Shipping Cars to South Africa from UK

Relo UK the moving company have the Knowledge and expertise when it comes to shipping vehicles to South Africa from the UK, we pride ourselves that our understanding is widespread, and our staff have the experience and knowhow, to give you expert advice on the strict rules on importing motor cars and motorcycles into SA. Our commitment to you is to make your relocation to SA a stress-free experience.

With Relo UK you can be assured that your motor car or motorcycle, trailer or caravan will be handled by Experts. Relo UK have a fully bonded warehouse and as proud members of IAM (International movers association) this gives all our clients the peace of mind that they are covered under the overseas financial protection plan.

Vehicle shipping options to South Africa

Whatever your requirement we can explore several options for shipping of your vehicle to SA. Depending on the type of Vehicle its size and your personal requirements we will provide professional advice from the first contact through to handover of your vehicle once it has arrived in SA. Options available included and not limited to its own dedicated shipping container or we can consolidate with your household consignments into its own exclusive use container. Alternatively, for a more cost-effective option, why not take advantage of our groupage service, we have regular shipment of boxes, furniture, and baggage to SA from the UK as well as vehicles.

The suggested types of containers available for moving vehicle to SA are 20ft containers and 40ft and 40ft High cube containers.


This service is only available to some ports in SA and would entail you delivering your car to the docks. Your car would be driven on to the vessel, parked and secured ready for shipment to SA.

We recommend that you discuss your requirements with one of our SA motor vehicle consultants and obtain a free no obligation quotation.

2) Import Approval for Motor Cars entering South Africa

Vehicle Import Approval is required for all motor vehicle to SA, and all vehicles must comply with the standards as set by the National Regulator (NRCS) and a Letter of Authority (LOA) must be obtained prior to shipping of the vehicle. We will not ship until approval has been granted, as shipping without prior approval is liable to cause delays plus add additional potential costs. For further information on import approvals The International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa or contact our office and we can supply you with the required fact sheets.

3) Entry of Motor Cars / Motorcycles

If you are intending to ship your car abroad to SA and you are a first-time immigrant or a returning citizen, you must have owned & used your motor car for 12 months and you must apply for an import approval before you hand it over for shipment. It is crucially important that you ensure that you have a relevant visa in your passport BEFORE YOU ARRIVE IN SA and must arrive at least 10 days before the vessel docks. Upon arrival in SA, you must have in your possession a purchase receipt or proof of purchase, vehicle import approval from the “Road Safety Standards Department”.

Whether a returning residenct or a first time immigrant customs in SA will require you to produce the following in order for them to consider granting you a rebate under item 407.04:

  • Proof of permanent residency acquired abroad, such as permanent residency
  • Passports – SA and foreign
  • Evidence that the abovementioned permanent residency has been withdrawn (e.g. proof of notification of change of permanent address to the emigrations department in the UK or proof of deregistration as a tax payer in the UK or proof of sale of all fixed property in the UK)
  • Evidence of permanent return to SA (e.g. purchase of a property, proof of a long terms lease on a property, proof of income from a SA registered company)
  • An Import Permit for the car
  • A Letter of Authority – NCRS
  • Car registration documents
  • 3 valuations
  • Transport document (Bill of Lading)
  • P85 Will also need proof of UK tax handed in
  • DA304A

Note; You can only import one vehicle per family. The car may also not be disposed of for a period of 24 months after importation. All vehciles are subject to a physical customs inspection once it arrives in SA

4) Transit cover for your Vehicle to SA from the UK

Insurance coverage is available for this shipment:

Whilst great care is taken during the shipping of your vehicles, we will do everything possible to ensure your vehicle arrives safely, nevertheless there are many instances of risk for loss or damage which are beyond the removal companies’ control.

The premium is additional and separate to the move cost. The Actual insurance premium is determined by the replacement value declared on the valued inventory form. (link Attached below).


Fully comprehensive Insurance Cover (with no excess!)click here to view our Insurance Cover

5) Transit Times & booking your vehicle to SA

We do offer regular shipping schedules for vehicles to SA

Transit times are approximate and consummate with service taken, as a guide full container port to port allow 4 weeks, groupage shared service approx. 8 weeks port to port

On booking of your vehicle, we will acknowledge your booking and dependent on which service option taken we will confirm your vessel, sailing date and arrival date in SA. We will prepare and send your shipping documents, so they are ready to be presented to SA Customs.

6) Customs Inspection for Vehicles to SA

All motor vehicles imported into SA are physically examined on arrival for which there will be a customs examination fee payable direct to our partners in SA. We recommend that the vehicle is clean and in good condition prior to shipment.

