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What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?
You cannot bring a left-hand drive car to South Africa. If purchasing a car here, unless you are very comfortable driving a manual transmission, suggest buying an automatic as Cape Town's many hills make it a not-so-great place to learn to drive a stick. Automatics are a little harder to find than manuals locally but are available. Plan to spend a few weeks car-shopping -- because everything here closes at 6-7 pm on weekdays and noon-1 pm on Saturdays, you'll probably need a few weekends to find something you like. When shopping, ask specifically about how many airbags the car has -- some only have driver-side (not passenger-side). Suggest purchasing an inconspicuous car -- a Toyota or Honda sedan or something smaller, an SUV if you plan to do self-drive safaris or off-roading -- and for what it's worth, a large majority of cars in Cape Town are white. - Oct 1, 2017
Gas is expensive and cars cost more in Cape Town than they would in the U.S. Everyone coming here dreams of getting a Land Rover for their "African" experience but SUVs are impractical on Cape Town's well paved urban roads and tiny parking places especially when you factor in gas costs. - May 13, 2014
If you plan on going out "in the bush", get a high-clearance cross-over or SUV. Otherwise, South Africa has an excellent road system and a regular sedan is fine. - Aug 26, 2013