Travelling In South Africa? Your Questions Answered

South Africa is a true melting pot of culture, colour, history, and natural beauty. If it is not on your travel radar, it certainly should be, whether you are an adrenaline junkie or someone who lets their stomach lead the way on their adventures. 

But, you likely have some questions about the culture and travelling etiquette in the country. We answer all of these questions and more in our top tips for travelling in South Africa.

Is It Safe To Travel In South Africa?

This is one of the most asked questions about a South African holiday, and the answer is yes – but you must always practice awareness of your surroundings.

There are certain crimes to be aware of, including carjacking, armed robbery, and petty theft. However, this should not deter you from visiting our beautiful country and experiencing all we have to offer.

Follow our useful safety tips:

  • Never leave valuables lying around or out of your sight, especially while driving or parking your car.
  • If you are arriving at one of the airports, make sure that you are using a proper suitcase or lockable hard shell suitcase. Keep your valuables on your person and, if possible, ask for your luggage to be wrapped for added security.
  • Do not keep your camera or cell phone in plain sight when walking the streets. If you need to take a photograph, make sure you can easily store it in a bag afterwards.
  • Avoid hitchhiking at all costs. It is better to rent a car or, alternatively make use of ride sharing applications if you will be drinking and want to avoid driving.

Staying alert and aware is important in any tourist-heavy country, so remember this when exploring South Africa.

Should I Take Out Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance in South Africa is important, and you should certainly make sure your belongings are covered. This is also true if you are renting a car – ensuring that you have the right insurance will cover you for every eventuality. 

For adrenaline junkies, having travel insurance is vital. You might decide to go abseiling, river rafting, or even shark cage diving, and have an accident. Without this insurance, you will have a hefty hospital bill and might have to use the money you saved for your adventure for these costs.

Should I Learn The Language?

Yes! But, this might be a little tricky…South Africa has eleven official languages (Sepedi (also known as Sesotho sa Leboa), Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa and isiZulu). 

While many people do speak English, there have been some twists added to common words in the other languages, so learning some phrases before your holiday to South Africa can help you to speak to the locals:

  • Howzit: This is a common greeting used instead of “Hello, how are you?” It is largely informal, but used in almost any setting.
  • Eish: A Khoi-San expression used to express shock or surprise. It is used by almost all races and cultures because it is so expressive.
  • Braai: A braai is a barbecue – but it is also so much more. It is truly a cultural experience and you will often be invited to a braai during a sports game, to celebrate a holiday…or just because it is a sunny Saturday.
  • Now Now: This is used to mean right away or in the very near future, or as soon as possible.
  • Just Now: This can be highly confusing if you are not from South Africa. “Just now” does not mean “right now” – it can mean anything from an hour to an entire day.
  • Robot: A robot is a traffic light – remember to keep this in mind when asking for directions.

Luckily, most establishments have staff who speak English, so you will not need to learn a new language to ask for help.

Do I Need To Research Anything?

Researching day trips in South Africa and self-drive safarisas well as the COVID-19 regulations in South Africa can certainly help you to make a decision on what activities you want to take part in and what provinces you want to visit.

You should consider when and where you would like to visit, especially as some attractions are only available or active during certain seasons, and how long you would like to stay for. Performing proper and realistic research of where you want to go, how long you would like to spend there, and what you would like to do will help you to plan your budget and time wisely.

Should I Tip?

Unlike many parts of Asia and some European countries, tipping is considered normal in South Africa. 

Tipping at restaurants is normal, but you will also be expected to tip other service industry workers, such as car guards (people who watch your cars for safety in parking lots – however, this is not a law, just good practice), petrol attendants, tour guides and tour guide drivers, and fast-food delivery people.

Most restaurants do not include a service charge on the bill. The tip should, at minimum, be 10% of the bill. You will also see an additional 14% VAT added to the bill, which can be confused for the tip.

Have Fun

Travelling in South Africa can be both exciting and daunting if you are unaware of some of the nuances of the country. It is perfectly safe to travel in the major cities, provided you protect your valuables and keep aware of your surroundings – also, ensure you have travel insurance for yourself and belongings.

Learn some of the lingo, look up where to go, and rent a car with Star Car Rental and you will be well on your way to having a fantastic adventure.

How To Create The Perfect Road Trip Playlist

A road trip without music is hard to imagine. Long strips of road – especially the flat roads we have here in some areas of South Africa – can quickly become dull and cause the driver to become tired or bored. Music is the ideal solution to maintain energy and alertness.

When traveling in South Africa, having the right music in the background can make the trip more enjoyable for everyone involved, especially if everyone has had a chance to choose a song or two.

Below we give some top tips on how to create the perfect road trip playlist.

How Will The Music Be Played?

This is a vital consideration, especially if you will be renting a car in South Africa. Does the car have a CD player, a Bluetooth connection, an AUX (auxiliary) cord connection, or are you able to use a USB stick to play your music?

Once you know how the music will be played, you can work on gathering the necessary tools for your playlist. Remember that, if you will be connecting via Bluetooth using a device, the device will need to be charged for the duration of the trip, unless other people in the car can use their devices with the same playlist.

Give Some Ground Rules

Setting rules for who can choose songs is important, and many people agree that the driver should be the one to choose the songs. However, the driver should always take the preferences and requests of passengers into consideration to avoid a disagreeable road trip. 

A good way to set ground rules is to draw up a list of songs, artists, and genres that should be avoided at all costs. This means that everyone can enjoy a fun and relaxing South African road trip. Allowing everyone to choose one to two of their favorite songs is also a great compromise for a diverse playlist.

Match Your Music To Your Surroundings

South Africa is a culturally colourful country, and we have some amazing local singers, songwriters, and bands. So, why not create a playlist to match your surroundings, and fill it with some local flavour?

When driving in Cape Town, for example, add musicians such as Freshly Ground, Goldfish, and Jack Parow to your playlist. KwaZulu-Natal is known for its musical talent, and songs from the Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and the wildly popular hit from Johnny Clegg, Impi, are perfect matches for this area’s history and culture.

Consider Safety First

If you are renting a car in South Africa, it is important to consider the safety of the driver above everything else when creating a playlist. The music should be chosen to suit the energy of the day and to help to maintain the alertness of the driver.

A calming, uplifting track for the morning can help to allay the stress of driving through morning traffic, whereas an upbeat and energetic track for evening driving will help to ensure the driver remains awake while driving. Remember, if you are feeling tired, it is best to stop and rest rather than continue driving on, no matter what music is playing.

Be Flexible And Patient

As much as you plan out your perfect South African road trip playlist, there will be someone who does not enjoy the songs you choose. In this case, you will need to be more flexible and patient. 

