Driving in South Africa takes skill, concentration, and a whole lot of patience.
Whilst the rules are definitely tightening up and people are, in general, becoming more law-abiding on the roads, there are some things foreigners may not be aware of when they first arrive.
South Africans drive on the left
This may seem obvious, and surely, if you’ve done some research on the country before arrival, you will know this. However, in the interests of safety, we thought it best to remind you of this.
Taxis rule the road
Taxis have a way of taking over the piece of road they are on. To spare your sanity, be patient, give the drivers the right of way and expect the unexpected.
Each province has its own idiosyncrasies
Depending on where you live, the drivers will differ ever so slightly. The jury is still out on which province has the best drivers, but if you’re courteous and careful, you’ll do just fine.
You will need a driver’s licence
You will need to make the application for the conversion of your foreign driver’s licence at a driving licence testing centre (DLTC) in the province you were granted permanent residence.
Rent a car in South Africa before you buy
Before you commit to buying your own vehicle, why not test out driving in South Africa in a rental car. There are several rental companies to choose from – find one that offers the best long-term rental rate.
Alternatively, you may feel most comfortable in your own set of wheels and you might want to consider shipping it over – either with your household belongings or without. There are companies who can advise on the best and safest way to do this. That will remove at least one element of surprise when it comes to navigating South Africa’s roads.