While transport minister Fikile Mbalula has promised his department would launch an online renewal facility for vehicle licence discs and driver’s licence cards “soon”, South Africans have been able to renew their car licences online for years.
Many motorists don’t have the time or patience to wait in a queue at the Post Office or Driver’s Licence Testing Centre (DLTC) to renew their motor vehicle licence disc every year.
Several companies have seen this as a golden opportunity and built successful businesses focused on taking the hassle out of the vehicle licencing process.
Most recently, Pick n Pay launched a vehicle licence disc renewal platform after initially only supporting the ability to collect licence discs at some of its stores through Renewonline.
It joins First National Bank to become the second major South African company to offer this service.
Numerous smaller businesses have popped up in recent years to provide the same service via online bookings, phone calls, or physical branches.
Like Pick ‘n Pay and FNB, these providers charge an administration fee to handle the licence renewal on your behalf, in addition to a delivery fee for the cost of the courier to your preferred address.
The transport department is now planning to disintermediate these middlemen by offering its own online process direct to motorists, and it could be successful if it sticks to the pricing it has published in a recent Government Gazette.
The department plans to charge a R72 transaction fee and delivery fees ranging from R28 for standard mail to R99 for a courier service.
That means its service will cost between R127 and R171, including the transaction fee — cheaper than all the other options currently available.
Notably, the City of Cape Town already offers its residents a motor vehicle licence renewal service with no additional charges on top of the standard vehicle licencing fees.
We compared the prices of the various private service providers on the market to see which was the most affordable.
It should be noted we did not include the transaction fee or vehicle licencing cost, which will differ based on the tare of your vehicle and the province in which the car is registered.
At the time of publication, PayCity was the cheapest option. It only charges R99 for the delivery of the motor vehicle licence and no additional fees.
Renewonline offers the second cheapest price if you are willing to collect your licence at selected Pick ‘n Pay and Spar outlets, ranging between R150 to R165.
EasyRenew was the second cheapest with delivery included at R181. However, this is only available when paid via debit order. Its standard EFT fee is R230.
FNB and Motor Hero’s services were tied for third-cheapest with delivery, totalling R199.
Pick ‘n Pay was the most expensive of all the providers, at R444 with all fees included.
On top of this, Pick n Pay requires customers to visit a store to pay, unlike the other providers that offer online payment.
The table below compares the prices of online vehicle licence disc renewal services in South Africa. The comparison only considers services that include delivery to a specified address.
|Online licence disc renewal services compared|
|Service provider||Available provinces||Service/admin fee||Delivery fee||Total (without vehicle licencing cost)|
R350 (Free State only)
|R110 (outside included provinces)||R300
R350 (Free State only)
R410 (outside included provinces)
|R181 (debit order)
|Included||R181 (debit order)
City of Cape Town
|Pick n Pay||All||R345||R99||R444|