Allowing passengers to choose songs will make the road trip more enjoyable for everyone involved. This will also eliminate irritation for the driver, as passengers might request songs to be changed constantly, which can be hugely distracting while driving. If you are using a Bluetooth connection, passengers can easily change the songs themselves using the connected device.

Have Fun

A road trip playlist should not be something taken too seriously. Think of songs that everyone enjoys, perhaps one that brings back fun memories for the family or a song that reminds everyone of a special moment in time. 

Or, you could add some current songs that everyone knows and can sing along to. Your rental car will likely have a radio, which can help playlists get repetitive. When planning a trip to South Africa, start with Star Car Rental – we are sure to have everything you need.


Top South African Experiences For Tourists And Locals

A South African holiday is truly unforgettable. It is a place full of natural wonder, a colourful history, and some of the most unique experiences you can imagine.

There is such a diverse selection of experiences available, from seeing the Big Five on a safari, to swimming with penguins, to bungee jumping off of bridges – everyone will find something exciting to do. 

But, choosing just one or two of these experiences can be a real head scratcher – so we have put together a list of the top South African experiences that both tourists and locals can enjoy.

Plan A Self-Drive Safari

A self-drive safari is a one-of-a-kind experience, and is perfectly safe  for anyone to enjoy. There are numerous places to choose from, including the Kruger National Park and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

The benefit of a self-drive safari is that you are in control of the itinerary. You can choose to stay for a longer period of time at certain spots, such as staying to watch a pride of lions or settling in at a spot to watch out for unique birds or animals. Make sure you follow all the COVID-19 protocols set out for the park you choose to visit.

Swim With Penguins

Penguins are fascinating animals, and at Boulders Beach in Cape Town, you can spend the day swimming with them – a truly special South African experience. Boulders Beach is dotted with smooth boulders that play house to a large colony of African Penguins. 

These marine birds are not afraid of swimmers and sunbathers, and are curious enough to come fairly close to humans. Obviously, they should not be touched because they are wild animals, but there is ample opportunity for fun photos. Make sure to remove all litter you bring with you when you leave.

Take A Hike

South Africa is known for having stunning landscapes, and many of these are accessible through hiking. You can hike up Table Mountain for a magnificent view over Cape Town or you could be more adventurous and choose Platteklip Gorge instead. 

Be sure to choose hiking trails that match your abilities and difficulty level. Look for guided trails that make the hike easier, if you are travelling to South Africa with children or people who are not as fit as you. Always pack and wear sunscreen while hiking and bring along enough water.

Experience An Underground Adventure

Along the Garden Route, one of the best road trips in South Africa, you will find the Cango Caves. The Cango Caves is a network of caves that spans 4kmunder the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains. 

If you’re having a relaxing South African holiday, you can explore the caves slowly and take in their natural splendour. There is also an adventure tour for the adrenaline junkies, who are not afraid of squeezing, twisting, and squirming their way in and around the caves. At the moment, only 25 people are permitted per tour due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Amp Up The Adrenaline

Our country is full of daring and thrilling experiences, but one of the most exhilarating has to be bungee jumping off of the Bloukrans Bridge. The bridge is 216 metres tall and offers bungee jumping, a zip line, and a skywalk.

For another adrenaline rush, the Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve has the Wild Gorge Swing, where you jump off the edge of a waterfall and swing through Oribi Gorge. Neither experience is for the faint-hearted and you will need to book ahead of time to ensure you have a spot.

Wine Down In The Winelands

Wine and Cape Town are synonymous, and what better way to experience South Africa than with a winelands tour. Some of the most popular wineries are in Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, and Constantia, but there are some that are off of the beaten track that you should enjoy. 

Paserene, in Franschhoek, is a small, family operated winery that has a truly magnificent wine tasting room, designed to look like a swift’s nest. Their luxury wines have won several awards, and truly live up to these accolades. Make sure to book tastings ahead of time to avoid disappointment.

Babylonstoren in Simondium is a unique wine farm experience, as it not only makes wine but has a stunning garden that you can explore for only R10 a person. The tasting room is next door to the wine cellar and the food platters on offer are made from ingredients directly from their farm.

Explore Sunny South Africa

A holiday to South Africa should be on everyone’s bucket list. From swimming with penguins, to bungee jumping, to relaxing with a glass of delicious wine, there is something for everyone to enjoy. For driving from one thrilling adventure to the next, Star Car Hire has a range of cars to choose from. Contact us to find out more about our process.

Is Cape Town Safe For Travelling?

Cape Town is one of the most popular – and coolest – places in South Africa for tourists to visit. 

It has one of the most memorable and identifiable landmarks in the country, Table Mountain, and is famous for being a unique cultural melting pot.

But, is Cape Town safe for Travelling, especially in 2021?

While there are some safety issues that occur in most large metropoles, Cape Town is generally safe for travelling – of course, there are COVID-19 regulations in place that must be followed to ensure a safe and enjoyable adventure. 

Below we break down how safe Cape Town is for travelling in terms of COVID-19 and in general.

What Travellers Need To Know About COVID-19 In Cape Town

Before you plan your Cape Town holiday, it is important to know how South Africa is handling tourists.

If you are an international tourist, when you arrive at the Cape Town International Airport you will need to provide a negative COVID test that is not older than 72 hours, from the time of departure of your country. 

Upon arrival at the airport, you will be screened for any COVID-19 symptoms or if you have had any contact with someone who may have suffered from the virus recently. You will also need to provide proof of an address where you will be staying for the duration of your trip to Cape Town. 

South Africa is currently in adjusted Alert Level 2 of lockdown, and the restrictions are as follows:

  • Wearing face masks is mandatory (excluding children under the age of six years) when in a public place. If you fail to comply with this rule, you are liable to a fine or a period of imprisonment not exceeding six months, or to both a fine and imprisonment.
  • There is a curfew from 23h00 until 04h00, unless you have arrived on a flight or are travelling to or from an airport during these restricted hours of movement. In these cases, you must be in possession of a valid boarding pass as proof of flight or a copy of the airline ticket.
  • Establishments will be closed at 21h30 or 22h00 at the latest, to allow for their staff to arrive home before the curfew starts.
  • If you are attending a gathering or party, you must wear a face mask and maintain social distancing. Indoor events are limited to 100 persons or less and indoor events are limited to 250 persons or less.
  • For those who enjoy eating out, restaurants and bars are limited to a maximum of 100 people for indoor venues and 250 people for outdoor venues. All people must maintain one-and-a-half metres while socialising and must wear a mask (unless eating or drinking).
  • Hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, timeshare facilities, resorts, and guest houses are allowed full capacity of the available rooms for accommodation, but all guests must wear face masks and practice social distancing in common spaces.

