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What it costs to drive from Joburg to Durban this December

It is officially summertime, and with South Africans enjoying a well-earned break over the holidays, it’s only natural that many families and individuals will be planning a trip to the beach.

For the millions of people who reside in the country’s most densely populated province, this will likely mean a trip to the warm waters surrounding Durban, which will involve a trip down to the coast racking up fuel and toll bills in the process.

For this reason, anyone planning a trip from Johannesburg down to Durban in a typical family crossover will need to spend at least R934.65 on fuel, based on the current inland rate of R23.25 per litre for petrol 95, according to calculations done by TopAuto.

What it costs

Using Sandton as a starting point, the journey to Durban’s waterfront via the N3 highway will take approximately six hours and a total of 591km.

We used a Toyota Corolla Cross as our benchmark vehicle to calculate fuel consumption, as it is one of the best-selling cars in the country and therefore acts as a good representative of a typical family crossover.

To give a more accurate fuel usage total that can be approximated to other vehicles, we elected to use the entry-level manual Xi model rather than one of the hybrids, which boasts a consumption rate of 6.8l/100km.

With this in mind, the journey will use approximately 40.2 litres of petrol, which at R23.25 per litre, translates to a running cost of R934.65.

It’s important to note, however, that motorists will also need to pay for the various toll gates found along the N3, with a total of five gantries situated on the route from Johannesburg to Durban.

Here is the official toll cost for each one as of December 2023:

  • Mooi – R62
  • Wilge – R83
  • Tugela – R88
  • De Hoek – R60
  • Marianhill – R14.50

Put together, these tolls will add another R307.50 to the cost of the trip on top of the fuel.

Therefore, you will need to pay a total of R1,242.15 for a one-way trip to Durban, which doubles to R2,484.30 for a return journey.

This is higher than what it could have cost to do the same trip last year at R2,459.20, though not by much, so on the one hand petrol prices have not increased that much over a 12-month period, but on the other hand they are still very high for the average consumer.



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