Everything You Need to Know Before You Rent a Car in South Africa

South Africa is an incredible travel destination packed with many diverse attractions that will intrigue all kinds of traveler. An excellent way to discover this amazing country is by renting a car and heading out on an unforgettable road trip. 


With a bit of research and a healthy sense of adventure, you’ll be able to explore South Africa at your own pace and enjoy all the freedom and flexibility that comes with renting a car.

An equipped 4X4 rental for self-driving in South Africa.
Above: An equipped 4X4 rental for self-driving in South Africa.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know before you rent a car in South Africa and head off on your one-of-a-kind epic road trip.


1. A Valid Driver’s License 


This is a bit of a no-brainer, but you’ll need a valid driver’s license before you can rent a car in South Africa. Law enforcement on South African roads requires any driver to produce a valid driver’s license at routine traffic stops, so keep yours handy.

Above: Luxury car rental in South Africa.
Above: Luxury car rental in South Africa.


It also makes sense to have a digital backup of your license just in case you lose it on your travels. 


2. Your Credit Card 


You’ll obviously need a credit card to pay for your rental car. Almost all car rental agencies accept VISA and MasterCard. Again, keep a digital copy of your credit card on hand as a backup.


3. Your Passport


All rental car agencies require that you produce your passport when renting a car. This probably won’t be an issue, since you’ll need to have your passport on hand while traveling. Keep a digital copy of your passport with you in case you misplace it during your journey.


4. International Driver’s Permit


If you’re traveling to South Africa from a foreign country, or if your driver’s license isn’t in English, you’ll need to apply for an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) before you can rent a car in South Africa.


Above: Campervan rental in South Africa.
Above: Campervan rental in South Africa.

You can apply for an IDP at the Post Office in the United Kingdom, and from the AAA or National Automobile Club websites in the US. 


5. Rent for Unlimited Mileage


To keep your road trip affordable, make sure you rent a car with unlimited mileage. You don’t want to be charged by the kilometer, especially if you’re planning on doing a lot of driving on your trip.

Self-drive 4X$ in South Africa.
Above: Renting a 4X4 for a self-drive road trip in South Africa. 

Renting a car in South Africa is a relatively straightforward process and is possibly the best way to enjoy all the sights that this beautiful country has to offer. With a bit of planning, you’ll get to see amazing places and immerse yourself in the culture of the Rainbow Nation.

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