Car Rental in Johannesburg
Cheapest Car Rental Rates
Most Popular Car Rental Deals
Why rent a car in Johannesburg?
Johannesburg is one of the most impressive urban centers in Africa. From grand history to varied cultural influences and countless landmarks, this city has plenty to offer, but it’s number one attraction is its unique atmosphere. Get a rental car and see as much as you can, and then travel to nearby cities and natural areas!
One-Way Car Rentals in Johannesburg
The most popular one-way rental options for pick up in Johannesburg and drop off in another city include:
- From Johannesburg to Cape Town - 247 offers from US$ 22.59 per day
- From Johannesburg to Durban - 219 offers from US$ 22.53 per day
- From Johannesburg to Bloemfontein - 89 offers from US$ 22.59 per day
- From Johannesburg to Nelspruit - 51 offers from US$ 22.59 per day
- From Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth - 89 offers from US$ 22.59 per day
Top ways to enter Johannesburg
- Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Airport. With 21 million travelers served every year, Johannesburg Airport is one of the busiest in Africa. It has domestic air routes, flights to other African countries, and flights to Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The airport is about 20 km (12 mi) northeast of the city center.
- Johannesburg Lanseria Airport. The smaller of the two international airports serving Johannesburg, Lanseria is 47 km (29 mi) northwest of downtown Johannesburg. As of 2019, the airport only has domestic flights.
- Gaborone Airport. Serving the capital of neighboring Botswana, this international airport is just a five-hour drive from Johannesburg. Do keep in mind, however, that you’d be crossing a national border, so first, make sure that your car rental provider permits it.
- Durban King Shaka Airport. Located on the Indian Ocean, this international airport serves Durban, South Africa’s third largest metropolis. It is about a six-hour drive east of Johannesburg.
- By rail. If you arrive in Johannesburg by train, you can conveniently pick up your rental car at Johannesburg Park Station.
Useful city facts
Although only 957,000 people live in Johannesburg proper, its wider metro region has a population of more than 9 million, making it one of the 50 most populous urban areas in the world. It is also the fourth largest city in Africa, with only Cairo, Lagos, and Kinshasa having a higher population.
Locals sometimes say that Johannesburg is Africa in miniature. Indeed, you can find Somali, Nigerian, Ethiopian, Cameroonian, Sudanese, and many other ethnic neighborhoods in the city, each with their own culture, cuisine, and atmosphere that is fascinating to explore.
Top destinations and activities
- Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden. There are many beautiful nature reserves near Johannesburg, but even within the city, you can find large green areas. Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden is home to such different animals as reptiles, jackals, and beautiful Verreaux eagles. Learn more about the opportunity to visit from the garden’s official website.
- The Apartheid Museum. Telling the very important story of South Africa’s recent complicated past, the Apartheid Museum is one of the landmarks of Johannesburg. The museum includes many artifacts, testimonies, pictures, and videos from the victims and survivors of the Apartheid regime.
- Origins Centre - The South African Museum of Rock Art. Telling the story not only of South Africans, but, quite possibly, of all humanity, the Origins Center features many unique fossils, artworks, and other artifacts from prehistory. The museum is located on the campus of the University of the Witwatersrand, locally known as “Wits”.
- The South African Museum of Rock Art. Also known as the Wits Origins Center, this unique museum is dedicated to the different peoples that used to inhabit the area. With a collection of rock art, fossils, stone tools, weapons, and other artifacts, it provides a fascinating glimpse into a way of life that once was. The museum is located on the West campus of the University of Witwatersrand in the Braamfontein area where you can also find a very fun night market taking place every Saturday.
Traffic and parking tips
- Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the speed limits are 120 km/h (74.5 mph) on freeways, 100 km/h (62 mph) on any public road outside of an urban area that is not a freeway, and 60 km/h (37 mph) on any public road within an urban or built-up area.
- Plan your route around the city in advance and always ask trustworthy locals for advice. While many parts of Johannesburg are safe, certain areas are not, and you would not want to drive or get stranded in them.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% per 100ml of blood and 0.24% per 1000 ml of breath for experienced drivers and is 0.00% for novice drivers. Exceeding the allowed limit can lead to large fines, deportation, or imprisonment.
- Proof of insurance and the car’s registration needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- If you’re the driver, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
There are many toll roads in South Africa. However, unlike in most of the world, no payments are made on the highway, neither in cash nor by credit card. Instead, a vehicle is identified either by an electronic tag that is on the vehicle or by the vehicle’s licence plate number.