These measures might sound strict, but they have been put in place to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. 

So, how safe is Cape Town for travelling during COVID-19? Judging by the measures in place, we would say, pretty safe!

General Safety

As with any major city and tourist attraction, there are safety issues to be concerned about when travelling in Cape Town. However, if you have some tips to follow to ensure your safety, your Cape Town holiday can be fun and safe. 

  • Look for tourist areas: The tourist areas are generally the safer areas of Cape Town, as there are more people around and higher levels of security. These areas are the V&A Waterfront, Camps Bay, Sea Point, Green Point, Constantia, Muizenberg, and Kloof Street. Loop Street is a popular backpacking area but be sure to remain alert when walking through this busy area.
  • Keep your belongings safe: When walking around the streets or from your car to a restaurant or shopping centre, make sure that your belongings are safe. Avoid wearing trousers or skirts that have easy-to-reach pockets where your cellphone or wallet can be removed, and rather keep them in a bag or backpack that is kept closed.
  • Use a rental car: One of the best ways to maintain safety in Cape Town is to hire a car as transport. Not only will you be able to drive to and from your destinations easily, but you can also avoid using public transport, which can be unsafe at times. Always keep windows wound up and doors locked at traffic lights, and make sure you have your route planned.
  • Save emergency numbers: Knowing who to call in an emergency is vital, so make sure to save the following numbers to your phone:
    • Emergencies from a mobile: 112
    • Emergencies from a landline: 107
    • South African Police Service: 10111
    • Medical & Fire Emergencies: 021 535 1100
    • Table Mountain NP Emergencies: 021 480 7700
    • Sea & Mountain Rescue: 021 948 9900
    • National Sea Rescue Institute: 082 911
    • Baboon Monitors: 071 588 6540
    • Shark Spotters: 078 174 4244
    • Ambulance: 10177

Remember to be aware of your surroundings and avoid walking alone at night. Any city at night can be unsafe, so it is best to avoid being out too late in the evening.

Safety in Cape Town should not put you off exploring this beautiful city. Hire a car and start your next big South African adventure with Star Car Rental.

Car Rental Payment Tips For Travelers To South Africa

When you are planning a trip to South Africa, it is always a good idea to book a rental car

It allows you complete freedom of movement and a safe way to travel the country. Without a car, you are unable to visit our stunning wine farms or other attractions, like seeing Table Mountain or exploring the foodie spots in the inner city.

But, one of the most common issues with rental cars is understanding the payment processes.

We are here to explain these processes and give you all the help you need before renting a car in South Africa.

Can I Rent A Car Without A Credit Card?

Unfortunately, all car rentals must be paid using a credit card. 

This is due to a high incidence of fraud, and means many car rental companies cannot accept cash, EFT (electronic fund transfer) Payments, or debit cards. 

It also ensures the financial security of the car rental company and that all payments are secure for the person paying. 

The credit card will need to be in the name of the main driver, because they will be held legally responsible for the car throughout the rental period.

Why Was A Refundable Amount Blocked On My Card?

It can be alarming to see a refundable amount blocked on your card, but there is a good reason behind it.

Your quotation will specify both the total rental amount that is payable and the total refundable deposit amount that is payable. 

This is to ensure that you have sufficient funds. There is no debit on your statement, the bank is simply holding the money, and once you return the car, the money will be released by the bank.

When Are My Deposits Cleared Or Refunded?

As soon as the car has been checked and fuelled, the invoice will be finalised and any balance of the deposit will be automatically refunded. This is provided that no charges have been incurred. 

For overseas visitors, the refund will usually reflect on your statement within seven days. If, after seven days, the amount does not reflect, please contact your car rental company for advice or help.

Who Can Pay For The Rental?

The issue of who pays for the rental has strict rules. The driver of the rental car must be the holder of the credit card used to pay for the rental. 

Another person may pay for the car rental if you are unable to do so, but the contract must be in their name, and they must be present to collect the car. 

This person will need to provide their credit card (that is in their name) as well as a valid driver’s license. International visitors will need to provide a valid passport.

If someone else will be paying for your rental car, they can add you as an additional driver at the standard fee.

Is There A Cancellation Fee If I Can No Longer Make The Trip?

In terms of a cancellation fee if you can no longer make your trip, this depends on several aspects. 

For standard vehicles, if the vehicle has been cancelled at least 24 hours before your arrival, there will be no cancellation fee payable. 

If you have hired a luxury vehicle, a cancellation fee will be charged for cancelling less than seven days before your arrival. 

For three or more vehicles, the cancellation fee will apply if you have cancelled less than 18 days until your arrival.

How Can I Extend Car Rental?

If you would like to extend your car rental period, you can contact the Star Car Rental office and let us know your new return date and time. 

We will check our schedule and let you know if this can be done. Do not assume automatically that your car will be available to extend, especially during peak season. 

Please be aware there might be an additional authorisation reserved on your credit card for the additional costs.

How Do I Compare Prices Of Car Rental Companies?

When you are comparing prices of car rental companies there are certain aspects you can look at to find the best value:

  • How old are the vehicles on offer? 
  • What is the limitation on the kilometers offered?
  • Are the airport surcharges included if the car is being collected from an airport?
  • Is there a countrywide backup for long-distance travel?
  • What does the insurance cover, and what will your personal liability be?
  • Does the coverage include windscreen and tyre and rim cover?
  • What excess amount will you be liable for?

Knowing all of these aspects will help you to choose the best possible car rental company.

When Do I Pay for My Rental Car?

When paying for your rental car, some direct booking sites require you to make a payment upfront. 

It is strongly advised not to do so, as you will be paying for a service you have not yet received. Star Car Rental deals with only the most reputable brands and upfront payment is not an option.

Credit card details are only required at least 24 hours before if the car is being delivered.

If the car is being collected at the airport or an authorised depot then credit card payments are only made on taking delivery.  We do not require card details in advance for collections. 

If you are booking a car during peak season, generally 15th December to 1st Jan, some suppliers will insist on being paid upfront to confirm a booking because of the demand. 

This is performed using a secure link, but if you are unhappy with this, we will quote a different supplier who does not have that as a requirement.

Final Words

Knowing how you can pay, when you should pay, and learning more about refundable amounts will enable you to make the best car rental decision. 

You will also be more prepared for any unexpected expenses, like insurance charges and extension costs.

Ready to start planning your next journey? Speak to Star Car Rental about what cars we have available for you.

