Road Etiquette: 10 Tips On Driving Etiquette In South Africa

By Julia Austin [AFK INSIDER]

#roadrage #roadetiquette

A "strange but pleasant bit of South African driving etiquette" involves "pulling over onto the tarred hard shoulder to let the car behind overtake in safety". This is done regardless of whether there is traffic or not. The overtaker is expected to flick their hazard lights as a sign of saying thanks. Wikipedia


If you cross a toll booth, you’ll often pay anywhere between 10 rand ($0.94 US) and 200 rand ($18.71 US) . Some tolls accept credit cards and others accept cash only so check on this before you leave for your trip and carry rand.

Be aware of speed cameras

According to South African, you are not entitled to a warning about speed cameras, so you could always be subject to a ticket. Tip: obey the speed limit. Generally you can expect urban areas to have speed limits of 60 kilometer-per-hour (37 mph), and highways to have 100 kilometer-per-hour (62 mph) limits.

Oncoming flashing lights

Often in South Africa, if you see an oncoming car flashing lights at you, that is to warn you that there is a police check, speed camera, or accident up ahead.


This is different from what many people are used to. In South Africa, you pass on the right because you drive on the left. Got it?

Gratitude When Passing

When someone pulls over to allow you to pass them, it’s customary to put on your flashers for a few blinks to indicate your gratitude.

Allowing others to pass

When someone pulls up behind you and turns on their emergency lights, this is normally their way of asking you to allow them to pass.


Whereas in the U.S. and many other counties, motorcycle riders whiz bewteen the lanes of traffic, in South Africa they’ll often drive on the far side of the road, sometimes outside the painted lines, to make room for traffic.

Rental Insurance

Because road conditions in many parts of South Africa include livestock and pedestrians on the roads, it’s advisable to get the highest possible insurance from your rental company. Never get out of your car to feed live animals on the road — this can result in a fine.

Other drivers’ accidents

If you see someone on the side of the road who has had an accident or broken down, it is not advisable to stop and help them. Just call the police and notify authorities of the situation.

Window washers

It’s common for people to come up to your car and start washing your car windows without your consent. You should stop them immediately if you don’t want this, or else they might harass you for payment, and might even be able to take a claim to the government saying you owe them money. When you park on the street, opportunists might offer to watch your car for a fee. Do not accept this unless you know the person works for a registered company.


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