Many rental cars are equipped with an e-tag that will be used for making toll payments. Some rental car providers will charge an additional fee for this service. Ask your car rental provider about it beforehand.
The exact fee for using the toll roads depends on the type of road. See more information about the latest toll road fees on this website.
If your rental car is not equipped with an e-tag, the bill for using the toll roads will be sent to your car rental provider. Due to delays in the South African toll road system, you could be billed and charged after the end of your rental period.
Ideas for a day-trip
For more about traveling around South Africa with a rental car, check out our complete guide.
- Old Kromdraai Gold Mine. One of the oldest mines in South Africa, gold was extracted in Old Kromdraai before the big gold rush of South Africa began. If you visit, also drive to the nearby Wonder Caves, a truly impressive place that’s believed to be more than 2.2 billion years old. The gold mine is located about 40 minutes northwest of Johannesburg.
- Lion & Safari Park. Visiting this nature area will let you see lions, as well as giraffes, zebras, antelopes, and many other animals. It is possible to drive through the lion enclosures, but for safety reasons, make sure that your windows are closed at all times. The Lion Park is about an hour’s drive north of Johannesburg.
- Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve. A mouthful to pronounce, but a truly beautiful place, Suikerbosrand is the place to go when you want to unwind from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are many great hiking trails or spots for picnics and relaxation. The reserve’s inhabitants include aardvarks, kudus, cape foxes, and hyenas. The nature reserve is just a 35-minute drive south of Johannesburg.
- Cradle of Humankind. With a similar theme as the Museum of Rock Art, the Cradle of Humankind is an archaeological site where some of the oldest human fossils have been found. Found in the long cave systems of the area, these early inhabitants are estimated to be more than 2.3 million years old. Many of the caves are now open to tourists, and some can even be explored by boat. There is also the Cradle of Mankind Exhibition and Education Center (located in nearby Maropeng), and a rhino and lion nature reserve. Located just some 50 km (31 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, the site can be reached in about one hour.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental car type in Johannesburg is mini, followed by economy and compact. The most popular rental car is the Kia Picanto. Travelers also pick the Toyota Corolla and the Ford Figo AMB a lot.
- Durban. The third-largest city in South Africa is an interesting place to visit. Located on the coast of the Indian Ocean, it is known for the beautiful Golden Mile, surfing, awesome diving (and skydiving), a good number of interesting museums, green areas, and some of the best, Indian-influenced cuisine in all of the country. Located about 570 km (354 miles) southeast of Johannesburg, it can be reached in six hours.
- Botswana. A country with perhaps even more impressive wildlife areas than South Africa (largely thanks, perhaps, to its much lower population density), Botswana is a destination you don’t want to miss if you’re in the region. Calm and relaxed, it is best enjoyed at your own pace and with the freedom of your own ride. Botswana’s capital Gaborone is just around a four-and-a-half hour drive northeast of Johannesburg. Keep in mind that you’ll be crossing a national border, so first, ask if your car rental provider permits this. Alternatively, you can drop off your rental car in South Africa and pick up another in Botswana. Also, check to see if you require a visa to enter Botswana and the process for obtaining one if so.
- Lesotho. A small country surrounded on all sides by South Africa, Lesotho is known as the Kingdom of the Sky thanks to its high altitude. This means that it is also one of the coldest countries of Africa, but the immense hospitality of the locals and the breathtaking views from its mountains more than make up for it. Maseru, Lesotho’s capital, is just a tad more than a four-hour drive south of Johannesburg. Keep in mind that you’ll be crossing a national border, so first, ask if your car rental provider permits it. Alternatively, you can drop off your rental car in South Africa and pick up another in Lesotho. It should also be noted that Lesotho’s entry requirements may significantly differ from those of South Africa, so be sure to check if you require a visa or not.
- Eswatini. Previously known as Swaziland, the Kingdom of Eswatini is another small and fascinating country bordered only by South Africa and Mozambique. An absolute monarchy, but much more accessible to citizens of most countries than Lesotho or many other African destinations, Swaziland attracts visitors with its unique culture, wildlife areas, and surprisingly diverse nature. Its capital Mbabane is just a four-hour drive west of Johannesburg. Do keep in mind that you’ll be crossing a national border, so first, ask if your car rental provider permits it. Alternatively, you can drop off your rental car in South Africa and pick up another in Swaziland. Also, be sure to check the latest visa requirements.
