Car Rental in Port Elizabeth
Cheapest Car Rental Rates
Most Popular Car Rental Deals
Why rent a car in Port Elizabeth?
Port Elizabeth is a great place to explore. Located on the Indian Ocean roughly halfway between Cape Town and Durban, it has stunning beaches and offers some of the best surfing and diving opportunities on the planet. A number of game reserves and national parks are located near Port Elizabeth and are easily reached with a rental car. The city itself is a relaxed place with a high quality of life and has interesting museums, great restaurants, and friendly locals. Considered by many the best vacation destination in South Africa, it’s certainly a place to enjoy.
Note: As of 2021, Port Elizabeth has been officially renamed Gqeberha after the name of a local river in the native Xhosa language. Both names are in use in colloquial speech, and many people in South Africa continue to refer to the city as Port Elizabeth, or sometimes simply P.E.
One-Way Car Rentals in Port Elizabeth
The most popular one-way rental options for pick up in Port Elizabeth and drop off in another city include:
- From Port Elizabeth to Cape Town - 142 offers from $19.48 per day
- From Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg - 79 offers from $19.48 per day
- From Port Elizabeth to East London - 88 offers from $18.70 per day
- From Port Elizabeth to Margate - 14 offers from $21.11 per day
Top ways to enter Port Elizabeth
- Port Elizabeth Airport: Small and cozy, as of July 2019 Port Elizabeth only has domestic air routes. There are frequent flights to and from Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Bloemfontein, and East London. Located just 5km (3 miles) south of the city center, the airport can be reached in less than 10 minutes.
- East London Airport: Serving the city of the same name, it is another small and regional airport on the southeast coast of South Africa. East London Airport is located 280km (174 miles) northeast of Port Elizabeth and the distance between the two can be traveled in about three hours, although you might be tempted to take the longer and more scenic route that goes right along the coast.
- George Airport: Also known as P.W. Botha Airport after the former president of the country, George Airport has been growing over the last five years and served more than 800,000 travelers in 2018. The airport is located 330km (205 miles) west of Port Elizabeth and can be reached in about 3 hours and 30 minutes.
- Cape Town Airport: Serving the famous city of the same name, Cape Town Airport might seem quite far from Port Elizabeth, but it is the closest airport that hosts international flights. The second-busiest in the country and fifth-busiest on the continent of Africa, Cape Town Airport handles more than 10 million travelers every year and offers flights to and from African countries such as Botswana, Namibia, Ethiopia; European nations such as Austria, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Germany,;and even countries like Qatar, Singapore, and China (Hong Kong). Located 730km (453 miles) west of Port Elizabeth, Cape Town Airport can be reached in about 8 eight hours.
- Sitting right on the coast, Port Elizabeth has an oceanic climate with warm summers, mild winters and relatively small temperature differences throughout a year. The average temperature is 21°C (70°F) in January and February, the warmest months, and 14°C (57°F) in July. Precipitation is constantly low regardless of the season, with a small increase between August and October. The city has been experiencing a constant drought for the last few years.
- Port Elizabeth is a multicultural and multilingual place; Afrikaans and English are by far the two most widespread languages in the city, but 11% of locals are native Xhosa speaker and other African languages such as Zulu, Sesotho, and Setswana can also be frequently heard.
- Port Elizabeth is located on Algoa Bay. A part of the Southern Indian Ocean, it stretches for 683km (425 miles) east of the Cape of Good Hope. The bay is home to a large variety of unique marine wildlife such as the African penguin, Antarctic tern, humpback whale, Cape fur seal, and great white shark. Many of the species can frequently be observed in or near the two archipelagos located in Algoa Bay, the St. Croixand Bird Islands.
Top destinations and activities
- Sakhume Museum & Xhosa Culture Centre, Human Dignity Centre. This museum is dedicated to the Xhosa people, the original inhabitants, and one of the largest groups, of the Eastern Cape. Visitors can learn the basics of Xhosa, a unique clicking Bantu language, and learn about Xhosa traditions, culture, and life in present-day South Africa.
- Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum. Speaking of Xhosa people, the most famous one, of course, was Nelson Mandela, the former South African president and anti-apartheid leader. Named in his honor, this museum showcases a lot of traditional and contemporary South African art, especially the one that comes from around Port Elizabeth.
- Bayworld. An entertainment complex, Bayworld is one of the most fun places in the city. Visit the aquarium to see marine animals like seals, penguins, and sea turtles; head to Port Elizabeth Museum to marvel at the 15m (49 ft) skeleton of a southern right whale and a reconstruction of the giant Algoasaurus that once roamed the area; or try the Snake Park that houses different species of serpents, turtles, and lizards.
Traffic and parking
- Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the speed limits are 120km/h (74.5 mph) on freeways, 100km/h (62 mph) on any public road outside of an urban area that is not a freeway, and 60km/h (37 mph) on any public road within an urban or built-up area.
