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Driving in South Africa

Car Hire Cape Town | Aroundabout Cars

Rules of the Road / Traffic Enforcement

Drivers License

  • An International Driver’s Permit carried in conjunction with your national driving license is recommended and must be printed or authenticated in English.
  • If your license does not have a photograph on it, then you must also carry your passport with you so that you can be identified as the legal holder of the driving license.
  • Please note that the car hire companies might have different regulations regarding the length of time that you need to have held a driving license, so it is advisable to check with your hire car company about their requirements.
  • Always make sure documentation is carried with you at all times when driving.
  • Traffic officers will expect to see documentation if they stop you for any reason.
Rules of the Road

  • In South Africa we drive on the left-hand side of the road, and our cars – rental cars included – are right-hand drive vehicles.
  • Keep to the left and pass right
  • All distances, speed limits (and speedometers) are in kilometers.
  • There are strict drinking and driving laws – with a maximum allowable alcohol blood content of 0.05%. Translated that means about one glass of wine for the average woman and perhaps 1.5 or two for the average or large man.
  • Four-way-stops are commonly found at the quieter intersections – the first vehicle to arrive has priority. On roundabouts, give way to the right, although this is often overlooked and it is wise to proceed with caution.
  • Wearing of seat belts is compulsory. All occupants of a vehicle are required to wear seatbelts whilst traveling, if you are caught without you will be subject to a fine.
  • Using hand-held phones while driving is against the law – use a vehicle phone attachment or hands-free kit, if you want to speak on your mobile phone.
    Speed limit
Speed limit

  • The general speed limit on national highways, urban freeways and other major routes is 120km/h (75mph).
  • On secondary (rural) roads it is 100km/h (60mph).
  • In built-up areas it is usually 60km/h (35mph) unless otherwise indicated.
  • Check the road signs and obey the speed limit at all times
  • Speed limits are maximum speeds. If it is raining, misty or the road is congested, reduce speed.
  • Reduce speed near areas where there is pedestrian activity.

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