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What Car Rental Insurance Do I Need?

Car rental insurance in South Africa is an absolute necessity when visiting the country.

But it can be confusing if you are not fully aware of everything involved, which can lead to you choosing an option which might not provide you with full cover. 

Not sure where to start with rental car insurance in South Africa? Below we look at the most asked questions and provide easy-to-understand answers.

What Happens When I Damage A Rental Car in An Accident?

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If you are involved in an accident, you will need to obtain the names and details of the other parties involved in the accident. You will also need to provide them with your details, as well as the name of the car rental company. 

If the accident does involve another party, you must report it to the nearest South African Police Service within 24 hours. This will provide you with a case reference number, which is required by the rental company for the hire car insurance claim. 

You must report the incident immediately to your car hire company, as well as advise them of your location, contact details, and the details of the damages to enable a replacement vehicle to be sent if required. 

Take as many photographs of the accident and damages as possible for the insurance claim.

What Happens If A Vehicle Is Broken into Or Stolen?

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Vehicle theft is an unfortunate reality in South Africa, so it is important to know what to do in terms of car hire insurance. 

You must report the incident immediately to the nearest South African Police Services and obtain a case number. Once you have done this, contact the rental car company immediately and provide them with the police case reference number. 

You will also need to advise the rental car company of your location and contact details so that a replacement vehicle can be sent to you.

What Happens If My Rental Vehicle Breaks Down?

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It is always best to be prepared for a breakdown situation, which is why you need car rental insurance in South Africa. 

In case of a breakdown, your rental contract will have an emergency contact number listed. You should keep your contract with you while driving so you have easy access to this number. 

You will need to phone that number and provide them with your location, your contact number, and describe what the problem is with the vehicle. You must make a note of the name of the person you speak to. 

Contact your car rental company as well so that they can follow up on their side to ensure proper protocol is followed. 

A replacement vehicle will be dispatched to you as soon as possible.

What Happens If I Lose My Keys?

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If you lose your car rental keys, there is no need to panic if you have car hire insurance. Contact your car rental immediately to provide your contact details and location of the vehicle. 

A replacement vehicle will be arranged, but you will be charged a fee. It is best to keep the keys for the rental car in a safe, secure place when they are not in use.

Can Someone Else Drive My Rental Car?

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The answer to one of the most common questions, “Can someone else drive my rental car?” is no. Only people who are listed as drivers on the contract may drive the rental vehicle.  

If an unlisted driver is involved in an accident, you will be held responsible for the total loss, which may even be greater than the value of the vehicle.

You can add an additional driver, if necessary, by going to the depot where you received the vehicle, together with the additional driver, who must have their licence and passport with them to update the insurance for the car rental. 

The vehicle needs to be checked at the depot for damages, prior to adding the additional driver.  If in any doubt, contact Martin or Denise at Star Car Rental for advice.

What Third Party Damage Coverage Do I Need?

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Third party damage insurance will cover you for damages to other vehicles or property that have been damaged in an accident. 

Injury or death to persons involved in an accident is covered by the state-owned Road Accident Fund legislation. This is not covered by the Car Rental companies insurance.

Not knowing exactly what you are covered for can lead to a significant financial cost if you are involved in an accident in your rental car. 

Many companies offer the bare minimum of third party and accident cover, and that is often reflected in the lower daily rates offered.

Be sure to establish what exactly is covered and more importantly what is not.Make sure to read over all the exclusions in the insurance documents for your car rental. 

Live online quotations will often not provide any of the finer details. You need to do some digging. Most companies also limit the total third-party damage cover to a capped amount.

Star Car Rental quotations supply exact details of what is included in your daily rate. Feel free to ask us any questions.

What Does TLW And CDW Mean?

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There are some car rental insurance acronyms that might be confusing, so let us break them down. 

TLW means Theft Loss Waiver and CDW means Collision Damage Waiver

By accepting these waivers, your liability is limited to the amount of the excess, which is payable by you in the event of accident or theft of the vehicle. This is known as the excess portion.

Star Car Rental offers the options of a Nil excess at a slightly higher daily rate. 

If you decline to accept the waivers, you will find that most car rental companies will not conclude a contract. 

Most car rental companies will also not allow you to use your credit card insurance cover, and this is common in several other countries. You cannot contract out of insurance cover without depositing the full replacement value of the vehicle you are hiring.

Ensure You Are Insured

Understanding car rental insurance in South Africa will not only make your trip run smoothly, but it will save you from incurring costs that you could easily have avoided. 

If you know what to do if you damage a vehicle, if the vehicle is stolen or broken into, or if the vehicle breaks down can help to ensure no major issues crop up on your holiday. 

Scheduling in your next adventure to sunny South Africa? Choose Star Car Rental for affordable, easy car rental.

COVID-19 Travel Restrictions In South Africa: What International Visitors Need To Know


COVID-19 in South Africa has changed the way we operate in many ways, especially when it comes to travel. 

The new Level 1 adjusted restrictions have maintained the closure of the 33 land borders but the curfew has been changed to now be from 00h00 until 04h00. The most important rule to remember is that mask wearing is mandatory for every person in a public space, including retail stores and in public transport.

Not wearing a mask in South Africa during this lockdown period is a criminal offence, and you will be subject to an arrest and liable for a fine of R1.500 or imprisonment of up to six months, or both a fine and imprisonment.

What Are The Travel Limitations During Lockdown In South Africa?

During the current adjusted Level 1 lockdown, there is a curfew from 00h00 until 04h00, unless you are attending to an emergency or have a permit to travel during these times, or traveling to or from an airport. 

Interprovincial travel is allowed, which means you can explore all areas of our beautiful country with ease, but it is important to avoid spending too much time in the hotspots, as listed here

The closing times for restaurants are now 23h00 to allow for cleaning and staff departure. You may need to book activities ahead of time, and be sure to arrive and leave well ahead of the curfew times. 

In terms of border control, the new travel restrictions in South Africa mean that the 20 land ports of entry that are currently open will remain open.

What Are The International Travel Regulations?

If you are visiting from another country, there are some travel restrictions in South Africa you need to keep in mind.

According to international travel restrictions, the following airports will be open: O.R. Tambo, Cape Town International, King Shaka International Airport, Lanseria International Airport, and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport. 

All of the commercial seaports will remain open and small crafts will be allowed entry into seaports, provided they remain in-line with all health and border law enforcement protocols.

Travelers entering South Africa must provide a negative COVID-19 test that has been taken no longer than 72 hours before arrival in the country. You will also be screened when you arrive.

