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    CHEAP CAR HIRE IN CAPE TOWN

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    Car hire in Cape Town at the lowest prices

    Nestling at the foot of the African continent, Cape Town is one of the world’s most distinctive and sought-after travel destinations. Surrounded by rolling vineyards, lush green forests, golden sandy beaches and rugged mountain peaks, the city is blessed with some extraordinary geographical features that push its uniqueness well beyond the norm. Often shrouded by a cloth of cloud, the iconic Table Mountain has been a welcoming landmark for passing ships over the centuries, and today its exhilarating (and slowly rotating) cable-car ride to the top promises visitors some head-spinning views of the surrounding seascape. A fine example of modern-day Cape Town can be seen at the V&A (Victoria & Albert) Waterfront which connects the city with the sea in a bustling bay-side precinct of restaurants, pubs, tourist attractions and upmarket boutiques. The Cape tourist region is equally appealing with a host of outdoor leisure pursuits available, such as surfing, paragliding, photo safaris and some white-knuckle hikes along the city’s scenic shoreline. Heading east in your car hire in Cape Town along the N2 highway, the verdant Garden Route is one of the world's great road trips, passing many of South Africa's key scenic attractions en route, including Wilderness (a national park), Knysna (a beautiful forest area) and the charming Plettenberg Bay.

    Auto Europe can help you plan the trip of a lifetime to Cape Town. As one of the world's top car rental companies, we operate in over 24,000 locations in 180 different countries. With Auto Europe, you have the flexibility of picking up your car rental in Cape Town at internationally-renowned suppliers' locations dotted around the city and at the airport, including Avis, Europcar, Hertz and Thrifty. As a market-leading car hire broker, Auto Europe also provides a lot more than car hire, for instance you can now enjoy motorhome or luxury vehicle rentals in all four corners of the world!

    From Cape Town, you can enjoy a leisurely drive to other parts of South Africa, including Port Elizabeth and East London. Check out Auto Europe's competitive car hire offers now and start booking your holiday in Cape Town! If you'd like to read the car hire reviews in Cape Town section, it'll provide feedback from our previous customers.

    How is the traffic in Cape Town?

    Driving on the left, the roads in and around the Cape Town area are very good. Seatbelts are compulsory and speed limits are 60kph in built-up areas and 120kph on most major highways. Like in any big city, the traffic situation in Cape Town can be a little off-putting for visitors, but the secret is to plan well ahead in order to pre-empt any potential pitfalls. For instance, the city’s traffic is said to be at its worst on Monday mornings, so it’s best to drive around the city after 10am if the local public transport network isn’t an option. According to the local authorities, Cape Town’s traffic is most congested on the N1 outbound on the central Buitengracht route as well as along Nelson Mandela Boulevard. Another problem area is the main route in and out of Cape Town called De Waal Drive which connects with Settler’s Way. This effectively makes De Waal Drive the most efficient route out of the city. Once again, it’s a case of planning your route carefully in order to avoid the high-traffic areas and using the lesser-known back roads when driving your rent a car in Cape Town.

    Where can I park my car hire in Cape Town?

    Cape Town's prime car parking spots are found in the CBD, Claremont, Sea Point, Rondebosch, Camps Bay, Tygervalley and Woodstock districts of the city, while secondary (cheaper) parking exists in Bellville, Strand, Durbanville, Observatory, Tableview, Parow, Wynberg, Kalk Bay, Somerset West and Muizenberg. One of the city's key tourists centres - the V&A Waterfront - has more than 7,500 open-air and underground parking bays located around the harbour. Each parking garage is patrolled and monitored around the clock, giving visitors peace of mind while sightseeing. Another top tourist attraction, Table Mountain, has free parking along Tafelberg Road before and after the lower cable-car station. Tafelberg Road is steep and winding for about 1.5km from the Kloof Nek Road intersection.

    Cape Town Airport

    Located about 12 miles east of the city centre, Cape Town International Airport is Africa’s third-largest hub with over 10 million passengers a year. It is well-served by many of the world’s top airlines, including Air France, British Airways, Condor, Emirates, KLM, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways and Virgin Atlantic. Facilities include the aptly-named Out of Africa duty free store where many discounted souvenirs and handicrafts can be purchased before flying. The airport's Premier Lounge is open to any passenger, no matter the airline or ticket class. You can pay per visit or buy a pre-paid card for six or more visits. Two large car parks are situated on either side of the Transport Plaza - Parkade P1 to the north of the terminal building with 4,000 spaces and Parkade P2 to the south with around 1,700 spaces.

