How to import your car or vehicle into South Africa from the UK including a comprehensive FAQ guide

Get a car shipping quoteFor over 40 years, PSS Removals has been car shipping to South Africa. We have a wealth of experience with shipping to popular South African cities, such as Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) and Durban.

Whether it is shipping your car to South Africa, or another country, we always ensure that we provide the very best service for our valued customers. We offer many options for international vehicle transport to South Africa. So, whatever your personal car transport needs are, we can tailor your shipment to your needs.

If you need any advice with moving to South Africa, or if you want a no-obligation car shipping to South Africa quote, call us on 0800 988 3711. Alternatively, you can use our car shipping cost calculator to receive an estimated quote. You can also see our vehicle shipping services FAQ guide below for more information.

Our expert car shippers will work with you to discover the best method of exporting your vehicle to South Africa that is most suited to your individual importing needs. You can have your car shipped in a container on its own or with the other household goods you are shipping. We can also offer a roll on/roll off or lift on/lift off method for exporting your car to South Africa.

Is it worth shipping your car to South Africa?

The cost of shipping your vehicle from the United Kingdom is often a lot less than replacing it and when you are moving to South Africa you will want to save as much money as you can. Since people use right-hand drive cars, like in the UK, it certainly worth considering seriously.

To decide whether it is worth shipping your car to South Africa you first need to check if it is allowed under South African car import rules. Then you need to weigh up the costs of shipping and importing versus the cost of replacing the car in South Africa.

Some people advise that it’s not worth considering due to the paperwork involved, but when you have an expert car shipping company such as PSS to guide you, the actual process of shipping your car is not too difficult.

Why should you trust PSS Removals?

Shipping-Car-to-South Africa-from-the-UKPSS are one of the UK’s leading personal shipping companies helping people move to destinations all of the world – including South Africa. We are proud members of the FIDI Global Alliance, as well as being accredited by the FAIM Quality Standard for overseas removals. This means that we have been recognised for our ability to provide a professional, expert car shipping service to South Africa.

It can bring you comfort to know that we also offer the BAR Advanced Payment Guarantee Scheme, which means your car shipping to South Africa costs are protected. As a leading UK car shipping company with many happy customers who have chosen us to ship their vehicle.

Shipping your car to South Africa is easy with PSS

Check suitability for importing

Ensure your vehicle meets requirements & apply for import approval if needed.

Prepare your vehicle for shipping

Make sure your car is clean & ready for shipping.

We collect and ship your vehicle

We load your car onto container at your address or you deliver it to the port / our depot.

Arrival & Customs Clearance

On arrival will take care of customs clearance & arrange for you to collect your vehicle.

Vehicle and Car Shipping to South Africa Cost Calculator

Want to know how it will cost to send your vehicle to South Africa? Our free online Cost Calculator will help you estimate the cost.

What are you shipping?

Did you know it is very cost effective to ship your household goods / personal effects with your vehicle?

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How can we help? Call 0800 988 3711

Our friendly team are on hand to answer any questions.

A FAQ Guide to Shipping Your Vehicle To South Africa

How much does it cost to ship a car or vehicle to South Africa?

There are a number of costs you need to consider when transporting your car to South Africa – not just the shipping cost. Beware of quotes that are only port-to-port where you have to organise delivery, collection and take care of all the customs procedures.

Our price includes door-to-door pick and delivery as well as basic customs clearance costs. Costs for Scotland, Wales and Ireland can vary.

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There are however a number of other costs you need to consider when importing into Cyprus. These include:

  • Additional customs and quarantine costs including inspection fees, cleaning, port service fees etc.
  • Taxes and duties – If you are moving to Cyprus you are entitled to import one vehicle duty free as long as you meet the criteria. Otherwise, your car may be subject to import duties an taxes.
  • Compliance and modification costs – if necessary for your vehicle to meet Cyprusn standards and guidelines.
  • Vehicle Registration – you will need to register your vehicle in the relevant state before you can drive on local roads.
  • Marine Insurance or Shipment Protection Cover – Your standard motor insurance policy will not cover you for international shipping so you will need to take out additional cover.


How long does it take shipping cars to South Africa from the UK?

If you are shipping your vehicle as groupage in a shared container it will take about 6-10 weeks before the vehicle reaches South Africa.

If you are shipping your vehicle with your belongings in a sole use container (FCL – Full Container Load) it will take around 3-6 weeks.

You will also need to allow additional time for customs clearance and quarantine inspection.

For example, if you are using sole-use container services to popular destinations such as Cape Town it will be a lot quicker than shipping in a shared container to remoter destinations such as Johannesburg.


How do you import a vehicle into South Africa from the UK?

There are a number of steps to importing a car or other vehicle to South Africa, but they can be done quite simply with the guidance of a shipping company like PSS.

