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Driving in South Africa

Information on driving in SA

Procedure at a four way stop

      When approaching a four way stop, always take note of the following:
  • If you are the only vehicle at the stop street, stop, look both sides, then proceed.
  • If there is another vehicle already at the stop street, it has the right of way. Proceed once the other vehicle has left the intersection.
  • If you stop at the same time as another vehicle, common courtesy applies and either vehicle may proceed first.
  • Always ensure that your vehicle comes to a complete stop before you proceed.

    Procedure at a traffic light

      When approaching a traffic light, always take note of the following:
  • If the light is green, you may proceed. It is always advisable to slow down at a green light and check for approaching traffic.
  • If you are turning right, the approaching traffic has the right of way. Wait for the approaching traffic to pass and proceed.
  • If you are turning left and the light is green, you may do so, but always check for approaching traffic also turning.
  • If approaching a traffic light and the light turns amber, please slow down as amber indicates the light will soon be turning red. Never try to speed up and pass through an amber light, always stop until the light turns green again.
      Identifying arrows at a traffic light
  • A flashing green arrow indicates you may turn in the direction indicated by the arrow.
  • A flashing red arrow on your left indicates that you may turn, should no other traffic be turning left. This arrow must treated as a yield.
  • A steady red or green arrow indicates you may proceed with caution.
  • When traffic lights are out of order, please treat the intersection as a four way stop.
      Refer to the below procedure. Approaching a traffic circle.
  • Always yield at a traffic circle.
  • Yield to vehicles already in the traffic circle and those vehicles entering the circle on your right.
  • Once all vehicles have passed your right hand side, proceed with caution.
  • Please note that all vehicles already in the circle always have the right of way.
  • Parking - It is illegal to park a vehicle on the opposite side of the road facing oncoming traffic.

    Fuel in South Africa

      Types of Fuel Available.
  • Until recently, the only fuel available in South Africa was leaded fuel. Leaded and unleaded fuel is now available. Please always ensure you ask for the highest octane fuel depending on the region you are visiting.
      The following octane fuels are available:
  • Gauteng and Mpumalanga 93 or 95
  • Kwazulu - Natal 97
  • Western and Eastern Cape 95

If you are in any way unsure of what fuel to use, ask the petrol attendant at the service station to assist you. Purchasing Fuel Fuel in South Africa may only be purchased with cash. Fuel may not be purchased on credit card or by cheque. Fuel is always set at a fixed Government controlled price

      Service Stations
  • The service at a petrol station is not self service. A petrol attendant will assist you. Tipping is at your own discretion Remember to always ask the attendant to check the oil, water and tyre pressure for a safe and trouble free journey.
  • Vehicle radios Major South African radio stations have been pre selected on your vehicle radio, simply press numbers 1 to 5 for choice.
  • Tourist Road Signs

Road Signs

Warning Road Signs

Warning Road Signs

Important Visitor Information

Vehicle Safety

Review your maps and other visitor information before leaving the car rental area or elsewhere. Always be alert of your surroundings and know how to reach your destination before departure. Always keep your doors locked whilst driving or parked. Keep all valuables in the boot or locked in the glove compartment. Ensure you know the lights of emergency vehicles, police lights are blue. Do not stop for flashing lights alone. In the rare event that you are approached by a stranger demanding your valuables, do not resist, your well being is more important than your belongings. Always use the safety belts in the vehicle. It is law in South Africa and may save your life in the event of an accident. Never drink alcoholic beverages whilst driving, this is also against the law. Do not give strangers a ride under any circumstances. Always be aware of pedestrian traffic around your vehicle. Always park in well lit areas, and always make sure you have your keys with you. NEVER give the keys of your vehicle to anyone other than a representative. All staff members can be identified by their uniform.

Personal Safety

Do not leave bags, brief cases or luggage unattended. Do not leave children unattended. Carry Traveler's Cheques instead of cash. Keep hotel and balcony doors locked when you go out. For all emergencies dial 10111. Do not wear visible jewellery. Always walk in groups, never walk alone at night.

Toll Roads

Toll roads are operated on major routes. Charges vary from R2.00 per vehicle to R30.00 per vehicle. Payment at toll gates can be made with South African currency, alternatively all major credit cards are accepted.

Seat Belts

The wearing of seat belts is compulsory by law.

Crossing of Borders

If you intend travelling from South Africa to neighbouring countries during your stay in southern Africa, authorization must first be obtained in writing from Swans when you take delivery of your vehicle. This requirement will allow to confirm the necessary foreign insurance cover on your vehicle.


Insurance cover on your vehicle does not cover damage caused as a result of reckless driving or as a consequence of driving under he influence of alcohol. See terms & conditions on rental agreement for further details.

Speed Limits

60 km hour -in urban areas.
120 km/hour -main roads and freeways.

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