Driving / Car Safety Tips
Follow these safety tips when driving in Cape Town to avoid problems.
As a general rule, it’s pretty safe to park anywhere that there is an established parking area. If there is no pay parking, there are always self-appointed parking attendants who will appear from nowhere and offer their services to look after your car. It’s okay to accept the offer, but tell them that you’ll only pay them on your return, and then only if they’ve kept your car safe. Usually a R5 tip is sufficient or R10 if you’re feeling generous.
Wherever you park, take sensible precautions, particularly if you’re parking at night. Try to park in a well-lit area and away from trees, bushes or other things that could conceal a would-be attacker. Park as close to where you’re going as you can, rather than having to walk to the end of a large, poorly lit underground parking area, and keep your eye out for suspicious characters who may be hanging around.
When driving, don’t leave items like handbags, phones, cameras on the seats. People have been known to occasionally smash windows at traffic lights and grab things. Always drive with your doors locked and windows shut if possible. If you are in any doubt about driving use Marine Taxis or a taxi company recommended by your hotel.
In different parts of the world, customs differ. In North America, a car in the next lane flashing at you means “I am giving you space for you to change lanes.” In South Africa, the flashing lights mean do not change lanes or pass.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about driving and car safety in Cape Town.