    Cape Town International Airport (CPT)
    Address: Matroosfontein, Cape Town, 7490, South Africa
    Official website: www.airports.co.za/airports/cape-town-international
    Phone number: +27 (021) 937 1200

    What to do in Cape Town

    Cape Town, one of the world's most fascinating cities, is blessed with an abundance of tourist sights worthy of several days' sightseeing. Once voted the Top Worldwide City in a Daily Telegraph readers' poll, it is characterised by its wonderful natural setting and wide-ranging cultural attractions. In fact, one of its earliest visitors, Sir Francis Drake, was so overwhelmed by its beauty, he was prompted to write: "This cape is the most stately thing and the fairest cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth", while none other than Charles Darwin added: "This is a pretty and singular town; it lies at the foot of an enormous wall (Table Mountain) which reaches into the clouds and makes a most imposing barrier. Cape Town is a great inn on the great highway to the east".

    • V&A Waterfront: Situated between the shimmering waters of the Atlantic and the imposing Table Mountain, the V&A Waterfront is an extensive harbour-side shopping and leisure area offering a great wealth of tourist interest, including markets, museums, atmospheric bars and cafés and the world-class Two Oceans Aquarium.

    • Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden: Nestling on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, this remarkable natural attraction ranks as one of the world’s greatest botanical gardens. Much of the credit goes to the British imperialist Cecil Rhodes who bequeathed the land to the local people when he died in 1902, thus maximising the garden’s future potential. Today the 36-hectare estate is popular for its many beautiful fynbos (fine-leaved plants) and indigenous forest vegetation, as well as its threatened species programme and summer concerts.

    • Robben Island: Many tours leave the V&A Waterfront for Robben Island, the infamous offshore site of Nelson Mandela’s lengthy and well-publicised period of political incarceration. Located about three miles out to sea in Table Bay, the island was used as a maximum security prison at various intervals between the 17th and 20th centuries, as well as a hospital and a military base.

    • Castle of Good Hope: This 5-bastioned fort next to the Grand Parade in downtown Cape Town is one of the city’s most emblematic buildings. Inside, the doors of the prison barracks are still emblazoned with centuries-old graffiti, while the Castle Military Museum features a fascinating sword collection from the city’s tempestuous colonial days.

    Best day trips with my car rental in Cape Town

    To say that Cape Town is the jewel in South Africa's crown is an understatement, especially when you consider the city's outlying regions. There's a long stretch of golden coastline to explore and some of the most appealing road trips for your car hire in Cape Town through picture-postcard country with evocative place names like the Garden Route and Winelands. Among the city's most enticing visitor experiences are the spectacular Table Mountain region and the whole area surrounding the Cape of Good Hope, one of the world's must-see attractions.

    Table Mountain

    Part of the magnificent Table Mountain National Park, one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, this strikingly-impressive 1,000-metre-plus plateaux promises exhilarating views over Cape Town and far beyond. The star attraction for tourists is the cable-car ride to the top in a rotating pod allowing for full visual effect. The surrounding parkland is home to countless species of animals, birds and reptiles, as well as many rare plants.

    Cape of Good Hope

    Part of Table Mountain National Park, the windswept and wildly appealing Cape of Good Hope is the south-westernmost point of the entire African continent (the southernmost being Cape Agulhas). The tip of the Cape Peninsula region, the Cape of Good Hope is as much a tourist attraction and bucket-listed ‘selfie’ spot these days as the seafaring landmark it has long-been for pioneering sailors over the past 600 years.

    Winelands

    Take a leisurely drive due east from Cape Town through the idyllic Winelands region to visit Stellenbosch and Franschloek, two of South Africa’s premier wine-making towns. A highly-prized portion of Europe at the southernmost tip of Africa, the towns (and Winelands as a whole) are not only quickly and easily accessible from the city, they provide a worthy introduction to the best of the region’s wines and culinary delights.

    Garden Route

    Following the N2 highway from Cape Town brings you to the Garden Route, a wonderful expanse of fertile land and seascapes stretching all the way to Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. Encompassing the Garden Route National Park, the ride passes a succession of quaint little seaside towns and villages, lagoons, mountains and ancient forests.

