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Tips for Expats Driving in George

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in George.
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1. Understanding the Driving Culture

Driving in George, is generally considered safe and straightforward. The roads are well-maintained, and the traffic rules are similar to those in many Western countries. However, it’s essential to be aware of local driving habits, such as the courtesy of allowing faster vehicles to overtake and the occasional disregard for traffic rules by some drivers.

2. Choosing the Right Car

Most expats recommend a reliable, fuel-efficient car for driving in George. The city is relatively small, so a compact or mid-size car is usually sufficient. If you plan to explore the surrounding areas, which include mountainous terrain and dirt roads, a 4×4 might be a better option.

3. Parking in George

Finding parking in George is generally not a problem. Most shopping centers, restaurants, and attractions have ample parking. Parking fees are not typically high, but it’s always a good idea to have some change on hand for parking attendants who often help find parking and watch over cars.

4. Driving with an International License

Foreigners can drive in South Africa with an international driving permit (IDP) along with their valid national driving license. This is valid for one year from the date of entry into South Africa. After that, you will need to obtain a South African driving license.

5. Obtaining a South African Driving License

To get a South African driving license, you will need to pass a written test and a practical driving test. The process involves booking an appointment at a local driving license testing center, where you will fill out the necessary forms, pay the required fees, and take the tests. It’s recommended to study the South African road traffic signs and rules thoroughly before taking the written test.

6. Safety Precautions

While George is generally safe, it’s always important to take precautions. Always lock your doors while driving, don’t leave valuables in plain sight, and be aware of your surroundings, especially when driving at night. Also, be cautious of pedestrians and animals on the road, particularly in rural areas.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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