- Plan your route around the city in advance consulting the latest information online and asking your hotel, local tourism authority and trustworthy locals for advice. While most parts of Port Elizabeth are safe, and the city is generally safer than other urban centers in South Africa, 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.
- Port Elizabeth is overall a lot safer than many other South African cities. Nevertheless, safety can be an issue in certain parts of the city and in some of the townships surrounding it. To make sure you do not travel to these dangerous areas, or at least do not get stuck in them, check the latest security updates about the city and consult trustworthy locals about areas of the city where you plan to travel.
- Proof of insurance and the car’s registration need 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 day trips
- Beaches. More than anything else, Port Elizabeth is a beach destination. Its stunning golden shoreline attracts thousands of visitors every year. Some of the best beaches in and around the city include Hobie Beach, Humewood Beach, King’s Beach, and Wells Estate Beach. Perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and even getting a drink or a meal in a beach bar, they are all easily reached with a rental car. Many of these and other beaches have Blue Flag status indicating high safety and ecological standards.
- Diving. Thanks to the many stunning sites, high level of equipment provided by local companies, and constantly warm sea temperature, Port Elizabeth rightfully has a reputation as one of the scuba diving meccas of the world. Some of the most famous places to scuba diving around Port Elizabeth include Avalanche Reef, Devil’s Reef, and Brenton Island. Available to, and exciting for, divers of all levels from beginners to seasoned pros, diving is something you simply should try if you’re ever visiting this part of the world.
- Kragga Kamma Game Park. There are many national parks and reserves around Port Elizabeth, but Kragga Kamma is one of those standing out. The park is not too big but has plenty of unique species such as South African cheetahs, southern white rhinoceros, South African giraffes and nyala antelopes. You can visit Kragga Kamma with your own car, and with the help of the park’s stuff, it’s even possible to camp in it. Located just 14km (8.7 miles) from Port Elizabeth center, it can be reached in about 20 minutes.
- Addo Elephant National Park. One of the most famous national parks in the country, Addo is a very popular place for a day trip. Large and very diverse, it gives home not just to the African elephants, but also various species of mammals, reptiles, birds, and insects. The roads of the park are in good condition, so it can be easily visited in a medium-sized rental car. The drive from Port Elizabeth to Addo takes about one hour.
Most popular cars
The most popular rental car in Port Elizabeth is the Toyota Corolla, and many travelers also pick the Kia Picanto and the Ford Fiesta. The most popular rental car types are compact, mini, and economy.
- Jeffreys Bay. Famous for year-round stunning weather, great seafood, and perhaps the best surfing waves in all of Africa, Jeffreys Bay is a great vacation destination. The small town’s center presents some nice accommodation and dining opportunities, but it’s the stunning beaches, such as Aston Bay or Paradise Beach, that are the main attractions of this place. Located 78km (48 miles) west of Port Elizabeth, Jeffreys Bay can be reached in one hour or less.
- Cape Town. One of the great famous cities of Africa, Cape Town would be a highlight of any trip to the country. Characterized by its important historical role and many landmarks, Cape Town is also known for its natural beauty such as the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, Table Mountain, and Long Coastline. A drive from Port Elizabeth takes about eight hours and is a fascinating car trip along the Indian ocean, but you can also drop off one car, take a short domestic flight, and pick up a new rental after arriving in Cape Town.
- Garden Route. More of a journey than a single destination, the Garden Route is a roughly 300km-long (186 miles) stretch of coast. Starting at Storms River about 165km (102 miles) from Port Elizabeth and continuing westward, it includes attractions like Tsitsikamma National Park,the lagoons and virgin forests of Knysna, and the picturesque town of Mossel Bay. One of South Africa’s most famous travel destinations, it is especially enjoyable if explored with your own car.
- Lesotho. Known as the Kingdom of the Sky, this landlocked and mountainous country remains something of a mystery for foreign travelers. It’s not easy to reach, but those who do make it praise the ancient Che-Che forests, the Sehlabathebe National Park which is famous for its mountain scenery and protected wildlife species, and the unmatched hospitality of the locals. To go there, you’d have to cross an international border, so ask your rental car provider in advance if they permit it. Many don’t, so it can be a good idea to drop off one rental car in South Africa and pick up a new one in Lesotho. Also, check to see if you need a visa - Lesotho is a sovereign country and entry requirements can be different from those for South Africa depending on your citizenship. Maseru, Lesotho’s capital, is 690km (429 miles) northeast of Port Elizabeth and can be reached in about seven hours.
Car Rental Prices in Port Elizabeth
- Large cars - from $31 per day
- Medium cars - from $26 per day
- Vans - from $41 per day
- Premium cars - from $54 per day
- Small cars - from $16 per day
- SUVs - from $28 per day
There are a number of things you can do to get a good rental car deal in Port Elizabeth. Start with:
- 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 Port Elizabeth is the cheapest in May when renting a car is about 54% cheaper than the yearly average and a whole 74% cheaper than renting a car in November.
