Hiring a car in Joburg

Johannesburg, also known as ‘the city of gold,’ is South Africa’s commercial capital, with roots dating back to the late-nineteenth-century gold rush. Johannesburg has exciting and diverse energy. This destination is all about the greatest restaurants, the hottest bars, and the most amazing shopping.

Johannesburg South Africa Safety
Johannesburg Cityscape

What makes Johannesburg an even more enticing holiday destination is its closeness to resorts like Sun City and the Pilanesberg National Park, both of which can be easily reached by hiring a car in Johannesburg with Drive South Africa.

Best Time to Visit Johannesburg

Winters in Johannesburg are mild, with sunny days, but the mornings can be chilly. The best season to visit Johannesburg is generally considered to be in the spring or summer, when the weather is warm and dry. 

In and Around Johannesburg

Johannesburg is known for its vibrant and lush parks. For example, Emmarentia Dam is a popular picnic spot that occasionally features live music.The Maboneng Precinct is ideal for anyone interested in experiencing Johannesburg’s newly built urban life. The vast amount of arts, entertainment, and nightlife in the Braamfontein region is fantastic.

hire a car Johannesburg

Johannesburg City from a bus tour

Other famous areas are the iconic Melville and the cosmopolitan Greenside. Another great option is to rent a car or a 4x4 rental in Johannesburg and drive to The Cradle of Humankind, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Getting Around Johannesburg and its surroundings 

Johannesburg is a huge network of highways and routes. Although public transit has improved with the building of the world-class Gautrain rail network, it is still limited in terms of where it can go, thus car hire in Johannesburg is a terrific way to navigate the city because you can go wherever you want.


Gauteng at Night

The Length of Your Stay in Johannesburg

Johannesburg is doable in a week, but if you want to truly immerse yourself in the culture while also exploring neighboring cities, nature, and wildlife, two weeks is a better time frame.

When hiring a car in Johannesburg, make sure the vehicle matches all of your travel requirements by comparing and selecting from the large selection of vehicles available on our website. 

You can select the number of days you wish to rent a car in Johannesburg, and Drive South Africa will provide you with the most competitive rates for your trip.

What to Pack for your Trip to Johannesburg

Johannesburg is a fantastic summer destination, but the winter months of June to September are often cold, damp, and windy. Make sure to pack appropriate clothing for the weather and season.

A good starting point would be to pack;

  • Light, cool clothing

  • Swimming costumes

  • Sun hat and sunscreen 

  • Hiking gear or good walking shoes

  • A good windbreaker-type jacket

  • A light jacket and long pants for the occasional chilly evening

Just remember that if you are hiring a cheap car in Johannesburg you need to make sure that you’ve got a vehicle that allows for enough baggage space.

Where to Stay in Johannesburg?

Maboneng Johannesburg

Maboneng is an up and coming district in Johannesburg’s core that is dedicated to the creation of a more holistic, artistic metropolis. In the surrounding area, there is a huge variety of guest homes, backpackers, and boutique hotels to select from. 

Melville Johannesburg

Melville is a well-established urban, residential, commercial, and entertainment district in Johannesburg, with a wide range of accommodation options to suit all budgets.

Greenside Johannesburg

Greenside is comparable to Mellville, although it is also close to some of the city’s most beautiful parks.

Sandton Johannesburg

Sandton is one of the city’s financial and business areas, and it is definitely a region for the more wealthy tourists looking for a little pampering and luxury in the city.

Frequently Asked Questions when Hiring a Car in Johannesburg, South Africa

How old must I be to hire a vehicle in Johannesburg?

Most suppliers require you to be 21 as an international driver and 23 for South African drivers, you are also required to have held a valid license for at least 2 years before hiring a car.

There are various options depending on the supplier so please contact us if you are below this age and need to hire a vehicle.

My vehicle is being delivered to me. Will the fuel tank be full when I receive it?

Fuel is charged from depot to depot in Johannesburg and the rest of South Africa. Every vehicle leaves the depot full and is re-fuelled upon return. If your vehicle is delivered to you then the tank may not be completely full depending on the distance from the nearest depot.

In the same way, if your vehicle is collected from you it will be re-fuelled when it returns to the depot so you will be liable for the cost of the fuel from the collection point to the nearest depot.

How does the rental deposit work?

When you hire a car in Johannesburg, if you have chosen a package with an excess then you will be required to have he full excess value available on your credit card for a deposit. If you return the vehicle without any damages then this amount will be refunded to you. If repairs are required or parts need to be replaced then you will be charged the correct amount and any remaining funds will be refunded to you.