7) When Your Motor Car Arrives in SA

You must be in SA 10 days prior to your Vehicle arriving and once in SA you will be contacted by our SA office to ensure that we have all of the paperwork required to present to customs. Once your Vehicle has been cleared by SA customs, we will contact you to discuss your requirements & make reservations to hand over your car.

Note: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While Relo UK has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, we make no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.


What motor vehicles do you ship?

Relo UK – The Moving company are the experts when it comes to shipping vehicles to South Africa, we can handle all types of motor vehicles from small cars to 4-wheel drive vehicles, vans and trailers along will all types of motorcycles as well as boats and caravans. Whatever type of vehicle can be driven on South African roads as long as it is a right-hand drive vehicle, we can ship it,

Please contact our office for further information where one of trained consultants will be happy to assist

Do you ship motorcycles?

Shipping motorcycle is similar to vehicle shipping, we will require an import permit prior to shipping. Due to the nature of international shipping, a bespoke crate making service is offered to provide greater projection whist in transit. Please contact our office for costs. Motorcycle are shipped on a groupage / share service which is the economically recognised method of shipping you are saving money by sharing costs. Once it has arrived in SA, it will be subject to Customs examination and once cleared vehicles are available for hand over at our depot

How do I arrange a vehicle shipping quotation?

Please request our get a quote on the home page, or email us at or call us if you prefer on Tel: 0843 289 4350 / 01323 763689

How do you calculate the shipping costs?

Vehicle shipping costs are calculated on the dimensions of your vehicle and the method of shipment selected. Costs are also based on the required service

How long is the Vehicle quote valid for?

Our quotation is valid for 28 days; this is due to the nature and vagrancies of international shipping which can be affected by currency fluctuations and increase in ocean and air freight costs

What does the quotation include?

• We will receive your vehicle at Our Pevensey depot, photograph and prepare condition report, alternatively we can collect from your residence by our expert car transporters, where we prepare the condition report at your residence and cross check once in depot, to confirm condition is same as collection.
• In accordance with maritime shipping dangerous goods regulations, we will isolate the battery (we do not accept responsibility for the integrity of the electrical system upon reconnection at destination)
• Shipment of personal items within the luggage compartment is not recommended due to customs examination in SA. Luggage is prohibited on roll on/roll off ferries service
• We will load and secure vehicle securing within an appropriate steel container and delivery to UK port of departure or reception at roll on/roll off ferry terminal
• Ocean freight to arrival at the required destination port in SA
• Container haulage to our representative's depot, unloading of vehicle for customs examination formalities
• Post-move condition survey and handout of vehicle at our representative's depot (groupage or exclusive container paid to depot).

What does the quotation exclude?

Quotation normally excluded storage unless this has been requested at the quotation stage and has been included in the body of the quotation, Insurance cost is normally not included at time of quotation but can be added later. Also excluded are import duties, taxes or other sums due to government departments, such as customs exam inspection fees, demurrage, quay rent, cargo dues or container detention fees if incurred, and fumigation or steam cleaning if ordered, and any resulting treatment fees if applicable.
For further information please contact our office as for up to information as destination regulations can change without notice.

Will I have to pay VAT?

For international vehicle shipping vat is not applicable for overseas move, VAT is only applicable for domestic services.

How do I proceed with a booking?

On booking of your vehicle shipping to SA from the UK we will take a 15% deposit to secure your nominated dates. We will also send you a comprehensive booking email, which will advise the collection date (if we are collecting by transporter) and depot opening times. We will attach a PDF with a customs form to be completed, request a copy of your passport, also visa if required plus your vehicle import permit, and supply you with insurance information for your perusal. We will also request that the customer acceptance form sent with your quotation is completed and returned to our office, this can be done via email.

Company relocation can my employer pay.

Yes, no problem, what we will require is a purchase order form your present employer and contact details on who will oversee payments, as we will not have trading terms with your employer in place, our terms and conditions will still be 15% deposit on booking and balance of invoice 72 hours after collection. We will also require signed acceptance return to confirm the booking.

Can I reclaim VAT on a new vehicle?

You are not permitted to reclaim Vat on the purchase of a new motor vehicle on exportation within or outside of the EU. For further information please refer to HMRC Notice 704 or call their National Advice Service on 0845 010 9000. New Vehicle into SA will be subject to heavy duty and Taxes.

Can you arrange nationwide collection?

We have a Vehicle transporter service for collections UK wide, we are also able to collect from most European cities.

Should I drain the vehicle fuel tank?

