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What Documents Do I Need To Buy A Car In South Africa

Paperwork is one of the daunting aspects of buying a car that many people try to avoid. But the truth is, without going through the necessary paperwork, or simply put, the documentation process, you won’t be able to claim full ownership of a car. In fact, you stand the risk of being arrested by law enforcement bodies for owning and driving an illegal or unregistered car. Just like in every country of the world, South Africa has its own required documents one needs to have to buy a car in South Africa. If you are a foreigner, additional documents will be required for you to successfully buy and drive a car in South Africa. This article covers the required documents you need to have to buy and drive a car in South Africa. Let’s go!

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Documents You Need To Have Prior To Purchase

car documents in South Africa
car documents in South Africa

Before car dealers in South Africa can initiate a car purchase for you, there are certain documents you need to have. You can make the process of buying yourself a car in South Africa easier and faster by having the following documents ready;

ID Document

An ID document will confirm your identity. If you are a citizen of South Africa, a green barcoded ID or SA ID card is acceptable. If you are a foreign national, your country of origin’s ID and relevant work permit or visa will be required.


Proof of residence

Proof of residence shows authentic proof that you have a dwelling place in South Africa. A utility bill or any other bill statement that has your residential address is required.

Proof of income

With proof of income, you demonstrate your ability to pay for your desired car. Your latest payslip, or (if you are self-employed), a few months’ worths of bank statements will do. Proof of income becomes especially important if you intend to leverage an auto loan from the car dealer.

Also Read:

Documents Needed When Buying A Car In South Africa

Sales Agreement Document

Also called, proof of purchase. While this isn’t mandatory, it’s good you have this document as it gives a valid record that you’re truly paid for the car you want to own. This will save you the troubles of any hassles or disagreement that might come up in future concerning the car.

Notification of change of ownership

This document is highly needed if you are buying a used car, it will be required during vehicle registration. Don’t forget to collect this from the seller. Usually, when a vehicle changes owner, the Department of Transport should be contacted with the change of address and ownership details.

Roadworthiness certificate

The seller can have the vehicle tested for roadworthiness beforehand, but roadworthiness certificates are only valid for 21 days, it is recommended that the buyer do this (however, when you are buying your car from a car dealer, it is expected they help with this process). To obtain a roadworthiness certificate, either the buyer or seller should go to the nearest vehicle testing station with the following documents;

  • The vehicle’s registration certificate
  • Identification document (ID)
  • Completed Application for Roadworthiness Certificate form (ACR)
  • Associated Fee

Documents Required For Vehicle Registration

Having your car registered in South Africa is still a crucial part of owning the car. Just making a purchase and transferring the money to the car dealer or seller isn’t enough. You need to have the car registered to have a legal permit to drive on South Africa road. The following documents are required for the vehicle registration process;

  • Identification document (ID)
  • Passport with valid work permit or permanent visa stamp if you are a foreigner
  • Drivers license
  • The vehicle registration certificate (In the seller’s name)
  • A roadworthy certificate, if the current registration certificate is older than six months
  • Proof of purchase (The sales agreement, or a receipt provided by the seller)
  • A valid motor vehicle license ((Ensure that the license fees for the vehicle are up to date)
  • The completed application form for registering and licensing a motor vehicle (RLV – Blue form)
  • Application fee (The fee depends on the province in which it is registered. It is usually between ZAR 500-1000 for most car models)
  • 2 passport pictures

Driving Your New Car In South Africa

Driving Your New Car In South Africa
Driving Your New Car In South Africa

After you have paid and done the registration process for your car, there is still one major thing left to do so that you can drive freely. That is getting your car insured. Check out car insurance companies in South Africa and go for the one that suits you.

It is also essential that your car is equipped with a Smash-and-grab film. This film is needed to give an extra layer of protection to your car’s windscreen and windows due to the unfortunate increase in Smash-and-grab break-ins in South Africa. Most high-end cars already come equipped with the film, but if it’s not on the car you want to buy, you may request it as an add-on from the car dealer.

Carmart Team

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