Renting a car is the perfect option for those wanting to explore not only Johannesburg, but also other major destinations across South Africa. Public transportation is often crowded and unreliable, and it is more cost-efficient to self-drive to some attractions rather than take tours. Rent a car and visit the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the Cradle of Humankind, or embark on a longer road trip and cross over the border to Botswana for a self-led safari.
All the major car rental companies can be found at Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Airport (JNB), which is just over 12 miles from the city center. The car rental desks are located to the left side as you enter the parking lot’s ground floor, just opposite Domestic Arrivals. Avis is open 24 hours. When driving out of the airport, you’ll find many “spaghetti” junctions, so, if you don’t know the area, make sure to ask for a GPS device when renting the car.
The first thing you need to know when driving in Johannesburg is that traffic runs on the left side of the road. Road signs are mainly expressed in both Afrikaans and English, and the distances are measured in kilometers rather than miles. When driving in the city, make sure to keep your windows rolled up, especially if you’re stopped. Avoid driving at night, as roads are dimly lit and the chances of encountering drunk, reckless drivers are higher.
Avoid driving through Johannesburg and particularly around the airport area during the morning rush hour, which usually happens between 6:30 a.m. and 9 a.m., and then again during the evening peak hour, between 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Traffic jams in Johannesburg can easily add up to an hour to your travels, so plan your journey in advance if you have to be somewhere at a specific time.
25% of our users found rental cars in Johannesburg for C$ 23 or less
Book your rental car in Johannesburg at least 1 day before your trip in order to get a below-average price
Economy rental cars in Johannesburg are around 55% cheaper than other car types, on average
FAQs about renting a car in Johannesburg
Some car rental companies in Johannesburg which have updated their car rental health and safety policies due to COVID-19 to make sure vehicles are clean and disinfected include Hertz, Budget and Thrifty
On average a hire car in Johannesburg costs C$ 32 per day.
Based on ratings and reviews from real users on KAYAK, the best car rental company in Johannesburg is Avis (8.3, 65 reviews).
Yes, automatic cars are available in most car renting companies in Johannesburg. As cars with manual transmission are more common in many countries, you might have to pay an additional charge for renting an automatic car.
The average gas price in Johannesburg is C$ 5.72 per litre over the past 30 days. Filling up a gas tank costs between C$ 69 and C$ 92, depending on the car size.
Full-size (Chevrolet Tahoe or similar) is the most frequently booked rental car type in Johannesburg.
A Full-size car rental in Johannesburg costs C$ 53 per day, on average.
A Intermediate car rental in Johannesburg costs C$ 22 per day, on average.
A Economy car rental in Johannesburg costs C$ 19 per day, on average.
In Johannesburg, cars are most frequently rented at Woodford OR Tambo Airport (21 km from city centre ).
On average a rental car in Johannesburg costs C$ 223 per week (C$ 32 per day).
On average a rental car in Johannesburg costs C$ 954 per month (C$ 32 per day).
If you’re looking to drive long distances, fuel efficiency in a vehicle should be your top priority, so opt for an economy car. But, if you’re headed out on a safari, a four-wheel drive is a good idea. When traveling there in the summer months (November to February), a car with air conditioning is a must.
The speed limit in the city is usually 60 km/h (37 mph), but it may be lower in certain residential areas. Other non-urban open roads have a speed limit of 100 km/h (62 mph), and freeways typically have a speed limit of 120 km/h (75 mph). However, speed limits often change, so keep an eye out for the posted signs.
The average gas prices in Johannesburg are about R61.01 ($4.23) per gallon. Prices can get as low as R57.92 ($4.01) per gallon, and as high as R64.35 ($4.46) per gallon. There are several gas stations around the airport in case you need to fill up the tank before you drop off your vehicle, but if you’re heading there during rush hour you might have to wait in longer lines.
There are several safe parking spaces and parking lots around the city, usually looked after by car guards (attendants in reflective vests) who will take care of your vehicle in exchange for a few rands of tip. If you’re not driving much around the city itself, ideally you should either book a hotel that can offer parking or leave your car at the airport and pick it up when needed.