Car Rental Prices in Johannesburg
- Large cars - from $39 per day
- Medium cars - from $25 per day
- People Carriers/Vans - from $77 per day
- Premium cars - from $60 per day
- Small cars - from $20 per day
- SUVs - from $58 per day
How can I save money on my rental car?
These are some of the tricks you can try to land a good car rental deal in Johannesburg:
- Compare the rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit during the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Johannesburg is the cheapest in November when renting a car is about 53% cheaper than the yearly average. Come see Johannesburg in South African spring!
Top 12 Cities near Johannesburg
Durban Car Rentals from $18.29 per day515.3 km / 320.2 miles away
Nelspruit Car Rentals from $10.60 per day323.2 km / 200.8 miles away
Port Elizabeth Car Rentals from $10.60 per day907.4 km / 563.8 miles away
Pretoria Car Rentals from $18.29 per day45.8 km / 28.5 miles away
Bloemfontein Car Rentals from $10.60 per day373.1 km / 231.8 miles away
East London Car Rentals from $9.38 per day753.2 km / 468.0 miles away
Pietermaritzburg Car Rentals from $14.43 per day462.6 km / 287.4 miles away
Polokwane Car Rentals from $10.60 per day290.4 km / 180.4 miles away
Richards Bay Car Rentals from $14.43 per day502.5 km / 312.2 miles away
Upington Car Rentals from $14.43 per day711.8 km / 442.3 miles away
Kimberley Car Rentals from $10.60 per day437.8 km / 272.1 miles away
Sishen Car Rentals from $9.56 per day523.2 km / 325.1 miles away
Top 20 Locations near Johannesburg
Johannesburg Lanseria Airport Car Rentals from $14.43 per day16.8 km / 10.4 miles away
O.R. Tambo International Airport Car Rentals from $10.60 per day27.3 km / 17.0 miles away
Pretoria Hatfield Car Rentals from $18.29 per day45.8 km / 28.5 miles away
Wonderboom Airport Car Rentals from $13.45 per day53.9 km / 33.5 miles away
Polokwane Airport Car Rentals from $10.60 per day290.4 km / 180.4 miles away
Nelspruit Airport Car Rentals from $20.22 per day301.3 km / 187.2 miles away
Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport Car Rentals from $10.60 per day323.2 km / 200.8 miles away
Bloemfontein Airport Car Rentals from $10.60 per day373.1 km / 231.8 miles away
Kimberley Airport Car Rentals from $10.60 per day437.8 km / 272.1 miles away
Pietermaritzburg Airport Car Rentals from $14.43 per day462.6 km / 287.4 miles away
King Shaka International Airport Car Rentals from $10.60 per day499.2 km / 310.2 miles away
Richards Bay Airport Car Rentals from $14.43 per day502.5 km / 312.2 miles away
Sishen Airport Car Rentals from $9.56 per day523.2 km / 325.1 miles away
Upington Airport Car Rentals from $14.43 per day711.8 km / 442.3 miles away
East London Fort Hare University Car Rentals from $9.38 per day753.2 km / 468.0 miles away
East London Airport Car Rentals from $14.43 per day773.2 km / 480.4 miles away
Port Elizabeth Rhodes University - Grahamstown Car Rentals from $8.95 per day816.4 km / 507.3 miles away
Port Elizabeth Airport Car Rentals from $10.60 per day907.4 km / 563.8 miles away
George Airport Car Rentals from $10.60 per day1032.0 km / 641.3 miles away
Paarl Val De Vie Car Rentals from $18.61 per day1219.7 km / 757.9 miles away
Map of Car Rental Locations
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Johannesburg?
What’s the usual rental length in Johannesburg?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Johannesburg?
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|Firefly||Toyota Starlet||5||1||Small cars|
|Firefly||Toyota Agya||5||1||Small cars|
|Bidvest||Kia Picanto||4||1||Small cars|
|Firefly||Toyota Corolla Quest||4||2||Medium cars|
|Budget||VW Polo||4||2||Small cars|
|Hertz||Toyota Starlet||5||1||Small cars|
|Firefly||VW Polo||4||2||Small cars|
|Bidvest||Hyundai i20||4||2||Small cars|