Foreign Drivers' Licences in South Africa

First Car Rental recommends that foreign visitors who are planning to drive during their holiday in South Africa obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP). Indeed, there are certain Foreign Driver's Licences that may not be covered by South African car insurers without the presentation of an IDP.

The IDP is not a licence in itself and cannot be used independently or instead of your Foreign Driver's Licence. It serves to authenticate your Driver's Licence, because, if you do have an accident, some insurance companies will insist that you produce an IDP.

Unfortunately, there are licences that do not display a photograph of the holder. Many car insurers and car hirers such as First Car Rental insist on proof of identity. An International Driving Permit will instantly solve all these situations, and, is often used as validation of identity.

The International Driving Permit (IDP) is a document which is slightly larger than a normal passport and bears multiple language translations (including English) of your own current driver's license. In addition, it displays your photograph and some vital statistics.

International Travellers should bear the following guidelines in mind when applying for an IDP:

  • Validity

    The IDP is only valid for driving a vehicle within the categories that are covered by the holder's Foreign Driver's Licence


    The IDP is no longer valid once the actual corresponding Foreign Driver's Licence has expired


    The IDP must be obtained in the International Traveller's own country prior to their departure for South Africa

    Only abroad

    The IDP is not valid for driving in the country where it was issued

  • When hiring a car through First Car Rental, foreign drivers will be required to present their International Driving Permit, in addition to their Passports and their Foreign Driver's Licence. Travel Agents in South Africa will expect all of the above plus the travel itinerary. International Travellers may drive in South Africa under these conditions for a period of six months.

  • Book a First Car Rental hire vehicle now to explore South Africa

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