    Geographic Information & History

    A spectacular place for a road trip, Cape Town's impressive location and town plan is largely defined by the dramatic topography of the adjacent peninsula leading south towards one of the world's most iconic landmarks, the Cape of Good Hope. Running uphill towards the imposing Table Mountain, the city centre is the hub of a neatly-arranged grid system built around the Company's Garden, the city's most important concentration of old buildings and museums originally founded by Dutch navigator Jan van Riebeeck in the middle of the 17th century. A major draw for visitors, the popular and very stylish V&A Waterfront lies at the northern end of the city centre, while Lion's Head and Signal Hill to the west separate downtown Cape Town from the seafront suburbs.

    The earliest known remnants in the region were found at Peers Cave in Fish Hoek and date back some 15,000 years. Little is known of the area's beginnings since there is no written history from the area before it was first mentioned in 1488 by the Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias, the first European to reach Cape Town's magnificent shoreline.

    Some 300 years ago, the city's founders were Dutch seafarers who set up a commercial base which subsequently became a flourishing colony. When the diamond and gold rushes started in the 19th century, Cape Town's strategically-located port developed into an important hub for visiting merchant vessels. In 1910, the city emerged as the legislative capital of the Union of South Africa and parliament stills sits in Cape Town today. More recently, the notoriously-vindictive apartheid era of the 20th century divided the nation but at the same time shaped the future as Nelson Mandela and other courageous freedom fighters came to the fore, eventually triggering the first democratic election for all races in 1994.

    How to get around Cape Town

    Catering for all budgets, Cape Town's public transport network offers plenty of options and getting around is far from laborious. Metered taxis are plentiful and are easy to find near the city's top tourist attractions or at the airport. A number of private bus companies serve visitors and locals alike, while the popular City Sightseeing tourist bus provides a very efficient and informative hop-on-hop-off service. Trains are another affordable way of travelling around Cape Town, particularly along the scenic Southern line which links the city with Simon's Town located a few miles north of the Cape of Good Hope.

    Train

    Stopping at a series of pleasant suburbs and coastal villages, the Southern Line Rail Route connects Cape Town with Simon's Town, making it very popular with visitors. The train passes many interesting sights along the way, including the Newlands rugby and cricket stadiums, as well as the impressive Cavendish Square shopping centre. With two types of ticket available - standard and Metro Plus (better seating) - Cape Town trains are a fun and very cheap way of exploring the city.

    Bus

    One of the safest and most reliable ways of getting around Cape Town, buses are cheap, frequent and the best way to visit the city's top attractions. The MyCiti Bus network is affordable and will take you almost anywhere, while for Cape Town's southern suburbs it's best to use Golden Arrow's services. If you have limited time, the City Sightseeing Bus is family-friendly and provides tourist information in 15 different languages plus a dedicated audio channel for kids. The Blue Mini Peninsula Tour, Yellow Downtown Tour and Purple Wine Tour are all also highly recommended for visitors, as well as the LaGuGu township tour which offers a rare chance to visit the Langa and Gugulethu townships.

    Taxi

    Metered taxis can be found at taxi ranks dotted around town, including the train station, Greenmarket Square and the popular V&A Waterfront area. Three local companies - City Cabs, Excite Taxis and Rikkis - operate a safe and reliable 24-hour service 7 days a week. A cheaper but less comfortable option are minibus taxis, which can be hailed from the street or boarded at the central taxi rank above Cape Town railway station. Once on board, pay the assistant who sits close to the driver and tell them exactly where you want to get off.

    Bicycle

    Fun and healthy, cycling is a great way of exploring Cape Town and its spectacular coastal areas. Now one of Africa's top cycling cities, visitors can follow many dedicated cycle route in and around many of the main downtown districts such as Woodstock, Waterfront, Seapoint and City Bowl. Organised cycle tours are also available at some of the other top tourist regions, including Winelands, Table Mountain and the Cape Point Nature Reserve.

    Can I hire a campervan in Cape Town?

    Now that you know a little bit more about Cape Town and the incredible places surrounding it, it's time to start planning your South African adventure! Besides car rental, Auto Europe offers a wide selection of motorhomes in South Africa with all modern conveniences including a fridge, oven, toilet, shower and comfortable beds. Contact us today to find out more about campervan hire in Cape Town - the best way to discover the city and many of South Africa's other hidden gems!

    Useful links

    Cape Town Tourist Information