Ocean freight maritime requirement states that the vehicle's fuel gauge should register empty upon delivery to our depot for loading into container, we will check the fuel status, please do not leave full as you will be responsible for the cost of draining the tank and disposing the waste fuel. If shipping by roll on/roll off ferry, there should be no more than a quarter of a tank of fuel upon delivery to the ferry terminal. The vehicle must be in full working order, failing which you will be responsible for the charges of a mechanic and/or towing charges.

What is the payments procedure?

On booking of your vehicle shipping, we will take a 15% deposit to secure your nominated date. We will also request the completed customer acceptance at time of booking as this confirms the contracted conditions. Once your vehicle has either been received or collected and shipment verified, we will provide you with a final balance invoice which will be In accordance with our trading terms we will respectfully request that we receive payment of the invoice within 72 hours of it being issued. If you are looking at insurance we will require a completed declaration prior to vehicle receival date, insurance premium costs will be added to your final balance. In the intial quotation email sent there will be a link which will take you to our terms and conditions (please read).
Once payment has been received your consignment will be scheduled to depart as per your quoted terms. Of course if we can assist you further at any time please do not hesitate to contact our office on 01323 763689 or

Should I clean the vehicle?

In accordance with strict regulations in SA it is recommended vehicles should be thoroughly washed and vacuumed prior to shipment, failing which you may be liable for steam cleaning fees or fees for subsequent treatment. You should pay particular attention to the wheel arches, the underside and engine compartment and the interior passenger and luggage compartments.
Please note that vehicles delivered to the roll on/roll off ferry terminal must be free of mud and dirt, failing which delivery may be refused by the port authority.

Should I deactivate the alarm system?

We will require the code to deactivate the alarm system or immobilizer operated by a numeric keypad, if applicable.

Do I need a current road tax license?

Once received at depot road tax will not be applicable as it will not be driven on driven on public roads, we will require a copy of your registration document or Certificate of Permanent Export (if you have already notified DVLA) and your purchase invoice, as proof of ownership.

Do I need a Certificate of Permanent Export?

Before you export your vehicle, you must complete the V5 Vehicle Document which indicates the intended date of exportation and return it to the DVLC or to a Vehicle Registration Office (VRO), If you take your vehicle abroad for more than 12 months, it is regarded as a permanent export. In its place you will receive a Certificate of Export V561 as confirmation of your vehicle's registration.
If you apply in person to a VRO you will normally be issued with the Export Certificate over the counter, provided you can produce the V5 Registration Document. If you do not have the V5 Registration Document or if you have the green V5/2 New Keeper's Supplement, you will need to complete an application to a VRO or send it to DVLC Swansea.

If the application is made in person to a VRO you will need to provide proof of identity such as a driver's license, passport or utility bill which indicates your name and address.
Unless you are already registered as the keeper of the vehicle, checks for entitlement may have to be made before an Export Certificate is issued. If the VRO is unable to issue the Certificate, the application will be forwarded to DVLC, and dispatch of the certificate may be delayed while entitlement is established.
The VRO will not accept an application more than 14 days prior to the intended date of exportation. Please note you may be required to surrender the Export Certificate to the foreign authority when the vehicle is registered abroad.

Do I need approval to import a vehicle?

Vehicle Import Approval is required for all motor vehicle to SA, and all vehicles must comply with the standards as set by the National Regulator (NRCS) and a Letter of Authority must be obtained prior to shipping of the vehicle for more information please contact the International Trade Administration commission (ITAC) and the Bureau of Standards in Pretoria (LOA) letter of authority or our office for up-to-date requirements. Vehicle must be right hand drive only otherwise import approval will not be issued.

How will you stow my vehicle in the container?

Our preferred method is for the container to be swing lifted onto the ground, at our depot facility, this allows for easy loading of your vehicle, once inside the container the vehicle is chocked at the wheels and vehicle retaining straps are used to anchor the vehicle to the container between the towing points or axles and floor mounted ring bolts to prevent movement in transit.
We use only industry recognised stowage techniques to provide maximum protection for your vehicle in transit.

Can you provide Insurance Cover?

