Traveling to O.R Tambo International Airport is a chore that we’re not fans of at all.

For this reason we try to use ride-sharing services as much as possible to get to and from the airport in a bid to lower the stress of traveling.

But are ride-sharing services the cheapest way to get to the airport? Beyond that, between the two most prolific platforms – Uber and Bolt (formerly Taxify), which offers the cheapest ride to the airport?

Of course, ride-sharing services aren’t the only way to get to the airport. The Gautrain offers trips that take you right to the check-in terminals at O.R Tambo International. We’ll also take a look at shuttle services to find the cheapest trip.

In our testing we requested trips from the Sandton Gautrain station. The pricing reflected does not take into account surge pricing and prices may differ according to a variety of factors including the estimated time of the trip. That means you’re likely to pay more should you request a ride during peak hour traffic.

All trips were for one person.

For the ride-sharing apps we have selected the more affordable options. For Bolt that’s the Standard option and for Uber it’s the UberX option.

Service Price of trip
Bolt R255
Uber R295
Gautrain R165
Airport Shuttle SA R570

As you can see, the Gautrain is by far the most affordable option. That having been said you will need to get to the train station. Bus fares for the Gautrain range from R2 – R22 so that’s a rather affordable option.

As for the ride-sharing services Bolt wins there with Uber charging nearly R40 more than its competitor.

The service Airport Shuttle SA allows you to request a quote on its website and the fee is the highest of all the services we compared.

For those who are planning on parking at a Gautrain station – may the odds be ever in your favour.

Firstly finding parking is a chore – at least from our experience – and it gets costly quickly.

How much parking will cost at Gautrain stations.

As you can see the costs differ rather wildly. To qualify as a rail-user you must have a Gautrain Card. For first time users we highly recommend getting one of these cards before heading to the station as you will save a lot of money on parking fees when you return from O.R Tambo International.

For those traveling for four days or less and have a card when entering the parking, Gautrain remains the cheapest option even if you park your car at the station awaiting your return. Once your hit five days however, it will be cheaper to travel using Bolt.

So that’s it right? Not exactly.

As we mentioned, pricing between Bolt and Uber can be affected by a number of factors. It might be that when we requested the trips there were fewer drivers in the area or that traffic was heavy on the route to the airport.

Our advice is to download both apps and compare pricing when it comes time for your trip.

Both Uber and Bolt are available to download for free on Android and iOS devices. There is a Gautrain app available for Android and iOS as well.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]