If you show COVID-19 symptoms, you will be required to take a test, and if your test is positive, you will be quarantined for 10 days at a designated facility. You must also provide proof of accommodation should you need to self-quarantine upon arrival. 

When leaving South Africa, you will be screened. The test results will determine whether you can leave the country. If you have tested positive, you will need to self-isolate, either at your own private residence or a designated location. 

Long-term visas will luckily be reinstated, and South African visa application centres abroad will be opened.

What Are The New Lockdown Regulations?

The new Alert Level 1 lockdown adjusted regulations, which were put in place on Monday the 1st of March 2021, still allow you to enjoy our beautiful country if you abide by them. 

All faith-based, religious, social, political and cultural gatherings are once again permitted. The maximum number of people allowed at a gathering is 100 people indoors or 250 people outdoors. If the venue is too small to accommodate these numbers with social distancing, no more than 50 per cent of the capacity of the venue may be used. 

The sale of alcohol is permitted according to normal licence provisions, however, no alcohol can be sold during the hours of curfew.

All beaches, dams, lakes, rivers, public parks, and public swimming pools are open to the public, and you can enjoy the stunning scenery of South Africa by planning a self-drive safari through our numerous game parks and reserves

Botanical gardens and parks that have access control are still open to the public.You can enjoy a stroll around Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens or drive to Table Mountain National Park to enjoy the rugged scenery.

What Do The Different Levels Entail?

The different lockdown levels in South Africa can have an impact on how you can enjoy the country. Below we take a look at what they mean and how they differ.

Lockdown Level 1:

All travel from the African continent and from countries outside of Africa, with a low rate of infection and transmission, will resume. There is no domestic travel ban and interprovincial travel is permitted.The land borders will remain closed.

Travellers must provide a valid certificate for a negative test not older than 72 hours before the date of travel. If you cannot provide this certificate, you will need to quarantine at your own cost. 

All commercial seaports are open, but international travel is limited to the following airports:

  • OR Tambo International Airport
  • King Shaka International Airport
  • Cape Town International Airport
  • Lanseria International Airport
  • Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport

All people must wear a mask at social gatherings and while out in public, and you must adhere to the other health protocols in place. Recreational gatherings are limited to 250 people or less for an indoor event, and 500 people or less for an outdoor gathering. 

Sports grounds and fields are limited to 100 people or less for an indoor gathering, and 250 people or less for an outdoor gathering, and museums, galleries, and libraries are open for up to 100 people or less, which means you are able to look at car hire in Cape Town to visit exciting historical sites. 

Restaurants, taverns, and bars are operational with a limit of a maximum of 100 people inside, and the onsite consumption and sale of alcohol is permitted. All hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, timeshare facilities, resorts, and guest houses are allowed to operate at full capacity of the available rooms, with guests maintaining a distance of one and a half metres while in common areas. 

The curfew is from 00h00 until 04h00.

Lockdown Level 2:

Interprovincial travel is permitted but international leisure travel is prohibited. Domestic air travel is allowed, but all passengers will be screened and tested. 

Beaches, museums, galleries, and public parks are open to the public, but the wearing of a mask while using these facilities and while out in public is mandatory. 

Theatres, concerts, and live performances are open to the public with a limit of 50 people while maintaining strict health protocols, which is great news for the outdoor music events that are popular in South Africa.

Sporting events are allowed without spectators, but this is still good news for sports fans as you can find videos of the events to watch and enjoy while on your South African adventure. 

For those who want to stay locally, all accommodation and tour operations are open but are subject to restrictions on the number of persons allowed, which is not more than 50% of the available floor space.

The curfew is from 22h00pm until 04h00am.

Lockdown Level 4:

Regarding travel restrictions in level 4, all borders remain closed, except for the transportation of cargo, goods, and fuel. No recreational visits are allowed during this time period and food from restaurants is only available for delivery. 

Public parks, sports grounds and fields, beaches and swimming pools, flea markets, night clubs,

casinos, hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, airbnbs, timeshare facilities, guest houses, private and public game reserves (except to house remaining tourists who are confined due to lockdown) are all closed to the public. 

All people must wear a mask while out in public, and adhere to the other health protocols.

The curfew is from 20h00 until 05h00.

Lockdown Level 5:

Only essential services are allowed to operate. Taxis, public transport, and private vehicles may only operate during certain hours of the day and with a limited passenger capacity. 

No interprovincial travel is allowed, except for transportation of goods or for funerals and work purposes. All people must wear a mask while out in public, and adhere to the other health protocols.

What Has This Meant For Car Hire?

For many car hire companies in South Africa, the hardest lockdown damaged their income significantly. This was because many non-essential companies were forced to stop operating, leading to bookings cancelled for both business and leisure. Many car hire companies had to waive cancellations fees, too.

The tourism industry suffered greatly, but thankfully, the new adjusted travel restrictions in level 3 have meant that people can once again explore South Africa and book a car hire in Cape Town, Johannesburg, or even Durban to experience the beauty of our country. 

Adhering to the rules of the lockdown in South Africa, whether you are local or visiting, is vital and will ensure your trip does not hit any obstacles.


Understanding the different lockdown levels in South Africa will help to make your journey easier and run smoothly. 

For when you are able to travel easily around South Africa, contact Star Car Rental today for our options.

Star Car Blog on how to choose the right car for a trip in Cape Town, South Africa

How To Choose The Right Car For Your Trip

A trip around sunny South Africa can take months of meticulous planning, but the three most important ingredients for the best possible trip are simple: good company, a great route and… the right car for your needs. 

But, knowing how to choose the right rental car can be difficult when you realise how many choices are available to you. Below we provide a rental car guide for choosing the right car for your trip.


There are some simple steps you can start with that will make renting a car in South Africa easier and will help you to receive a more accurate quote from the car hire company.

Count Your Passengers

Star Car Blog on how to choose the right car for a trip in Cape Town, South Africa

Before you look for a possible car hire in South Africa, you should start by counting the number of passengers you will need to carry. If you are visiting family or friends and you will be riding together with them, you will need extra seating. Think about both the children and the adults you might be riding with and how comfortable they will need to be.

Look At Your Luggage

Star Car Blog on how to choose the right car for a trip in Cape Town, South Africa

Take out all of the items you are planning to take with you, including the suitcases. This will show you how much luggage you will be taking with you when renting a car in South Africa. Many car rental websites will tell you how many and what size of suitcase a car can carry, but might not account for oversized or irregularly shaped items.

Don’t Forget Fuel Economy

Star Car Blog on how to choose the right car for a trip in Cape Town, South Africa

Fuel economy is an important consideration for any trip around a country. Research what the fuel economy is of the various models of cars, from SUVs to hatchbacks. Some websites for car hire in South Africa will have the fuel economy listed, which can help to find a model that best suits your requirements.