No matter what package you have chosen you will be required to pay a rental deposit. This varies from R1000 to R2000 depending on which supplier is used. This deposit will be refunded if the vehicle is returned on or before the agreed date and time with a full fuel tank. If the vehicle requires re-fuelling then you will be charged for this and the remaining funds will be refunded. If you return your vehicle late without contacting Drive South Africa then you will be charged for the additional days at the supplier’s extension rates.

What do I do if I have an accident?

If a third party is involved make sure you get all their details – name, ID or passport number, address and telephone number, vehicle registration, make, and model. You will need to contact the supplier as soon as possible but no more than 24 hours after the incident. They will require a full and detailed description of the accident.

If your vehicle needs to be replaced the supplier will arrange to do this. You also need to report the accident to the nearest police station and supply the car rental company with the case number.

We always recommend Super cover instead of Standard cover as this will cover you more extensivly if an accident should occur while travelling through Johannesburg and South Africa as a whole.

Can the vehicle model be guaranteed?

No. A specific model can be requested but not guaranteed. Rental vehicles are put into group i.e. Group A or Group D, so you will be renting a vehilce in a specific group, not a specific vehicle. The supplier reserves the right to replace certain models on their fleet without prior notification. The advertised vehicle gives an indication of the type of vehicle and features to be expected.

The only time you will hire a specific vehicle is when you enquire around our luxury fleet.

Do I need an International Driver’s License to hire a car with Drive South Africa?

No. You do not necessarily need an International Driver’s License.

You may use the driver’s license from your home country, provided that the license is:

  • Valid
  • Unendorsed
  • In English

If your license is in another language then you will need an International license.

The type of vehicles you can hire in Johannesburg, South Africa

Compact Cars

Compact Cars

When hiring a compact car in Johannesburg you’re generally expecting a vehicle that would be best suited for 1 or 2 persons with minimal baggage. Hiring a cheap compact car is best for business trips or short distance travel in and around a city.

If you’re looking to travel a bit further, then we would recommend hiring an SUV or at the very least a standard car.

Standard Cars

Standard Cars

When hiring a standard car in Johannesburg you are generally looking at hiring a 4 door sedan or similar with considerably more boot space than your compact option. hiring a standard car is best for leisure trips where you have a 2-3 people with some baggage.

If you’re looking to travel a bit further or you’re 4-5 people with baggage, then we would recommend hiring an SUV or a People Mover.

Commercial Cars & Bakkies

Commercial Cars & Bakkies

When hiring a commercial vehilce or bakkie, you are generally using it for work or moving purposes. This is a more hardy rental option that you can use to transport goods.

Please make sure that you read all terms and conditions when it comes to hiring one of these vehicles as damages to the vehicle could result in hefty fines.



MPV stands for Multi-Purpose Vehicle and is used for larger groups when travelling. Generally renting an MPV is best suited when you are 4-5 people travelling with baggage.

If you are even slightly concerned about space however, we would recommend looking at hiring a People Mover instead as the better option as this would allow you a large amount of space with baggage.



If chances are that you’re travelling for a few weeks, you will have quite a bit of luggage. An SUV is ideal for storing your luggage, where boot space is aplenty. You definitely won’t feel cramped when you hire an SUV.

As it is more adept at handling terrain, an SUV is the perfect car hire option for a road trip style holiday in Southern Africa. This is as you won’t always find perfectly manicured highways.

People Movers

People Movers

People movers are there to hire if you have 4-8 people travelling for slightly longer periods or you have a considerable amount of luggage. This is the best option if you are planning on hiring with the aim of travelling in complete comfort as each passengers will have ample space.

If you need something a tad less expensive then an MPV would also do the trick but note, with this rental option you’ll have far less comfort and space.

Hiring a Cheap car in South Africa vs other transport options

Johannesburg is one of the major cities in South Africa and is considered the economic hub of the country. This said, public transport is still African in nature and far from European standards.

There are numerous taxi apps and traditional taxi services available in Johannesburg including Uber and Bolt (Lyft is not an option in South Africa at the moment). This is perfect for your night out or short trips within the city.

If you’re planning on travelling anywhere outside of the immediate city, we would recommend either the Gautrain which goes to Pretoria and some spots within the greater Johannesburg area or hiring a car.

Trains are generally used for shorter metro style trips (more blue collar) and can be very unreliable, so our recommendation would be to avoid these.

Flying into most of South Africa’s major cities is hassle free as there a quite a few low cost airlines to get you there with Kulula, Mango and FlySafair being your most popular.

All in all, once you’re in the city public transport is limited so unless you are planning on purely staying in the city centre specifically, you will need to hire a car in Johannesburg. Depending on the size of your group and your requirements that would guide your specific rental.

