Driving in Cape Town

If you plan to drive while in Cape Town, here are some things you need to know.

Driving in Cape Town is one of the best ways to get around. It gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace and get from A to B with ease. Cape Town also has some beautiful scenic drives, over mountains and along stretches of coast. Here is everything you need to know about driving in Cape Town.

Car Rental

It is easy to rent a car in Cape Town. You can arrange to hire a car from Cape Town International Airport before you arrive. Many car hire companies also operate in the Cape Town city centre.

Rules of the Road

In South Africa, we drive on the left-hand side of the road, and our cars – rental cars included – are right-hand drive vehicles. All distances, speed limits, and speedometers are in kilometres. Wearing of seat belts is required by law. Using hand-held phones while driving is against the law.

The general speed limit on major routes is 120km/h (75mph), on secondary roads it is 100km/h (60mph), and in built-up areas, it is usually 60km/h (35mph) unless otherwise indicated.

Any valid driver’s licence is accepted, provided it bears the photograph and signature of the holder and is printed in English.

Driving outside Cape Town

If you are planning to drive to Cape Town from somewhere else in South Africa, there are three arterial routes leading into Cape Town from the interior:

  • The N1 from Johannesburg via the Karoo and the Cape Winelands;
  • The N2 from the Garden Route and Overberg via Somerset West and Cape Town International Airport;
  • The N7 from the West Coast and Namibia.

There are also some fantastic day trips from Cape Town, for those who want to explore the greater surrounds of the city.