Ensure You Understand Insurance

Star Car Blog on how to choose the right car for a trip in Cape Town, South Africa

One important tip to remember for how to choose the right rental car is to ask about and understand the insurance. Remember that full cover car rental insurance does not always mean full cover. For example, If you were to have an accident or incident, where no other vehicle, pedestrian or animal was involved, you may not be covered at all.

Think of reversing into your gate pillar, suffering trolley damage in a supermarket parking lot, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as common examples. Make sure you understand all the terms and conditions before signing anything. Tyre and windscreen damages are always excluded unless specifically included in the quotation. Extra cover can be obtained for windscreen and tyres, on request, at a very low daily cost.

Considerations Before Renting A Car

After following the steps above, there are some considerations to take into account when it comes to car rental in South Africa.

Boot Or Trunk Size

Star Car Blog on how to choose the right car for a trip in Cape Town, South Africa

The size of the boot or trunk of the car will have a direct impact on how much luggage you can take with you. The option to have roof bars on a rental car is not common, so you will need to carefully consider what boot or trunk size you need. A hatchback rental or sedan rental is an ideal option for those doing town driving who need a larger boot, while an SUV rental might be better suited for trips with less luggage.

Transmission Type

Star Car Blog on how to choose the right car for a trip in Cape Town, South Africa

Renting a car in South Africa means that the most commonly rented vehicles have manual transmission, as this is the most commonly used in the country.  Rule of thumb is that vehicle groups A to C are always manual and the larger vehicles from D upwards are mostly automatic transmissions, Check with the rental company if unsure.

Extra Additions

Star Car Blog on how to choose the right car for a trip in Cape Town, South Africa

If you need any extra additions, such as a car seat for a child or a GPS system, be sure to book these at the same time you are booking your car. This will ensure you have all the necessary extras when the day comes to pick up your rental car. Some more specific extras might not be available, but you can remedy this by packing your own or hiring them while you are in the country.

What Type Of Car Do I Need?

Now that you have considered all of your options, you can think about the type of car you will need to make your adventure comfortable and enjoyable.


Hatchback rental with Cape Town Car Hire

Hatchback rental is a great idea if you are doing mostly town driving. They are generally the more affordable car rental options, are compact, economical, and can seat four people. However, the legroom and luggage capacity is limited.

Family Sedan

Family Sedan rental with Cape Town Car Hire

A family sedan rental can seat four to five passengers and are best suited to small groups. There is sufficient luggage space, both manual and automatic transmission, and are economical, too.

Luxury Sedan

Luxury Sedan rental with Cape Town Car Hire

Luxury sedan rental is ideal for those who want a little something extra for their trip.They have advanced features, lavish interiors with all the comforts you could want, and offer both manual and automatic transmission models. They are best suited to long distance business trips or international holidaymakers.

SUV And 4x4

SUV and 4x4 rental with Cape Town Car Hire

An SUV rental or 4×4 rental are perfect choices for the more adventurous journey. They offer comfort and ruggedness, and the ability to drive through the difficult South African terrain with ease. However, they are heavier on fuel consumption, which is an important factor to consider.

Passenger Vans

Passenger van rental with Cape Town Car Hire

A passenger van rental option is able to seat eight to ten people easily, ideal for large family or friend groups. They offer both comfort and space for passengers and luggage. These vehicles can be more difficult to drive than smaller cars, so remember this for any town driving.

Final Verdict

Choosing the right car for your trip does not have to be a daunting prospect. Start with the simple step-by-step process, look at all elements that are important to you, and remember to think about what the different car models offer.

 Start your South African adventure off in the right gear.  If you have any questions whatsoever, please feel free to ask us.  Contact Star Car Rental for an accurate quote. 

Self drive safari in South Africa by Star Car Rental car hire in Cape Town

How To Plan A Self-Drive Safari In South Africa

South Africa has a diverse range of flora and fauna for visitors to enjoy and one exciting way to see the sights of our wilderness is through a self-drive safari that puts you in the driver’s seat, literally. 

As exciting as a self-drive safari in South Africa might sound, it is important to plan it correctly so you see the most animals and scenery possible, and so that you have the best off-road car rental options available for the trip. Here we give some top tips for planning a self-drive safari experience of a lifetime.

What Is A Self-Drive Safari?

Self drive safari in South Africa by Star Car Rental car hire in Cape Town

First things first, a self-drive safari is a safari or game drive that allows you to drive yourself and your family around the park or game reserve. The Kruger National Park and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park are popular choices, but you will need to look for a 4×4 for rent to tackle some of the more difficult roads and trails. 

The benefit is that you control the amount of time spent at each stop off point. Image this: on a game drive with a group of people, if you spot a pride of lions with their cubs, you will stay and enjoy the scene for a while until the guide decides it is time to move on…but you may have preferred to stay for longer and watch the lion cubs play.

On a self-drive safari with an off-road car rental, you are in control of how long you spend in certain areas and where you go. So, how do you plan this exciting adventure? Keep reading for our top tips.

How To Plan A Self-Drive Safari In South Africa?

Look For A 4x4 For Rent

Self drive safari in South Africa by Star Car Rental car hire in Cape Town

Before you start plotting your route around Kruger National Park or Addo Elephant National Park, you need to look at off-road car rental or what 4×4 rental options are available. 

Using a two-wheel drive might be ideal for town driving, but a self-drive safari needs a sturdier vehicle, especially if you will be exploring game reserves that have inaccessible roads. You might miss out on viewing spots that are harder to reach with a normal car, which could mean missing out on some stunning scenery and animals.

Wake Up Early

Self drive safari in South Africa by Star Car Rental car hire in Cape Town

A self-drive safari in South Africa is no time to be sleeping in and having lazy breakfasts. To see some animals in their prime, such as lions, you need to arrive before the sun is at its peak, as these predators are most active when the weather is cooler and the sun is lower in the sky. 

It is important to note that the gates of some nature reserves and game parks open very early, with the Kruger National Park opening at 4:30 am. With a 4×4 rental car to power your safari, this early morning start will be smooth sailing. The roads will also be quieter at these early times, which means that a self-drive safari will not be interrupted by guided tours.

Remember To Drive Slowly

Self drive safari in South Africa by Star Car Rental car hire in Cape Town

A safari that you are in charge of should be something to remember, so it is important to drive slowly in your 4×4 rental, despite the power and speed of the vehicle. Not only will this allow you to see the animals and plants properly, but it is a requirement in many national parks. 