To see all of the available options we have please click on the button below and fill in your dates for accurate pricing.

The hiring procedure to follow when hiring a car in Johannesburg

When hiring a vehicle in Johannesburg with Drive South Africa, the process could not be simpler. Just follow the steps below;

1. At the top of this page you will see a search form with dates and locations

2. Add the dates that you need to hire the vehicle for

3. Add the pick-up and drop-off locations where you want to collect the vehicle and then return the vehicle, in the case most likely Johannesburg

4. Click on the search button

5. A list of vehicles will appear that are available for you to hire in Johannesburg

6. You will see a range of filters at the top of the results that will allow you to filter to a specific type of vehicle.

7. Based on the type of car that you’re interested in, select the vehicle (click the Select button) that best matches your needs, based on price and size.

8. You’ll be taken to Step 2 of the process where you select your Insurance, Excess and Extras. We always recommend Super cover as this will reduce your Excess and Liability if you are in an accident.

9. Once happy with your selection click on the “Continue” button which will take you to Step 3 where we get your details. We need your details to reserve the booking against your name. You will be required to show identification (Driver’s Licence) on collection of the vehicle so make sure to match.

10. If you’ve selected an “Instant Confirmation” vehicle you’ll have the option to pay immediately otherwise you will see a confirmation page here for your vehicle rental in Johannesburg.

11. If you see a confirmation you’ll see a reference number (starts with DS)n which has been emailed to you as well and you will use that reference number when corresponding with our consultants.

12. If you have selected to pay immediately then you will be able to add your credit card details and have a vehicle ready for you instantly.

13. Once you’ve paid for your car rental you will see a similar confirmation page as above.

14. If you have any problems during this process you can contact us at +27 87 806 7330 to speak to one of our expert car rental consultants.

What Documents do you Need in South Africa when you hire a Vehicle in Johannesburg

The only documents that you need is an valid driver’s licence from you country of residence. You do not necessarily need an International Driver’s License.

You may use the driver’s license from your home country, provided that the license is:

– Valid

– Unendorsed

– In English

If your license is in another language then you will need an International license.

Please note that you will also need a credit card in your name with embossed letters and numbers. This is the standard with all of our suppliers.

If you are renting a 4x4 or camper in Johannesburg and you are paying your deposit with a Diner’s Club card you will still need a Maestro or Visa card with embossed letter and numbers on collection of your rental vehicle.

FAQs for Car Hire in Johannesburg

Europcar South Africa Domestic, Hertz South Africa Domestic, Thrifty Car Rental South Africa, First South Africa Domestic, Bluu Car Rental South Africa (Domestic) offer car hire in Johannesburg that adhere to strict COVID-19 health, cleaning and safety standards.

You can hire a car in Johannesburg from ZAR 290 per day for a Kia Picanto from Europcar.

The cheapest car to hire in Johannesburg is the Kia Picanto from Europcar. You can rent the Kia Picanto from ZAR 290 per day.

The cheapest car hire agency in Johannesburg right now is Europcar. Book directly with them via Drive South Africa.

Search Drive South Africa's website to find car hire near you in Johannesburg

You can hire a car at Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport from Europcar, Hertz, Thrifty Car Rental, First Car Rental Domestic, Bluu Car Rental South Africa

You can hire a car at Lanseria International Airport from Hertz, First Car Rental Domestic, Bluu Car Rental South Africa

SUV / 4x4s car hire in Johannesburg costs anything from ZAR 665 per day to ZAR 3035 per day.

People Movers car hire in Johannesburg costs anything from ZAR 1080 per day to ZAR 2555 per day.

Luxury Cars car hire in Johannesburg costs anything from ZAR 760 per day to ZAR 1825 per day.

Standard Cars car hire in Johannesburg costs anything from ZAR 375 per day to ZAR 1210 per day.

MPVs car hire in Johannesburg costs anything from ZAR 630 per day to ZAR 1025 per day.

Commercial / Bakkie car hire in Johannesburg costs anything from ZAR 520 per day to ZAR 935 per day.

Compact Cars car hire in Johannesburg costs anything from ZAR 290 per day to ZAR 695 per day.

It costs ZAR 2030 to hire a car for a week in Johannesburg. The cheapest weekly car rental rate is for the Kia Picanto by Europcar.

It costs ZAR 8700 per month to hire a car long term in Johannesburg. The cheapest monthly car rental rate is for the Kia Picanto by Europcar. You can pay up to ZAR 8700 per month to hire a Kia Picanto long term in Johannesburg.

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