winelands, the oldest wine-producing region outside Europe. There are numerous wine routes to guide you as you explore the dramatic mountains, fertile valleys and picturesque Cape-Dutch villages.

On the southern coast is one of the world’s legendary road trips: the 125-mile Garden Route from Mossel Bay to Storms River. The alternative route to the Eastern Cape is the inland Route 62, the longest wine route in the world.

Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal
The Eastern Cape is often bypassed en route to KwaZulu-Natal. Therein lies its charm. Here you can still find traditional Xhosa villages as well as 620 miles of untouched, temperate coastline. In the northwest, explore the desolate beauty of the semi-desert Karoo.

Heading northeast into KwaZulu-Natal, you’ll find a subtropical climate that’s always warm and pleasant. Packed with wildlife, beaches and a very African vibe, it’s a popular destination among South Africans. The region’s major city, the irrepressible Durban, is the region’s only real rival to Cape Town.

Northern Cape
One of many nature reserves in the Northern Cape, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is one of the World’s truly unspoilt ecosystems. The park gives sanctuary to many different species, including the rare black-maned lion of the Kalahari.

The provincial capital, Kimberley, is famous for its diamonds. It also sparkles in the history stakes with its living museum of mining. A more poignant monument to the diamond industry is the famous ‘Big Hole’, the world’s largest hand-dug chasm.

The veld

Covering much of the northeast, the ‘veld’ (Afrikaans for ‘field’) is a broad plateau bounded to the south by the Great Escarpment. The ‘Highveld’ segment, at around 2000 metres, has a dry and stable climate, vast swathes of grassland, and is home to the famous springbok.

Spanning the provinces of Mpumalanga and Limpopo, it is home to many big game animals, including elephants, rhinos, zebras, wildebeest and hippos.

Combine your safari with some spectacular scenery by heading northeast from Johannesburg, the country’s financial capital, to the aptly named Panorama Route. As you wind your way through the Drakensberg, en route to Kruger National Park, enjoy stunning views along the Blyde River Canyon and a glimpse of paradise from ‘God’s Window’.

Driving rules in South Africa

Which side of the road?
In South Africa, please drive on the left side of the road.

Country driving laws
  • Mobile phones may only be used with a headset or hands-free device
  • It is compulsory to carry your driving license with you at all times
  • Many of the national roads between the major centres are toll roads. Booths usually accept credit cards and cash
  • It's a good idea to keep your doors locked and the windows up, especially in cities and at traffic lights
  • In rural areas, you are likely to encounter animals on the road. Please drive slowly and carefully, especially at night

Speed limits

All speed signs will be in km/h.

For a standard Avis rental vehicle with no trailers:
  • Urban areas: 60 km/h (35 mph)
  • Rural areas: 100 km/h (60 mph)
  • Motorways: 120km/h (75mph)

Unless indicated by road signs.

Child safety / Seatbelt laws
  • It is compulsory for the driver and all passengers to wear a seatbelt
  • Children under 7 must be seated in an appropriate child restraint for their size and must not travel in the front seat of a vehicle that has two or more rows of seats.
  • Children aged between 7 and 16 must be seated in an appropriate child restraint for their size, or use a seatbelt that is properly adjusted to fit them and fastened securely

Please note - It is the child’s parent / guardian or vehicle renter’s responsibility to fit the child seat.

This road rules information is for provided for general guidance only. We endeavour to keep the information up to date and accurate, but any reliance you place on this information is at your own risk.