You should aim to drive at about 30 to 40km/h in the park, spending time concentrating on any movement or objects that are not bushes or shrubs, as some animals can be camouflaged by surrounding bush. This will allow you to stop in time for animals to cross the road easily, and for the designated photographer to snap some memorable pictures.

Fuel Up Fully

Self drive safari in South Africa by Star Car Rental car hire in Cape Town

With the exception of the Kruger National Park, not many safari parks or game reserves offer internal fuelling stations. If there are stations inside the park, they are usually far apart, which could lead to a half-full tank becoming an empty tank quite quickly.

You will need to make sure that your tank is full before you head off to spot lions, rhinoceroses, and elephants. When it comes to car hire in Cape Town, car rental companies will always fill the vehicles as much as possible, to where the fuel can physically be seen in the pipe, to avoid disputes about how “full” the tank is.

Make Sure You Have Insurance

Self drive safari in South Africa by Star Car Rental car hire in Cape Town

As with any journey, you will need to make sure that you have insurance for your off-road car rental vehicle. For example, you might find that some damage has been caused to the 4×4 for hire you have been using and that you are now liable for damages reaching exorbitant amounts. 

Star Car Rental offers the lowest excesses and, in some cases, zero excess for international visitors. We also provide clear, accurate insurance quotations that specify what exactly is covered and the cost to cover any item not generally covered, making us one of the more affordable car rental companies in Cape Town.

Enjoy The Adventure

Self drive safari in South Africa by Star Car Rental car hire in Cape Town

One of the most important tips to remember when planning a self-drive safari in South Africa is to have fun. Start by book a 4×4 for the rougher terrain, and remember to include insurance in the quote. Wake up early for your safari and drive slowly so you don’t miss anything.

Keep your rental car fully fuelled and enjoy the adventure. Be sure to take only photographs and leave only footprints. Speak to Star Car Rental today for our off-road vehicle options.


16 Things You Need To Know When Renting A Car In South Africa

You have decided to travel to South Africa, one of the most colourful and exciting countries in the world. However, you are not entirely sure about getting to and from your planned destinations. Below we tell you everything you need to know about renting a car in South Africa.

1. Do I Really Need To Rent A Car In South Africa?

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For a visitor, a vehicle is essential. The public transport system is not as streamlined as European or American countries, and there are often not many bus or suburban train systems operating regularly or timeously. 

Distances between towns and cities dictate that a rental vehicle is the safest and most affordable way of travelling within the borders of South Africa. While you can use Uber to travel to your destinations, it can become highly costly depending on the distance between the points.

2. When Should I Rent A Car In South Africa?

Always, a rule of thumb to book well in advance, especially over the peak summer holiday seasons. At peak periods there are often shortages of rental cars available. 

Star Car Rental offers a booking service which does not require payment in advance, nor even your credit card details, provided that the car is for collection at the airport or an inner city branch wherever you are in South Africa. Should you have to cancel for whatever reason, there are no penalties. Rather be safe than sorry and be assured of a rental car on arrival.

3. What Are The First Steps To Take Before You Rent The Car?

Decide what type of car you want before renting a car. Think about whether you want a hatchback or sedan, a manual or automatic, and consider how many people are travelling in the car. Study the car rental websites for pictures of the vehicles on offer and the features for guidance.

Once you select the type of vehicle you would like to rent, request a quotation from the rental company concerned. It is recommended that you try a few. Star Car Rental offers a wide variety of vehicles from several of our internationally renowned suppliers. We can advise as to the most suitable type of vehicle and will always offer the most competitive prices. Beware extremely low prices for obvious reasons.

4. How Do I Evaluate The Car Rental Quotations?

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Most car rent quotes provide the bare minimum of details, so firstly check to see exactly what the price includes. This often will include unlimited kilometers; TLW [Theft and Loss Waiver] and CDW [Collision Damage Waiver] and possibly vat. That is the easy part but leaves you pretty much in the dark realistically. 

The next and vitally the most important….Check to see what the quote does not include. This is often like looking for a needle in the proverbial haystack.

Does it include windscreen or tyre and rim damage?
These are the most common damages that occur.  Damage to a windscreen depending on the vehicle can cost you a few thousand rand that you have not budgeted for.

What is the amount of the waiver?
Clients often discover too late that if they have an accident that the waiver is as high as R10, 000, and even a lot higher. This is always the most difficult figure to obtain in the quotation, particularly in an automated quote.

Another thing to look for is what are you covered for third party damage as part of the car rental insurance?
Airport surcharges, if not included, can set you back an extra 11% of the rental value. The cheaper the price quoted is often the most expensive in the long run, as car rental is no different from any business pricing model. 

It is often difficult when booking online to get the finer details as it is often not disclosed. This can result in a financial shock should you be involved in an accident or have the vehicle stolen. Star Car Rental provides a detailed quotation that is rare in the industry.

Are the rental vehicles new models?
There are many smaller companies that fail to disclose that the vehicles are several years old with very high mileage.
Most reputable companies in South Africa will have cars that are no more than 6-9 months old with mileage generally no higher than 50000 kilometers.  

From November onwards, most companies re-fleet so that a high percentage of the cars are in fact brand new over the peak summer season.

What refundable deposit is payable on arrival? 
Not knowing in advance can have an impact on your travelling budget. Often you only find out on arrival. We provide these details with the quotation, so that you know exactly how much you require on your credit card when taking delivery.

5. Should I Pay For My Rental In Advance?

Knowing how and when to pay for car rental is important. Our advice is never to pay in advance for the simple reason that, should you experience unforeseen circumstances or have to cancel your trip, then you are saddled with the inevitable hassle of trying to get a refund. Several rental sites insist on up-front payments but it is certainly not recommended.

Car rentals can be booked and confirmed without having to make any advance payments and bookings can be cancelled without penalty provided cancellation is made before arrival. With certain types of vehicles, such as the super luxury vehicles, there are terms and conditions which require a minimum cancellation period.

During peak seasons, some car rental companies will require you to provide your credit card details in order to confirm a vehicle; however most companies will only debit your credit card on the day of your arrival.  This should be made clear in the quotation you receive.

Time is not an issue as you still have to finalise the contract, pay deposits, and fine-check your vehicle.

6. Does The Car Rental Company Provide Country Wide Back-Up Service?

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If you are travelling long distances and want to hire a car in South Africa, it is important that should something unforeseen occur, such as a breakdown or at worst an accident, you need to have the peace of mind that help is never too far away to get a replacement vehicle. 

