The most expensive popular vacation routes in South Africa – archyde

South Africans who plan to travel long distances by road to get to their vacation destinations are paying more than ever for fuel.

In a year with significant oil price increases and a weakening rand, South Africa’s gasoline and diesel prices reached record highs.

As of December 2021, domestic prices for a liter of unleaded 95 and 93 series petrol were R 20.29 and R 20.07 respectively.

The wholesale price for diesel was also at its highest level ever, which was reflected in the petrol pumps with the exception of the retail price.

To make matters worse, vacationers have to factor in the tolls.

While this isn’t the only option available, major highways like the N1, N2, N3, and N4 are often the best routes to many of the country’s most popular vacation spots in terms of distance and road quality.

Unfortunately, these roads are costly to maintain, so the concessionaires who operate them collect tolls from their users.

We decided to see how much it would cost to travel on some of the most popular routes in the country, considering fuel costs and tolls.

For our calculations, we used the fuel economy of one of the most popular cars in the country – the VW Polo hatchback – as our main reference point.

The cheapest model is the 1.4 Trendline with an average fuel consumption of 4l / 100km. However, this is for ideal conditions on a motorway.

Given that vacation cars are likely to be loaded with passengers and luggage, the combined fuel consumption of 5.9 l / 100 km is perhaps more realistic.

With this consumption you should be able to drive around 17 km per liter of gasoline.

We then calculated how much it would cost to travel the approximate total distance of various popular routes at the price of 95 unleaded gasoline.

The most expensive trip was also on the longest route, between Johannesburg and Cape Town, but cheaper per kilometer than most other routes.

This is because there is only one toll booth within 1,005 km between Bloemfontein and Cape Town, which costs just R42.50 for a class 1 vehicle.

That’s about a quarter of the toll between Pretoria and Polokwane, which covers about a quarter of the route between Bloemfontein and Cape Town.

The most expensive route in terms of tolls is the N3 from Johannesburg to Durban with R272 in tolls for a typical passenger vehicle.

However, it was still cheaper per kilometer than the N1 from Pretoria to Polokwane and the N4 from Pretoria to Nelspruit.

The table below shows the estimated cost of gasoline and tolls for a one-way trip on several popular vacation routes in South Africa as of December 2021.

Toll and gasoline costs on popular South African highways
Route distance Gas costs Tolls Total cost per one way trip Cost per kilometer
N1 Pretoria to Polokwane 260km R310,32* R184.00 R494.32 R1.90
N4 Pretoria to Nelspruit 314km R374.77* R205.00 R597.77 R1.90
N4 Pretoria to Rustenburg 129km 153,97 €* R67.50 R221.47 R1.72
N3 Johannesburg to Durban 567km R676.73* R272.00 R948.73 R1.67
N1 Johannesburg to Bloemfontein 398km R475.02* 154,50 € R629.52 R1.58
N1 Johannesburg to Cape Town 1.398km 1.668,55 € * R197.00 R1.865.55 R1.33
N2 Durban to Empangeni 163km 187,64 €** R42.50 R230.15 R1.41
N2 Cape Town to George 428km R492.70** R0.00 R492.70 R1.15
N2 Port Elizabeth to George 324km R372.98** R57.00 R429,98 R1.32
* Based on the domestic price of R20.29 per liter
Based on the coastal price of R19.57 per liter.

Now read: South Africans could pay R330 less per tank of fuel


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