How much it costs to drive to South Africa’s popular holiday destinations this December – petrol and tolls

 ·11 Dec 2023

South Africans planning to travel domestically over the December festive season can expect to pay more for transport costs compared to the beginning of the year as they grapple with high petrol prices and increased toll costs.

Motorists still pay more than R20 per litre for petrol in South Africa, despite the reprieve in November and December after prices rocketed by over a rand – and almost R2 for diesel – in October 2023.

As of 6 December, while a decrease in petrol prices is a welcomed relief for motorists, fuel prices have still increased significantly since the start of the year, with petrol prices increasing by 8.6%. Diesel, meanwhile, has increased by 2.6%, although this was recorded at closer to 20% just two months ago.

Kicking motorists while they’re down is increasing toll fees, which the Department of Transport updated in March 2023 – hiking tolls by 6%.

How much it costs

Taking these growing costs into account, BusinessTech calculated how much it would cost to travel to South Africa’s most popular holiday destinations in the country’s best-selling cars in five categories – bakkie, SUV, hatchback, sedan, and crossover – factoring in the cost of petrol and the current toll fees.

South Africa’s best-selling cars in the selected categories were selected from the latest new vehicle sales report provided by Naamsa.

We then calculated how much fuel each of these cars consumes based on the manufacturer’s provided average fuel consumption per/100km.

In each case, the manufacturer’s least expensive model – and for bakkies, the cheapest double cab – was considered. 95 octane (R23.25) and 0.005% diesel prices (R21.99) as of December 2023 were used for comparison purposes.

We then calculated the fuel costs when travelling to some of South Africa’s most popular holiday destinations, using the City of Johannesburg/Tshwane as a benchmark. These costs were then added to the latest toll costs as of 1 March 2023.

Toyota Hilux 2.4GD-6 double cab

  • 7.1 litres/100km*
  • R155/100km

Toyota Fortuner 2.4GD-6 

  • 6.8 litres/100km*
  • R148/100km

VW Polo Vivo hatch 1.4 Trendline

  • 5.7 litres/100km
  • R133/100km

Toyota Corolla Quest 1.8 Plus 

  • 7 litres/100km
  • R163/100km

Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8 Xi

  • 6.8/100km
  • R158/100km

Estimated fuel cost 

CarJohannesburg to Cape TownJohannesburg to DurbanJohannesburg to GqeberhaJohannesburg to Kruger National Park
Toyota HiluxR2 170R884R1 628R636
Toyota FortunerR2 072R844R1 554R607
VW Polo VivoR1 862R758R1 397R545
Toyota Corolla QuestR2 282R929R1 712R668
Toyota Corolla CrossR2 212R901R1 659R648

Estimated toll cost

CarJohannesburg to Cape TownJohannesburg to DurbanJohannesburg to GqeberhaJohannesburg to Kruger National Park
Toyota HiluxR219.50R307.50R172.00R187.00
Toyota FortunerR219.50R307.50R172.00R187.00
VW Polo Vivo R219.50R307.50R172.00R187.00
Toyota Corolla QuestR219.50R307.50R172.00R187.00
Toyota Corolla CrossR219.50R307.50R172.00R187.00

Estimated total cost 

CarJohannesburg to Cape TownJohannesburg to DurbanJohannesburg to GqeberhaJohannesburg to Kruger National Park
Toyota HiluxR2 390R1 192R1 800R823
Toyota FortunerR2 292R1 152R1 726R794
VW Polo Vivo R2 082R1 066R1 569R732
Toyota Corolla QuestR2 502R1 237R1 884R855
Toyota Corolla CrossR2 432R1 208R1 831R835


The routes and tolls that were taken for the above comparison were as follows:

Johannesburg/Pretoria to Cape Town

Class 1Class 2Class 3Class 4
Vaal R79.50R150.00R180.00R240.00
Total CostR219.50R490.00R675.00R971.00

Johannesburg/Pretoria to Durban

Class 1Class 2Class 3Class 4
 De Hoek R60.00R93.00R142.00R203.00
Total CostR307.50R559.00R806.00R1 130.00

Johannesburg/Pretoria to Gqeberha

Class 1Class 2Class 3Class 4
Total CostR172.00R359.00R469.00R638.00

Johannesburg/Pretoria to Kruger National Park

Class 1Class 2Class 3Class 4
Total CostR187.00R472.00R698.00R969.00

*Indicates a car has a diesel engine. 

All prices are estimates and are based on the manufacturer’s average fuel consumption per/100km. Prices are for comparison purposes only and are not meant as financial advice. 

Read: Expect flight ticket prices to be five times higher over Christmas – and stay high for a long time to come

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