Car hire in Johannesburg
Hiring a car in Johannesburg
The rapidly evolving city of Johannesburg is the vibrant centre of South Africa, offering a mix of cultures and experiences that you won't get anywhere else. Known as Jo'burg and Jozi - among other names - the city is the perfect example of a modern tourist destination, providing glitzy bars, restaurants and museums.
While Johannesburg may still showcase some of its grittier roots in areas, you'll find great attractions in the new Maboneng Precinct. The contrasts between different parts of Jo'burg are part of what makes the city so dynamic.
Driving is a great way to get around Johannesburg and to make the most of other great locations close by. Just be warned that some of the local drivers can be a bit spirited!
What you need to know
You've got plenty of choice when it comes to finding the right car hire provider in Johannesburg, as there are around a dozen different companies operating in the city. The number available to you will depend on where you choose to collect your vehicle, but you will usually find a good number of options wherever your pick-up point is.
Holiday Autos' booking tool can make it really simple to find the right vehicle for your needs, as it shows you all the cars available for the dates of your trip. We ensure there are no hidden costs and no card fees, as well as provide free cancellation and amendments. As if that wasn't enough, you'll also get 24/7 support when you use us to hire a car in Johannesburg.
Where to pick up your car
There are four different airports in and around Johannesburg and you can collect cars from all of them. However, not all the car hire companies in the city operate at each of the airports.
The main international airport in the city is Johannesburg Tambo International Airport (JNB). Around 11 car hire companies are available here and you'll find their desks in the arrivals hall. As this is the busiest airport in Africa, it is a good idea to book in advance to ensure you get the right car.
You can also arrange to collect your car from Lanseria International Airport (HLA), Grand Central Airport (GCJ) and Rand Airport (QRA). You should check to see which you are flying into or which is most convenient for you prior to booking.
“The pick-up was easy, it took 5 minutes from arriving at the desk to driving out the car, and the return took even less time.”
Where to go
There really is a lot to soak up during your stay in Johannesburg and hiring a car can ensure you get to see as much of the varied city as possible. Enjoy the culture and energy within the district of Braamfontein and Newtown, which are the places to go for the best restaurants, theatres and cafes. Head to the Inner City to explore its bustling streets and see what surprises are around the corner or drive to Maboneng, which has fast become known as the hipster centre of the city.
Of course, you can also head further afield to see more of what this wonderful country has to offer. From museums to national parks, there really is something for everyone here.
Johannesburg has an interesting history, especially as it was the city where South Africa's fight for democracy began. You can learn all about the nation's fight for freedom by visiting the Mandela Museum in Soweto. Around 40 minutes from the heart of the city via the N17, the museum is located in an area that had been subjected to planned segregation. Here you can find out about how the Soweto Uprisings of 1976 aimed to overthrow the apartheid state and see where Nelson Mandela lived before he was imprisoned.
Part of the city's cultural life is the Market Theatre, which is a converted market building that now houses four theatres, galleries, shops and restaurants. The lively location is just a ten-minute drive from the centre of the city - although traffic may make it a longer journey. You'll be able to enjoy live music, good food and a large flea market every Saturday.
If you're willing to put in a few hours on the road, a visit to Kruger National Park could be a great way to spend a day. You can reach the park via the N12 and N4 - which have tolls - but the drive will take just over four hours. It's very much worth it though, as Kruger is one of the most famous safari parks in the world and will give you a chance to see elephants, rhino, lions and other wonderful wildlife. You'll also be able to see a number of interesting archeological sites.
For those who want a slightly closer location for a day trip, try heading the 73km to Pretoria via the R21, which has tolls. Here you'll find a lot of historical buildings to explore, as well as museums and monuments. If you're visiting during springtime, you'll also get to enjoy the jacarandas that bloom in the season, covering the city in purple petals.
Top attractions to visit in Johannesburg
There is a lot to take in while you're visiting Johannesburg, so make sure you hire a car before you travel for a chance to see some of the top attractions.
The Apartheid Museum
This is the best place to learn about apartheid in South Africa, as the museum portrays its history through photographs, film footage, personal accounts and newspaper clippings. As you walk through exhibits, you'll experience true sights and sounds of the nation's history, which can be quite chilling.
Gold Reef City
Johannesburg was built in the gold rush and you can go back to that time by driving to Gold Reef City. Here you'll find historical exhibits mingling with theme park rides, as well as reproduction buildings. There is a lot to do and see, and the attraction is suitable for the whole family. Make sure you are ready to spend a day here to really get the most out of it.
Wits Art Museum
This museum is one of the newer attractions in the city and has only been open since 2012. Wits Art Museum is home to great African art ranging from Central to South Africa. Located in the trendy area of Braamfontein, the space is modern and a popular location for tourists and students alike.