Car Rental in Johannesburg
Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa and is known for its diversity, vibrant streets and plush greenery. This sprawling city is comprised of numerous districts offering eclectic dining spots, bustling shopping malls and markets and plenty of fascinating cultural and heritage sites. Read our guide on the top 10 attractions and things to do in Johannesburg. Car rental is very popular in the city owing to the lack of public transport and frequent heat, along with the many beautiful natural attractions outside of the city which are best reached by car.
Where to rent a car in Johannesburg
You will find many leading international car rental agencies at O.R. Tambo International Airport, the primary airport serving Johannesburg, including Europcar, Thrifty, Avis and Hertz along with plenty of local companies. It will also be easy to get your rental vehicle from the center of Johannesburg if you don’t want to collect it right away from the airport as most international providers and many local agencies have a presence around the city.
Driving in Johannesburg
Getting around by car in Johannesburg is certainly a lot easier than relying on the limited local public transport, but for first-time drivers it can still be a difficult experience. Most car rental agencies will recommend a satnav system due to the unreliable signs and confusing streets, while a satnav is also ideal if you plan on venturing outside of the city. Johannesburg is a very large city so it is easy to get lost, and there are also unsafe districts which you will want to avoid. Be sure to steer well clear of the central business district from 07.00-09.00 and 17.00-19.00 during weekdays as the traffic gets severe. Vehicles drive on the left-hand side of the road in Johannesburg.
Parking in Johannesburg
You will be able to find both street parking and parking lots across the city. Street parking is ideal for short stops as payment is charged by the hour (via parking meters) and can be expensive over extended periods of time. However, some areas of the city have allowed free street parking for up to one hour so be sure to inquire with a local attendant. For daily or long-term parking arrangements you will be best off finding a parking garage which offers secure, overnight parking. Alternatively, consult with your hotel before your journey to check if they can make any parking arrangements for you.
Where to go around Johannesburg
If you are after Johannesburg’s excellent shopping opportunities then head down to the CBD district, while the Market Theatre region is the home of the finest cultural institutions. Drive up into the northern suburbs of the city known for their high-end homes and family-friendly attractions and museums, or get a taste of local life in the newly transformed Soweto district. Outside of Johannesburg you can visit many memorable natural attractions South Africa is world famous for including the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve which is around 45 km southeast of the city or you could take the trip to the fun Gold Reef City amusement park and old mine just 15 minutes by car from Johannesburg.
* This information is correct as of December 2018