Car hire Pretoria
Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa and where the main parliament buildings are situated. Pretoria is an extremely green city which is famous for its Jacaranda trees which illuminate the streets with their purple presence. It’s also a stone’s throw away from bustling Johannesburg.
Car hire in Pretoria is a great option as it means you have the freedom to traverse within these two major urban hubs of Gauteng whilst also having the option of exploring the sights and sounds of the nearby areas including game drives, lion parks and world class shopping facilities, restaurants and nightlife.
Best time to visit
Pretoria is home to over 70,000 Jacaranda trees hence it gets the title of ‘The Jacaranda City’. Spring in September is the best time to visit as you can witness the flowers in full bloom and therefore car hire Pretoria is a great option but a better option is the convertible here. If you're in Pretoria as a stop over (spend a couple of days) though rather rent a 4x4 to get up north.
The Union Buildings have beautifully kept grounds to enjoy as you gaze at the iconic architecture. The Voortrekker Monument pays homage to Settler history in South Africa.
If game is what you’re after also check out the Rietvlei Nature Reserve which is a short drive from the centre of Pretoria, which is also a great place to go hiking, have a picnic, go fly fishing or do some bird watching. Pretoria is also one of the rugby capitals of South Africa and a match at Loftus Versfeld is part of the experience of Pretoria. If you're just staying in the city car hire in Pretoria is a great option, but if you're going out then look at a 4x4 rental option instead.
[Photo by: Gravitywave]
Getting around Pretoria
Pretoria isn’t as gigantic as Johannesburg, but for this reason public transport is even more limiting, if you really want to experience all that Pretoria has on offer as well as getting to explore some of the other areas adjacent any kind of car hire will suffice. However Pretoria also boasts some of the country’s best 4x4 trails close by, so hiring a 4x4 could also be an option.
Length of stay
Pretoria has many historically significant locations for the legacy of South Africa so to really experience this a week at least would be sufficient. If one wishes to explore the other locations nearby a little more extensively and get a chance to see some game in the area and do a bit of off road driving, 2 weeks would be a better option with visits to Johannesburg being an optimal way to experience Gauteng province. This said we always recommend a combination so hire a car in Pretoria and spend the week in the city but take the last week and rent a nice big 4x4 for the bush. You'll thank us.
What to pack for your Pretoria visit
Pretoria experiences chilly to cold winters, spring and summer is optimal, with hot dry days. Prepare for the occasional thunderstorm though. You might need a long sleeve shirt or light jacket on colder evenings.
Car Hire in Pretoria, South Africa: Valuable Driving Information
- It is the law to drive on the left hand side of the road.
- It is illegal to talk on your cell phone whilst driving.
- You have to wear a seatbelt at all times.
- The legal driving age is 18.
- It is not only illegal and dangerous to drink and drive, but car rental companies in South Africa (including car rental Pretoria) do not offer insurance that can offer coverage in the event of a car accident.
- While driving keep to the left hand lane and pass on the right.
- Driving with your headlights on during the day makes you more visible to other drivers.
- National roads in South Africa have petrol stations, or garages, with restaurants, restrooms and shops. Useful for taking breaks on long journeys.
- Check vehicle at the start of each day that it has enough oil and water, and that all lights and indicators are functional and the tyre pressure is adequate.
- Keep safe following distances.
- Do not speed.
- Speed limits on South Africa roads (unless otherwise indicated):
- Urban roads - 60 km per hour.
- Provincial Roads - 60 - 80 km per hour.
- National Roads - 100 - 120 km per hour.
- Fuel prices are government regulated, meaning they are roughly the same price at all petrol stations.
- Petrol attendants provide Service at petrol stations. While tipping is customary, it is at your discretion.
- Use the Drive South Africa distance calculator mapping your route from Pretoria if you're unfamiliar with the directions.
Attractions in and around Tshwane once you've rented you car in Pretoria
- Sun City: a couple of hours drive north west of Pretoria on good roads lies one of South Africa’s most famous attractions, Sun City. Boasting luxury hotels, the impressive Lost City, a wealth of casinos and live shows, and host to the Nedbank 1.2 million Dollar Golf Tournament, Sun City offers something for everyone.
- Pilanesberg Game Reserve: bordering Sun City, this game reserve hosts the Big 5 and a large variety of animals and birds. Expansive landscapes and breath taking views compliment the serenity provided by the African bush. Good roads mean you can enjoy a self-drive adventure just outside of Pretoria. Best with your 4x4 hire here.
- Cullinan Diamond Mine: About 30km east of Pretoria lies the 100-year old quaint village. The village is home to the famous mine that produced three of the biggest diamonds ever found.
- Cradle of Mankind and the Sterkfontein Caves: This world heritage site of the outskirts of Johannesburg, 50km away, guides visitors through the history of mankind’s evolution.
- Lesedi Cultural Village: On the outskirts of Johannesburg, Lesedi offers a glimpse of traditional culture, featuring four different tribal homesteads. Visitors experience culture through dance, crafts and meals. Overnight stays are possible.
- Gold Reef City: a reconstructed mining village on the outskirts of Johannesburg, 50km from Pretoria, recreating the atmosphere of the gold rush era. Attractions include a descent down an old mine shaft, gold pouring, a theme park and fun rides.
Please check our website for discount car rental Pretoria specials as well as our Pretoria airport car rental deals, long-term car rental rate and our Pretoria monthly car rental rate.
Is self-driving allowed in Pilanesberg National Park?
Yes, self-driving is allowed in Pilanesberg National Park. Self-drive in Pilanesberg is the best way to explore the park. However, You don’t need to drive a 4wd - 2wd sedans are suitable, though you will be better off with a higher car.
What is the food like whilst travelling the roads of South Africa?
Many of the routes you will be travelling will be inundated by fast food chains at petrol stations. However there are also a number of farm stalls and small boutique and family owned roadside restaurants to wet your appetite, you’ll just have to look a little harder for these.
How do you calculate rental days for car rental?
Car hire suppliers work on a 24 hour time period from the time of collection to calculate your rental “days”. If you rent from Friday 09:00am to Saturday 09:00am it is considered one day. If you rent from Friday 09:00am to Saturday 11:00am you have passed 24 hours and will pay for a second rental day. No grace period is granted when a rental vehicle is returned late.
What is it like travelling by train in South Africa?
Travel by train in South Africa isn’t at connected as certain countries in Europe or Asia, however what it doesn’t have in options it makes up for in style, comfort and affordability. The newly developed Gautrain service has brought South Africa into the limelight with a world class facility and there are still many options in luxury travel for longer distances.
Does South Africa have any decent galleries or museums?
Due to South Africa’s extensive history and diverse culture there is a wealth of museums and art galleries to enjoy all over the country. Check out this rough museum guide here.
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