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How much it costs to drive from Joburg to Cape Town this December

Driving from Joburg to Cape Town this December holiday will require anywhere from R1,863 to R3,505, depending on the efficiency of your vehicle, with these costs doubling on your return trip.

The 1,400km road is one of the most popular for holidaygoers at the end of the year and will undoubtedly be packed with cars and trucks for the next few weeks.

If you are planning to be one of these, it’s helpful to know what you should budget for fuel and tolls based on the frugality of your wheels.

Joburg to Cape Town

Using Sandton as our starting point, the journey to Cape Town’s city centre along the N1 highway stretches just over 1,400km – 1,413km to be exact – which will take the average driver more or less 15 hours to complete.

You’ll then have four toll gates to travel through, comprising Grasmere in Gauteng, Vaal and Verkeerdevlei in the Free State, and Huguenot Tunnel in the Western Cape.

As of December 2023, the prices of these gates are as follows:

  • Grasmere – R24.00
  • Huguenot – R47.50
  • Vaal – R79.50
  • Verkeerdevlei – R68.50

The combined value for tolls on a one-way trip is therefore R219.50, and going both ways, it will be R439.

At the current price of R23.25 per litre for Petrol 95, this is what fuel will cost to travel from Joburg down to Cape Town, depending on your car’s efficiency:

Efficiency Fuel needed One-way trip Return trip
5.0l/100km 71 litres R1,643 R3,285
6.0l/100km 85 litres R1,971 R3,942
7.0l/100km 99 litres R2,300 R4,599
8.0l/100km 113 litres R2,628 R5,256
9.0l/100km 127 litres R2,957 R5,913
10.0l/100km 141 litres R3,285 R6,570

If the prices of both petrol and tolls are taken into account, we can deduce that it will cost between R1,863 and R3,505 for a one-way trip from the City of Gold to the Mother City this festive season.

For a return trip, this jumps to R3,724 for a car with an average efficiency of 5.0l/100km, and R7,009 for one that returns a reading of 10.0l/100km.

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