Explore more of the Western Cape with car hire in Cape Town. While there's plenty to see and do in the city, many of Cape Town's best attractions (and restaurants) are a short drive away. As public transport is nearly non-existent, car hire is essential if you don't want to run up a high bill on Uber. With Cape Town car rental you're free to discover white sandy beaches, lush winelands and breathtaking national parks.
Where to Hire a Car in Cape Town
If you're flying into the Mother City, car hire at Cape Town Airport will be the most convenient. South Africa is only one hour ahead of Ireland, so you won't need to worry about jet lag when you step off your flight to Cape Town. You also won't need to worry about driving on the wrong side of the road – South Africans drive on the left-hand side, too. Avis, Budget, Thrifty and Hertz are among the car hire companies at Cape Town Airport. If you'd rather spend a few days exploring on foot first, there are plenty of car rental agencies in downtown Cape Town. There's a large Avis on Strand Street, between the Bo Kaap and De Waterkant neighbourhoods. Hertz, Bidvest, First Car Rental and Tempest Car Hire are among the car rental agencies on Bree Street, one of Cape Town's best streets for nightlife.
Tips for Driving in Cape Town
Cape Town is a very car-friendly city. The roads are wide, and there's plenty of on- and off-street parking. Homeless people in Cape Town often set themselves up as unofficial parking guards – they'll help you to back into your spot, and for a small tip they'll look after your car for you. Check your hotel in Cape Town has its own car park to avoid any extra hassle. Car-jacking is an ever-present danger in South Africa, especially at night. Lock your car doors, and stick to the main roads when you need to pop out after dark. It's much safer to drive than to walk once the sun sets.
3 Road Trips from Cape Town
Best for nature lovers: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens Kirstenbosch is just 20 minutes from downtown Cape Town, but feels like another world. The park was founded in 1913 to celebrate and preserve South Africa's indigenous plantlife. If you're feeling active, wander up Smuts' Track to the summit of Table Mountain. Visit on Sunday evenings during summer for live music.
Best for a road trip: The Garden Route Cape Town is the starting point for one of the world's most famous driving routes. The Garden Route runs roughly from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, 754km away. The 8 hour and 41 minute long route takes in quaint beach towns as well as quirky hamlets in the karoo outback. It's worth taking a week or so to do it properly. Popular stop-offs include Outdshoorn (420km from Cape Town) where you can ride an ostrich, Gansbaai (162km from Cape Town) where you can dive with sharks, and Plettenberg Bay (521km from Cape Town) where you can chill out with the surf set.
Best for foodies: Stellenbosch Just an hour's drive from Cape Town, Stellenbosch is a leafy university town famous for its fantastic vineyards, excellent restaurants and boutique art galleries. You'll only need an afternoon to explore, but might want to stay overnight to enjoy a trip on the Vine Hopper winery tour bus.