Smaller companies do not offer this facility, and many do not permit their vehicles to travel outside of a specific radius from their depot. All vehicles booked with Star Car Rental, however,  have full countrywide backup within the borders of South Africa and in some cases beyond.

7. What Level Of Car Rental Insurance Cover Is Necessary?

Up to 70% of South African car owners and drivers are not insured so it is vital to have insurance for your car hire in South Africa. When renting a car, it is important to understand that you remain liable for the damages to the car, irrespective of where the fault lies.

The rule of thumb is to take the best possible insurance available. A lower price generally reflects a much lower insurance package in terms of coverage. Star Car Rental offers the lowest excesses and often zero excess for international visitors, making us a more affordable option. Insurance is a grudge expense, but you cannot do without it.

8. What Should The Car Rental Insurance Cover?

16-Things-You Need-To-Know-When-Renting-A-Car-In-South-Africa-7

Most rental insurances do not cover glass and tyre cover, undercarriage damage, hail and water damage, and single car accidents where no other vehicles or animals are involved.

Some car rental insurance excludes drivers who are not on the contract, reckless driving, and driving under the influence, amongst others. Star Car Rental quotations always specify what exactly is covered and the cost to cover any item not generally covered.

9. On Arrival What Do I Need To Do When Collecting My Rental Car?

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Go directly to the designated car rental office and ensure that you have with you the following:

  • Your driver’s license which must have a photo and description in English, or must have an accompanying English translation if in another language. An international driver’s license is another option.
  • Your passport
  • Your credit card must not be a debit or cheque card.
  • Any additional drivers must accompany you with their respective licences and passports.
  • Ensure that the time you actually sign for the car is entered on the rental contract.

When having the car handed over, check, check, and check again and ensure that every mark, scratch or imperfection is noted on the hand over sheet and this includes chips on the windscreen. You can take pictures, if necessary.

Be sure to inspect the tread on the tyres and that the spare tyre and the tools are included, and ready to be used if necessary. This sounds a bit pedantic, especially when you are tired and irritable, but it is vital if you are to avoid being held responsible for damage you did not cause.

It goes without saying that you do the same when you return the car, so leave enough time to do so.

10. Will I Be Expected To Pay For Speeding Fines While Using A Rental Car?

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If you are not a resident of South Africa, but are renting a car in South Africa, then you are not expected to pay for speeding fines. Most traffic fines are received by the rental company, as the registered owner of the vehicle, and will only be seen once you have departed from the country. 

However, all car hire companies in South Africa will levy a charge against your credit card of an average of R300 to R350 for administrative fees, in order to prove to the authorities who was the driver at the time by means of providing them with an affidavit, as well as certified copies of the original rental contract. Your contract provides for this. 

Should you receive such a debit after you have left the country, we can provide you with a copy of the traffic fine for your records, on request.

11. Are There Kilometer Limits Or Does This Only Apply To Certain Instances?

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The limit can be anything between 300 km per day and unlimited kilometers depending on our specific supplier and length of the rental. Ultra Luxury vehicles are limited to 200 km per day with a rate per kilometre once that is exceeded. Your quotation will specify exactly what is included in the price.

12. Which African Countries Are Visitors Allowed To Visit With Their Rental Cars And Which Are Prohibited?

This can change depending on political and risk situations in neighboring countries, but Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland are normally allowed, subject to getting prior cross border clearance and the necessary paperwork.  

Zimbabwe and Mozambique are allowed on request. Make sure to always ask before renting a car in South Africa if you are able to continue your cross-country journey, so you don’t have to cancel your plans.

13. What Would Disqualify Someone From Renting A Car?

One of the major factors would be the age of the person wanting to hire a car in South Africa. Depending on the suppliers of the vehicle, anyone under the age of 23 is not eligible for vehicle hire. 

If you do not have a valid driver’s license or a valid form of identity, you will be disqualified from renting a car in South Africa. Always make sure that your driver’s license has an English translation if it is not in English, for both the rental agency and for any traffic police you might meet on your journey

14. What Process Should Be Followed If I Am In/Cause An Accident In The Rental Car?

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 By law, you are required to report to the South African police within 24 hours of the accident happening. If anyone has been injured, you are not allowed to move the vehicle until permitted by a police or traffic officer. 

You will also need to immediately notify the rental agency and provide as many details as possible. Avoid making any admissions of liability to anyone and take photographs of the scene if possible. These will be used for any insurance needs that may arise.

15. What Are The Road Conditions Like In South Africa?

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The road conditions in South Africa vary according to the area. In more rural areas, you might find that the roads are more dirt-based than tar-based, and there are likely to be more potholes. 

You may also find that road signs and traffic lights are few and far between in these rural areas, so be sure to watch your surroundings before stopping and slowing down. 

In residential areas, the roads are more built up but there are some instances of potholes and dangerous areas around traffic lights. Be sure to ask advice from locals about areas where there are larger holes in the road and where there might be other potential issues.

16. What Are The Rules Of The Road?

The rules of the road in South Africa are quite different to other countries, especially if you are from a country that drives on the right-hand side of the road. In South Africa, you will need to adjust to driving on the left-hand side of the road. 

If your journey will be taking you on any highways in South Africa, be sure to practice driving a little before you head out. There will be speed limits posted along almost every major road, including residential roads. It is important to adhere to these, as the traffic fines can become exorbitant. 

The average speed limit is 60 kilometers per hour (37 miles per hour) in built up areas and 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) to 120 kph (75 mph) on highways.

There are tolls on some main highways between provinces and within provinces. These tolls must be paid in order to continue your journey, and can cost anything from R13 ($0.78) to R96 ($5.77). Remember to keep cash on you, as not all are able to be paid with credit cards. 

The four-way stop street is common in South Africa, and it works on a first-come-first-served basis. These are often seen in residential areas but can also be used in more rural towns to relieve traffic. 

One important thing to remember is when you are using a petrol or gas station in South Africa, you will not be able to fill your car yourself. Workers known as petrol attendants will fill your car with fuel for you, and it is common practice to tip these workers R5 or R10.

So...Should I Rent A Car In South Africa?

The rules of the road in South Africa, and the road conditions, might be daunting to some drivers but by renting a car, you are able to have a more exciting experience in this sun-soaked country. It is also practical, as public transport in South Africa can be difficult in peak season times. 

If you are planning on going on a long cross-country drive or want to explore a province, it is much more economical to hire a car to drive yourself around. It is important to remember that most cars in South Africa are manual drives, so learning how to handle this is a good idea before arriving in the country. 

If you would like to hire a car for your next journey in South Africa, speak to Star Car Rentals to find out how to start our process.

This post was updated on the 30 October 2020.