What You Need to Know About Moving Your Car Overseas

Moving overseas is arguably one of the most stressful experiences some of us may come to face. There are financials to get in order, legal hurdles to overcome, cultural barriers to adapt to, and arrangements to be made to get both yourself, possibly your family, and your belongings across borders. There are, however, steps you can take to reduce the stress paired with an overseas move, one of which is choosing an established international moving company for the job. It is always better to choose professionals with years of experience, because not only will they be more knowledgeable on international moving (or import and export) requirements, but they will also be more credible by virtue of their reputation. Elliott is such a company, and we pride ourselves on supporting our clients by getting their belongings, including their cars, where they need to go (even if there is an entire ocean between the two destinations).

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Moving your personal belongings and the contents of your household overseas may seem overwhelming, but simple enough to arrange. Still, some of your possessions may face a few extra hurdles you may not have been aware of. A good example is your car (or any other commercial vehicle). There are different logistical and legal processes involved in getting your vehicle across borders compared to your furniture and a few boxes. For example, you will need either an import or an export permit to get your vehicle into and out of the country, respectively, while, in some cases, you will also need a Police Clearance Certificate and a Letter of Authority. This article outlines the documents needed to get your car overseas (or to get it back into South Africa) and provides a brief explanation of the reason they are necessary.

The Documents You Will Need when Moving Your Car Across Borders

Before you can load your car onto a ship, you will have to complete all the paperwork and obtain all the necessary permits first. For example, if you are importing a used vehicle into South Africa, you will need a Letter of Authority from the NRCS (National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications), as well as an import application from the ITAC (International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa). You will be required to submit all your relevant documentation during the application process, including your ID, employment records, and vehicle registration documents. If you are exporting your car (taking it out of South Africa), you will need a Police Clearance Certificate and an export permit, in addition to all the other relevant documents you normally require.

When working with a reputable international moving company like Elliott, moving your car overseas can be a straightforward process. To make it as hassle-free as possible, we are equipped to address your customs concerns and will manage all shipments and consignments. Feel free to contact us should you have further questions or need more information.

Why a Permit is Required for Importing and Exporting Your Car

Every country has its own rules and regulations when it comes to the importing and exporting of vehicles. Importing a vehicle into one country will be different from another country, especially if the imported vehicle is also manufactured on a local level. Some countries have little to no laws regarding vehicle imports and exports, but these countries are few and far between.

The main reason why such rules and laws exist is to protect both the local vehicle manufacturing industry and the individual (or organisation) who wishes to do the importing and exporting. When you are bringing your vehicle into a country (or taking it overseas), you are effectively disrupting the local industry, by potentially depriving them of a sale by purchasing your vehicle elsewhere, possibly for a cheaper price than what is available locally.

However, it is important to note that most countries distinguish between new and used vehicles for the purposes of imports and exports. This is mostly for safety reasons, as second-hand/used vehicles may require more maintenance and will need to undergo safety inspections and roadworthiness tests to ensure the car conforms to local safety standards. While your intention is likely not to disrupt local industries, the relevant local government may not see it that way. It is thus better to inform yourself of all the relevant legislation and steps needed to be taken to import or export your car.

Need help moving your vehicle overseas? Elliott offers a range of international moving services to make your move as exciting and stress-free as it can be.  If you’re ready to get started, click on “Request A Quote” to get started.