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Public transport

Public transport is dissapointing in South Africa, and Cape Town is unfortunately no better. We have busses and taxi’s but their routes and times are very limited. Trains are not recommended at all as they have a very bad safety reputation. If you must travel by train it is advised that you travel 1st class. It is not a lot more expensive than 2nd or 3rd class, but is far more safer.

Mini-bus taxi’s are often very convenient for short distances, but they do not follow road rules and therefore could endanger your life. But hey, if you like a rush you can try them out. Otherwise use them only during daytime, if you have no other transport option and if you are in a group of two or more people.

Buying own vehicle

Buying a second-hand car is a good option when staying a few months. You can keep it during your visit and sell it again when you leave. Often you can get your money back, but more than often you will lose a small portion on the deal - but this is not a big price to pay for the usage of the vehicle during your stay.

Beware of private sales – often someone is trying to make a quick buck and will sell a poor quality vehicle to an unsuspecting visitor. Buy from other students or people that you know, or buy a cheapy from a second-hand car dealer. There are many second-hand car dealers in Cape Town who usually sell pretty good cars (for instance in Koeberg Road). They will sell you road worthy vehicles that are licensed and registered in your name. Often they come with a one month guarantee as well. This is the safe and recommended option when chosing to buy your own car. Please note that insurance on a vehicle is not required by law in South Africa, but it is recommended to protect your investment.

You can also buy a car through Drive Africa http://www.driveafrica.co.za as an alternative option. When you are done they will buy your car back from you at an agreed-upon percentage of what you initially paid.

German cars are good options - my personal favourites are the old Mercedes Benz models (1980 – 1986). But test drive a vehicle before you buy it. Make sure that the body looks ok, has little rust, relative low mileage and does not smoke when you drive it.

Renting a vehicle - read more

 

Remember to apply for your International Drivers permit before leaving your country, as you will not be able to obtain it once you’re in South Africa.


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