You can only import a second-hand vehicle into South Africa if you have been granted a permit to do so. The importation of used vehicles is restricted to protect the local motor vehicle manufacturing industry. Permits are only issued under specifically defined circumstances.

Mainly returning South African nationals and immigrants who have permanent residence are permitted to bring vehicles registered in their names into the country.

Other cars that may be imported include racing cars, vintage passenger vehicles, specially designed vehicles and inherited vehicles. More information is available in the import guidelines on vehicles and components(link is external) compiled by International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC).

What you should do

  1. Before you import a used vehicle, goods vehicle or trailer you must first obtain a letter of authority from the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS).
  2. Complete the Application for import of second-hand or used passenger vehicle(link is external) (IE462)
  3. If you are a South African citizen, submit the following documents:
    • identity  document or passport
    • letter from the employer confirming permanent employment abroad and reflecting a period of employment (salary advice, payslips, job offers, job contracts, tax returns, work permits, etc. are not considered proof of employment)
    • a certified copy of the official foreign vehicle registration certificate
  4. If you are a bona fide immigrant, submit the following documents:
    • a copy of your South African permanent residence certificate
    • a copy of your foreign passport (page with photo and details)
    • a copy of your foreign motor vehicle registration certificate
    • proof of study or research to be concluded where applicable.

How long does it take

It may take up to five days to complete the process once all required documents are received.

How much does it cost?

ITAC does not charge service fees but you will have to pay customs duty at the South African Revenue Service (SARS). Customs duty is calculated as a percentage of the value of the goods (set in the schedules of the Customs and Excise Act). For more info on SARS customs duty, visit the SARS website.

Forms to complete
Application for import of second-hand or used passenger vehicle(link is external) (IE462)

Who to contact

ITAC national office – Import and Export Control

Tel: 0861 834 384, 012 394 3590, 012 394 3591
City/town: Pretora
Province: Gauteng
Physical address: International Trade Administration Commission, 77 Meintjies Street, Block D, Sunnyside, Pretoria, 0001
Postal address: Private Bag X753 Pretoria, 0001
Web address:

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