Top 20 Cities near Port Elizabeth
East London Car Rentals from $16.50 per day230.4 km / 143.2 miles away
237.3 km / 147.5 miles away
George Car Rentals from $20.06 per day298.5 km / 185.5 miles away
Mthatha Car Rentals from $19.25 per day393.8 km / 244.7 miles away
Bloemfontein Car Rentals from $20.06 per day547.8 km / 340.4 miles away
Margate Car Rentals from $25.74 per day563.5 km / 350.1 miles away
Kimberley Car Rentals from $20.06 per day581.9 km / 361.6 miles away
Hermanus Car Rentals from $24.89 per day588.5 km / 365.7 miles away
Stellenbosch Car Rentals from $20.06 per day623.3 km / 387.3 miles away
623.7 km / 387.5 miles away
Cape Town Car Rentals from $11.37 per day646.8 km / 401.9 miles away
Pietermaritzburg Car Rentals from $20.06 per day660.5 km / 410.4 miles away
Durban Car Rentals from $17.48 per day711.7 km / 442.2 miles away
747.5 km / 464.5 miles away
Richards Bay Car Rentals from $20.06 per day846.9 km / 526.2 miles away
Johannesburg Car Rentals from $16.50 per day908.4 km / 564.5 miles away
Centurion Car Rentals from $20.06 per day937.1 km / 582.3 miles away
Pretoria Car Rentals from $20.06 per day950.3 km / 590.5 miles away
Nelspruit Car Rentals from $20.06 per day1093.1 km / 679.2 miles away
Polokwane Car Rentals from $20.06 per day1187.6 km / 737.9 miles away
Top 19 Locations near Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth Airport Car Rentals from $16.50 per day
Port Elizabeth Rhodes University - Grahamstown Car Rentals from $26.15 per day111.6 km / 69.3 miles away
East London Airport Car Rentals from $16.50 per day230.4 km / 143.2 miles away
George Airport Car Rentals from $20.06 per day298.5 km / 185.5 miles away
Bloemfontein Airport Car Rentals from $20.06 per day547.8 km / 340.4 miles away
Kimberley Airport Car Rentals from $20.06 per day581.9 km / 361.6 miles away
599.5 km / 372.5 miles away
Cape Town Airport Car Rentals from $11.37 per day646.8 km / 401.9 miles away
Downtown Car Rentals from $20.06 per day663.7 km / 412.4 miles away
Downtown Car Rentals from $20.06 per day686.7 km / 426.7 miles away
King Shaka International Airport Car Rentals from $17.48 per day711.7 km / 442.2 miles away
747.5 km / 464.5 miles away
Richards Bay Airport Car Rentals from $20.06 per day846.9 km / 526.2 miles away
Johannesburg Airport Car Rentals from $27.55 per day908.4 km / 564.5 miles away
O.R. Tambo International Airport Car Rentals from $16.50 per day908.4 km / 564.5 miles away
Johannesburg Lanseria Airport Car Rentals from $20.06 per day921.9 km / 572.8 miles away
Pretoria Hatfield Car Rentals from $22.40 per day950.3 km / 590.5 miles away
Wonderboom Airport Car Rentals from $23.93 per day959.8 km / 596.4 miles away
Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport Car Rentals from $20.06 per day1093.1 km / 679.2 miles away
Map of Car Rental Locations
What is the cheapest month to rent a car in Port Elizabeth?
This information can help you identify the low season. But these are only average numbers. How much your car rental will cost will depend on the type of vehicle you rent, how long you’ll rent it for, and how far ahead you book. Simply enter your dates in the form at the top of the page to see the exact prices.
What’s the usual rental length in Port Elizabeth?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Port Elizabeth?
Car Rental Information
|Car rental locations||3|
|Popular suppliers||First Car Rental, Hertz, Keddy, GreenMotion, Thrifty|
|Popular car categories||Small cars, Medium cars, SUVs, Vans|
|Lowest price||$16 per day|
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|First Car Rental||Suzuki Celerio||5||1||Small cars|
|First Car Rental||Nissan Almera||5||2||Medium cars|
|Thrifty||Hyundai Grand i10||5||1||Small cars|
|Keddy||Kia Picanto||5||1||Small cars|
|First Car Rental||Honda Amaze||5||1||Small cars|
|First Car Rental||Toyota Quest||4||2||Large cars|
|GreenMotion||Volkswagen Polo Vivo||5||1||Small cars|
|First Car Rental||Ford Ecosport||5||3||SUVs|
|First Car Rental||Volkswagen Polo||5||1||Medium cars|
|First Car Rental||Suzuki Swift||5||1||Small cars|
Our Customers' Reviews
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