  • Check the viability of importing your car to South Africa
  • Organise your shipping company
  • Get shipping insurance or shipment protection cover
  • Complete shipping forms and gather necessary documentation
  • On arrival arrange customs clearance and quarantine inspection
  • Register your vehicle in South Africa
  • Arrange delivery or collect your vehicle

Here are some useful documents for importing your car into South Africa:

Requirement for Application for Letter of Authority (LOA)


What are the car import requirements for South Africa?

Just like most countries, South Africa has some strict guidelines for car transport into their country. You will need to gain an Import Permit and Letter of Authority from South African authorities to be able to import your car into South Africa. Note that fees will apply for the application processes.

To gain an Import Permit, you will need the following: an application sent to the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC); immigrants need documentation for South African permanent residency certificates, a copy of a foreign passport, and a copy of a vehicle license document. For assistance about importing, see:

The vehicle must not be dispatched from Origin until you receive the Import Permit from The Department of Trade and Industry and a “Letter of Authority” from the National Regulator for Compulsory Regulation.

No left-hand drive motor vehicles new or used purchased after January 1st, 2000, will be allowed to be imported in South Africa.

If the left- hand drive motor vehicle is purchased prior to January 1st 2000. It is a customs requirement for the motor vehicle to have been registered in South Africa. If not registered in South Africa, customs will not grant customs clearance.

Documentation required:

–  Customs form DA 304/A

–  Registration papers

–  Document showing that the vehicle has been in the owner’s use and possession abroad for more than 365 days before the importation of the vehicle

–  Original purchase invoice and copy
insurance certificate

–  Import permit issued from the Department of Trade and  Industry in South Africa, has to be submitted to Customs at the time of clearance of all vehicles imported into South Africa.

We at PSS are fully knowledgeable about the process for car transport into South Africa and import guidelines, so call us on 0800 988 3711 if you need advice.


What are the options for shipping your car to South Africa?

PSS Removals offers a range of car shipping to South Africa options. See below our options, and choose whichever is best for you and your needs. If you are unsure our vehicle shipping experts will be able to advise you.

Option A: Car and household items

It could be a good idea to combine your car shipment and household items together in one load. Our team can bring a shipping container to your home, then carefully secure your vehicle inside for car shipping to South Africa. Any remaining space can then be put to use for your household goods and homewares. If you’re moving to South Africa and you need to send over a number of items, then this is a great shipment option for you.

We will expertly pack and wrap your items using industry-approved materials and expert handling. They will then be placed in the container alongside the secured vehicle. At your door, we will seal the container with a customs seal before taking it to the UK port terminal for placement on the vessel. From there, the process of household and car transport to South Africa will take place.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch for a car shipping quote or any advice on this option (or other options and their car shipping rates).

Option B: Car only

On the other hand, you may need to only send your car abroad. In this case, you can make use of our car-only auto transport option. You will have your very own sole-use container that holds your car (or other vehicle) securely inside for shipment to South Africa.

This can be arranged at your place of residence, at a PSS warehouse, or a shipping line container depot – to suit you and your preferences. Then, the car will be loaded onto a vessel for UK to South Africa car transport.

Again, if you need a car shipping quote, or further details about our services and moving to South Africa, simply give us a call on 0800 988 3711.

Option C: Roll On/ Roll Off (RORO) or Lift On/ Lift Off (LOLO)

This last option is only available at selected ports.

Speak to our team today to see if this is an option for you. It will involve driving your vehicle onto the vessel to then be secured for auto transport to South Africa. Then, it is driven off again once it arrives in South Africa.

There some disadvantages to this option as your car or vehicle does not receive the same protection it would do if sealed in its own container.

However, this option is useful for larger vehicles such as vans, motorhomes and caravans which may be too wide to fit into a standard shipping container.

Please call us on 0800 988 3711 if you wish to discuss whether this is an option for you.


Can you ship your car with personal belongings inside?

It may be possible to ship your car with a few boxes of personal belongings inside. However, it is best to seek advice from one of our international removal consultants first as there are some restrictions.

Remember that all your belongings will be subject to the usual customs requirements and quarantine inspections so don’t think you can cram your car fall.

We do offer very cost effective options for shipping your belongings with your car so please ask us for more details.


How to prepare your car for shipping to South Africa?

It is important that your vehicle is thoroughly cleaned to ensure all organic material, including mud and dirt, is removed. This is to avoid potential problems with biosecurity and quarantine, in South Africa.

We recommend that your car including engine and undercarriage is professionally steam cleaned.

However, we do not recommend that the interior is valeted as this can result in mould and mildew during the voyage.

It is also advisable that your vehicle has a full service and check over before it is shipped.


How to ship caravans, boats and other vehicles to South Africa?

All types of vehicles can be shipped to South Africa including caravans, boats, trailers, quad bikes, jet skis and anything else you can think of!

For small vehicles, the best method is to ship them in a container with your other possessions or we can arrange a shared container.

The door sizes of standard shipping containers are about 7’8” (2.28m) wide or 7’5” (2.26m) high. These sizes can vary between shipping companies, but if your vehicle is larger you may need to use RORO or LOLO shipping services.


