Most expensive vehicle licence discs in South Africa

KwaZulu-Natal has the most expensive vehicle licence disc fees for standard passenger vehicles in South Africa.

While South African motorists have some choice when it comes to the service fee segment of their licence disc renewal’s cost, the more significant cost element — the actual annual vehicle licence fee — is determined by their car’s tare weight and province of registration.

The tare is the weight of a vehicle without a driver or passengers, but including fluids like oils and coolant, as well as 10 litres of fuel.

This should not be confused with the kerb weight, which includes a full tank of fuel; or the gross weight, which is the maximum weight of the car with all passengers and baggage.

The higher the vehicle tare, the more expensive the licence disc fee.

The basic reasoning behind this is that heavier cars cause more road degradation, and licence disc fees are meant to contribute towards road maintenance.

Legislation currently divides tare weights into 48 categories of 250kg ranges, starting from 0kg and going up to 12,000kg.

South African passenger cars typically have tare weights between 750kg and 2,500kg, with the former applying to small hatchbacks and the latter to luxury SUVs and large bakkies.

Compact and medium-sized SUVs, crossovers, and sedans typically fall in the three tare categories between 1,250kg and 2,000kg.

East Coast car owners take the heaviest hit

South Africa’s provincial governments revise their vehicle licence disc fees from time to time. There is no set term between these changes.

Adjustments are published in a provincial gazette.

Foresight Publications keeps track of roads and transport legislation and numerous fees in the industry, including toll charges and vehicle licence disc renewal fees.

MyBroadband used its data to compare the fees for renewing licence discs on vehicles with the most common tare weights, going from 250kg to 3,500kg.

The latter is the highest unladen weight that a vehicle might have to be driven with a regular Code B licence.

KwaZulu-Natal was the most expensive in the majority of tare categories, except for 250–500kg, which primarily applies to motorcycles, and the 1,750–2,000kg category, which commonly applies to single-cab bakkies and large SUVs.

The province with the lowest licence disc fees across all categories was the North West.

The difference between its fee for the 250–500kg tare category and Gauteng’s was R90, while its fee for the 3,250–3,500kg category was R582 cheaper than in KwaZulu-Natal.

However, these fees might be due for a revision, as they first came into effect in mid-2019. Most of the other provinces have revised their fees in recent years.

The only exception is the Eastern Cape, which last adjusted its fees in June 2018.

The tables below show the latest vehicle licence disc renewal fees for all nine provinces in South Africa.

Vehicle licence disc renewal fees — Top 5 provinces by population
Vehicle tare Gauteng
(April 2021)
KwaZulu-Natal
(April 2020)
Eastern Cape
(June 2018)
Western Cape
(September 2022)
Limpopo
(April 2024)
250—500kg R348 R312 R324 R336 R294
500—750kg R384 R384 R330 R342 R306
750—1,000kg R408 R474 R378 R372 R390
1,000—1,250kg R462 R534 R474 R444 R420
1,250—1,500kg R642 R672 R594 R612 R552
1,500—1,750kg R756 R810 R696 R678 R636
1,750—2,000kg R960 R948 R768 R774 R780
2,000—2,250kg R1,116 R1,134 R1,008 R1,056 R1,110
2,250—2,500kg R1,344 R1,350 R1,212 R1,236 R1,140
2,500—2,750kg R1,512 R1,566 R1,368 R1,386 R1,284
2,750—3,000kg R1,716 R1,764 R1,404 R1,398 R1,572
3,000—3,250kg R1,848 R1,986 R1,746 R1,740 R1,722
3,250—3,500kg R2,178 R2,250 R2,058 R1,968 R1,950
Vehicle licence disc renewal fees — 4 smaller provinces 
Vehicle tare Mpumalanga
(April 2024)
Free State
(August 2023)
North West
(July 2019)
Northern Cape
(April 2024)
250—500kg R330 R306 R258 R354
500—750kg R354 R318 R294 R378
750—1,000kg R402 R450 R324 R390
1,000—1,250kg R480 R450 R396 R474
1,250—1,500kg R630 R606 R486 R612
1,500—1,750kg R720 R624 R588 R756
1,750—2,000kg R822 R780 R666 R828
2,000—2,250kg R1,074 R846 R666 R1,062
2,250—2,500kg R1,260 R1,140 R1,002 R1,278
2,500—2,750kg R1,422 R1,152 R1,128 R1,446
2,750—3,000kg R1,536 R1,392 R1,248 R1,494
3,000—3,250kg R1,890 R1,614 R1,452 R1,854
3,250—3,500kg R2,178 R1,848 R1,668 R2,112

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Most expensive vehicle licence discs in South Africa