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What it costs to drive from Joburg to Cape Town – With new petrol and toll prices

Following increases to both petrol and toll gate fees in March, it now costs a lot more to drive from Joburg to Cape Town than it did just a few weeks ago.

At the start of March, petrol prices rose by R1.21 per litre across the board to now sitting at a substantial R24.45/litre for 95 unleaded at inland rates.

Simultaneously, the South African National Roads Agency hiked the fees of toll gates under its jurisdiction on 1 March by 6.25%, which it said is in line with inflation.

As a result, you’re now paying anywhere from R99 to R236 more to drive from the City of Gold down to the Mother City in comparison to February, depending on your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

Cape Town or bust

Using Sandton as our starting point, the journey to Cape Town’s city centre along the N1 highway measures 1,412km, which will take the average driver more or less 15 hours to complete.

The route includes four toll gates comprising Grasmere in Gauteng, Vaal and Verkeerdevlei in the Free State, and Huguenot Tunnel in the Western Cape.

Following the inflation-based adjustments that took effect in March 2024, the prices of these gates are now as follows:

Tolls New price Old price
Grasmere R25.50 R24.00
Huguenot R50.50 R47.50
Vaal R84.50 R79.50
Verkeerdevlei R72.50 R68.50

In February, the combined value for these tolls was R219.50 in one direction, and R439 for a return trip.

Today, these tolls cost a collective R233 on the way down, doubling to R466 coming back, reflecting an increase of R13.50 and R27.00, respectively.

At the current inland price of R24.45 per litre for Petrol 95, this is what the 1,400-odd kilometre journey will cost depending on your car’s average consumption:

Efficiency Fuel needed One-way trip Return trip
5.0l/100km 71 litres R1,726 R3,452
6.0l/100km 85 litres R2,071 R4,142
7.0l/100km 99 litres R2,417 R4,834
8.0l/100km 113 litres R2,762 R5,524
9.0l/100km 127 litres R3,107 R6,214
10.0l/100km 141 litres R3,452 R6,904
11.0l/100km 155 litres R3,798 R7,596
12.0l/100km 169 litres R4,143 R8,286
13.0l/100km 184 litres R4,488 R8,976

If the prices of both petrol and tolls are taken into account, travelling from Joburg to Cape Town will run up a tab of between R1,959 and R4,721.

For a return trip, this jumps to R3,918 for a car with an average efficiency of 5.0l/100km, and R9,442 for one that returns a reading of 13.0l/100km.

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