How to ship and import classic cars to South Africa?

A lot of people choose to import an older or classic car to Cyprus. For example, enthusiast, classic or historic motor vehicles that are destined for restoration and hobby use in car clubs.

For classic cars we highly recommend container shipping rather than RORO / LOLO as it offers greater protection.

Customs requirements may also differ.

When shipping valuable cars, you can be sure that our team takes special care to ensure it’s securely and safely packed for its journey.

How to ship a motorcycle to South Africa?

To ship a motorbike to South Africa you will need to follow a similar Import Approval process as for cars.

For the actual shipping, your bike would be secured in a shipping container, often in a wooden crate to ensure it is fully protected during transportation.

Your motorcycle or quad bike can be sent in a sole use container with your other possessions or in a shared container with other people’s belongings.


Customs and Quarantine for Your vehicle

When your car does reach customs after its auto transport into South Africa, it will be subject to further checks and guidelines. There will be duty and tax charges applied for the shipment of your vehicle and passing through South African customs, so make sure that you account for this.

Your vehicle must be registered at a Vehicle Licensing Office and pass a road safety test in order to be approved for use in SA. This means that the car will need to be clean (thoroughly) to be ready for inspection and to protect SA against the spreading of disease. You will also need to gain inspection reports and a Bill of Lading, as these are required to present to South African customs authorities. Lastly, we will need a copy of your ID, copy of your passport, and the vehicle registration paperwork to present on your behalf.

With regards to the clearance process to Johannesburg, the client is required to be in the country at least 10 days prior to the arrival of the shipment into sea port in order for us to clear the shipment in time. The client has to present the relevant South African Customs documents with his/her original passport (s) to a Customs office in South Africa.

For details, visit their government site:

Customs can be a hassle, but we at PSS have handled these processes many times before. So, if you wish to arrange your vehicle shipping to South Africa, just call us and we will provide you with all the information you need to do it safely and within SA laws – 0800 988 3711.


Customs Duty and Taxes for South Africa

Duty free entry if:

The vehicles (cars, motor cycles, mopeds) will not be sold or otherwise disposed of for 2 years after the date of importation.

Value Added Tax at current rate is assessed on the imported value of the vehicle.

A fee of R1800.00 per vehicle, payable to the National Regulator is applicable.

Temporary residents must pay a CASH Customs Bond to cover full duties and taxes and can only apply for a refund from the South African Department of Customs & Excise of this Cash Bond on proof of re-export of the motor car from South Africa.

Returning residents pay full duties and taxes. Temporary residents must provide a customs bond to cover full duties and taxes, and do not need an Import Permit.

Foreign Diplomats pay no duties or taxes, subject to provision of Diplomatic clearance certificate, and proof of value.


Delivery and Collection of Your car

Once your car arrives after international car transport to South Africa, you will be contacted by our team. We will then handle all the customs paperwork with you or on your behalf. Since South Africa has such strict guidelines for customs clearance and import requirements, though, we do recommend that you be at hand to ensure the process runs smoothly. Re-read the guidelines that we listed above about customs clearance and registration, as they are incredibly important and should be firmly followed.

Once all is done, we will make reservations with you to give your car back safely.


Where in South Africa do you ship cars to?

We do vehicle shipping from anywhere in the UK (including London, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) to all destinations in South Africa.

Examples of provinces and cities we ship to include:

  • Western Cape including Cape Town
  • Gauteng including Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane & Pretoria
  • Eastern Cape including Bhisho, Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), Nelson Mandela Bay, East London
  • Free State including Bloemfontein
  • KwaZulu-Natal including Pietermaritzburg, Durban, Ethekwini
  • Limpopo including Polokwane
  • Mpumalanga including Mbombela
  • North West including Mahikeng, Klerksdorp
  • Northern Cape including Kimberley

Do I need shipping insurance or shipment protection cover?

We try to do everything we can to protect your vehicle before, during and after car transport to South Africa. As industry professionals, we’re proud to say that there are never any major issues. However, it is always a good idea to be protected in case anything does happen.

Your usual motor insurance policy will not cover you for international vehicle transportation. This is why we have a carefully designed Shipment Protection cover to protect your vehicle in case of loss or damage.

Our Shipment Protection cover is backed by Basil Fry and Company and is based on the conditions recommended by the British Association of Removers. This means your car is in safe hands during the whole process. Rest assured that your protection starts as soon as your car is with our team.

For this reason, you can trust PSS Removals with your car shipping to South Africa and support throughout the entire process. So, the process is made easy when you opt to ship your car to South Africa with us.


How to ship your car from South Africa to the UK?

We can also arrange for your car or other vehicle to be transported from South Africa to the United Kingdom. Similar shipping options apply and it can be cost effective to ship your vehicle with your other possessions.

Contact us at our UK office and we’ll put you in contact with our team in South Africa who will be able to advise you on the whole process and give you a cost effective quote.