With international Vehicle transportation our staff have been extensively trained to take every possible precaution to protect and secure your vehicle whilst in transit. Whilst great care is taken during the shipping of your vehicle, we will do everything possible to ensure your vehicle does arrive safely, nevertheless there are many instances of risk for loss or damage which are beyond our control. Due to this Relo UK’s liability for loss or damage must be limited by our standard terms and conditions contract, which are incorporated into all removal, storage and shipping contracts.
If you do not take out adequate insurance, your recourse against the removal company or subsequent carriers and third parties for loss or damage, if they are liable, may be limited. Other parties involved may include, for example, the nominated shipping company or airline, other transport operators, the Port Authority etc. These parties operate under separate contract conditions, or under international law or conventions that may limit or exclude their liability. If a loss occurs at sea the shipping company may declare a General Average loss (which is the cost incurred by the carrier to preserve the vessel and its cargo). In this case, you, as the ‘shipper and owner’ of the goods may have to contribute to the General Average loss incurred by the shipping company. This principle of contribution is an insurable risk and is covered by marine transit policy issued by Relo UK.
Insurance is a way of managing risks. When you buy insurance, you transfer the cost of a potential loss to the insurance company.
A transit proposal form will be provided with all our quotation extended. We advise you to read the information carefully; if there any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to ask.

Can you store my vehicle prior to shipment?

At Relo UK we have a fully customs bonded warehouse, which is alarmed and fitted with CCTV cameras for added security, whether it is for a short period whilst in transit, or for a longer term, we are able to offer you with a competitive storage cost, prior to your removal shipping service to SA from the UK

What documentation do you require?

Once you have confirmed that Relo UK are to be your selected supplier, we will confirm with you a booking confirmation email, which will confirm your shipment details and request the following information from you
1. Completed Acceptance/Customer Information Form
2. A legible copy of the details page of the “lead clients” passport (photo page) - Please ensure that we have the correct details for the “lead client” or person whose name the shipment will be in.
3. A copy of your residents VISA or work permit for your chosen destination - unless you are a returning passport holder.
4. Completed SA Customs form (attached)
5. Copy of your import permit & Letter of Authority
6. Copy of registration document, or permanent export from DVLA
7. Purchase invoice and proof of ownership
8. Completed Insurance Valuation Form - attached for your reference (should cover be required).

Please note it is your responsibility to ensure you have authority to import your Vehicle into SA, so if in doubt contact, please contact our office for an up-to-date list of documentation required. We are unable to ship your vehicle without your completed documentation and payment.

My Vehicle has arrived in SA what happens Next?

It is a requirement that you are in SA 10 days before the vehicle arrives in Port. We will send all the required shipping documentation prior to the vessel arrives to our SA partners or them to be able to complete the customs formalities in a timely fashion. The container is collected from the arrival port and is transferred under bond to our colleague’s bonded facility. Once in depot the vehicle is unloaded, condition report prepared, and discrepancies noted and photographed. Customs will start the physical examination and clearance process once vehicle is log into depot, Once the relevant inspections have been taken and vehicle is clear to import, a date will be given for a hand-over at depot. Alternatively, if you prefer vehicle to be delivered on a car transport please advise and we will submit quotation. Please be aware once the vehicle has been cleared to import and handover, registration of the vehicle to meet road regulations will be at client’s expense and responsibility.

What charges are payable on arrival?

Quotation for Vehicles are normally extended on a depot / handout service and will include terminals and custom clearance formalities, what is not included in our quotations are collections and deliveries via car transporter services, customs inspection fees, any customs duty or taxes, import permits fees, and the SA customs examination inspections which are mandatory in SA and will not been included in any quotations extended and are payable direct to our partners in SA.

Do you offer financial protection?

We are a core member of the IAM (International Association of Movers), which is a governing body setup to check for quality assurance and customer service within the removal industry. This is very similar to the BAR (British Association of Removers) but instead of on a UK scale the IAM is recognised internationally so you have peace of mind here in the UK, and also at your destination, that the way your vehilce movements will be conducted would be monitored and comply with agreed standards that are enforceable by the governing body wherever you are in the world at the time.

Do you operate to a code of practice?

Our terms and conditions are based on standard international removal industry codes of practice, these conditions explain the rights, obligations, and responsibilities of all parties to this Agreement. Where we use the word 'you' or 'your' it means the Customer: 'we', 'us' or 'our' means the Remover. These terms and conditions can be varied or amended subject to prior written
agreement. Your attention is drawn to Clauses 4, 9, 10, 11 and 12 which set out our liability to you for loss of or damage to goods and property.

Why choose ReloUK for my Vehicle shipping?

At Relo UK the worldwide moving company, we are not the biggest international mover or shipper of vehicles, however our service is second to none, we have since our inception moved countless vehicles, families and their possessions worldwide, we have an in-depth knowledge of relocation to SA from the UK, for not just vehicles but household goods and effects, and you can rest assured our service is competent, friendly and at all times professional, we are proud of our reputation and look forward to moving you.


We are proud members of the following: