As incredible as South Africa is, public transport is time-consuming and not always efficient. It’s also an incredibly large country, with a variety of different cultures and cities that are all worth exploring.

Not only is the country a fantastic road trip holiday destination, but it is also a busy business country, with many travellers having to cross provinces for business trips. With this in mind, renting a car becomes an essential part of travel.

We understand that travellers don’t always have easy access to affordable public transport, which is why they rely on renting a car to get them safely from one place to another. While there are many car rental companies that charge over the top prices, there are plenty of affordable, budget-friendly options too. Ones that won’t compromise safety, reliability, cleanliness and fuel efficiency, either.

Let’s take a look at what renting a car in South Africa entails, and what your affordable car rental options are.

Average Cost for a Budget Car Hire

As we all know, cars come in a variety of models, sizes and brands, which understandably affects their price. This is why choosing a rental car based on a budget comes down to the driver’s preference. Many prefer to rent a car similar to their own, while others choose to rent a car they’ve always dreamed of owning.

Standard small cars range from around R300 to R500 per day and require a security deposit of anywhere between R5 000 to R20 000. For medium-sized cars, expect to pay R350 to R700 per day. Larger cars range from R400 to R1 000 per day.

While it may seem like a bargain to be booking budget cars for R300 a day, you will need to factor the price of petrol into your decision.

Included in a Budget Car Rental

Budget rental cars don’t skimp out on any of the essentials that are needed when booking a rental car. The vast majority of rental cars should include a Collision Damage Waiver, local taxes, airport surcharges, road fees and theft protection.

If there are any incidents, many rental cars come with a policy that will refund you for any towing, call out charges and key replacement fee.

Extra Fees You May Encounter and Additional Add-Ons:

  • Young drivers may pay an extra fee
  • If you drive more than 200 km, you may need to pay a fee per extra km
  • Baby seats and baby boosts
  • Bike and travel luggage rooftop racks
  • Pick up/drop off at the airport

Why Opt for Cheap Car Rentals in South Africa?

With an array of cities in South Africa that deserve exploring, renting a budget-friendly car will allow you to see as much of the country as you’d like. A rental car provides you with the opportunity to drive along the coastline, embark on a self-drive safari or journey through the numerous mountainous landscapes.

A rental car can be booked with your family’s needs in mind. Whether that be extra space for larger families or a super-safe, reliable and sturdy car for long distances. Or perhaps a 4-wheel drive in a game reserve.

One of the most popular activities in South Africa is a game drive. While these can end up costing a fortune, a rental car allows you to self-drive through the park, saving you money.

What’s more, is that renting a car can be one of the most cost-efficient ways of seeing the nation. Especially if done with a group of friends and family. Forget paying for Ubers or planning a schedule that relies on public transport.

Top Budget Rental Cars

Given that Duban, Cape Town and Johannesburg are the three most visited cities in South Africa, we’ve listed the top most reliable cheap car hires in each destination. While cars come in a variety of brands and styles, the ones below accommodate for many uses. Like a business trip, family vacations and general day to day use.

Cheap Car Rental Cape Town: Bidvest Nissan Micra (from R320 per day)

Cape Town is the top holiday destination in South Africa. Which is why this 4-seater manual Nissan is ideal. Fit with air-conditioner for the hotter days and 100km mileage. Drivers must be at least 18 years old, and a R5 500 security deposit is required.

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Car Rental Johannesburg: Europcar Ford Fiesta (from R415 per day)

A reliable, theft-proof car in Joburg is essential. This 4-seater manual Ford Fiesta comes with full theft and damage protection, and Third-Party Liability. Drivers must be at least 21 years old, with a R7 553 security deposit required.

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Budget Car Hire Durban: Europcar Kia Picanto (from R350 per day)

Full insurance is available for this Kia Picanto rental, which covers any bumps or scratches and allows for a hassle-free rental. This 4-seater manual comes with a 200km mileage policy. Drivers need to be over 21 years old and pay a R6 000 security deposit.

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Car Rental Requirements

Renting an affordable rental car is simple. These are the requirements needed:

  • Drivers need to be 18 years or older
  • The driver needs a valid driver’s license
  • A SA ID or passport
  • A deposit, which amount varies, payable with a credit or debit card

Keep in mind that some car rental companies require an extra fee if there is going to be a second driver.

Cheap Car Rentals: Let the Adventure Begin

If you’re planning on covering long distances, a long weekend away, a business trip or galavanting around the city, a rental car is a must. By comparing rates and models, you can choose a car that fits the budget and enhances your experience of a place.

Rental cars are promptly accessible in urban areas and with a wide range of rental companies and cars, there is always the option to book a car. And what makes rental companies brilliant is that there are a number of car models. So last minute bookings allow you to find a car fit for your liking.