Buying a car in South Africa, tips for immigrants & Foreigners

Buying a car in South Africa

Buying a car in South Africa it will take a lot of footwork, but if done right you'll be off your feet and onto your wheels in no time. Buying a second hand car in good condition at a low price is relatively difficult, but you might be lucky enough to pick one up for around R20,000. Good and reliable vehicles will cost you between R90,000 and R110,000.
Most foreign language speakers seem to prefer looking for a vehicle on Gumtree or Junkmail, but do not limit yourself to them, also consider the AA, car magazine and
Here are some suggestions from Foreign Language Placements to make the process go a bit smoother:
Vehicle History Check
No matter who you buy from - a private party or a dealer - first ensure the vehicle you are planning to buy hasn't been stolen and doesn't have any outstanding financial loans attached to it. To have your car fully checked out, we recommend the Automobile Association Autocheck Service. They'll do this for a mere R125. Contact AA Autocheck on 0861-601-601 to make an appointment. Make sure to bring:
vehicle registration number (VIN) and the 17-digit chassis number
engine number
Vehicle Inspections
Next you must make sure that the vehicle you want to buy is as good as it looks. It is mandatory to have a used vehicle certified "roadworthy" for registration, meaning a vehicle inspection covering the vehicle's mechanicals, electrical system, brakes and tyres is a must. The seller must be able to provide this document to you as well. If not, this can be done by booking a comprehensive inspection at any number of vehicle inspection centres. The Automobile Association inspects passenger cars and small pickup trucks for under R800.
Drivers Licences
While you can use your overseas license in South Africa, it's not a bad idea to pick up an International Driver's License as not all police are aware of the legalities around driving licenses. You can pick up a license at all AA outlets for approximately R250 per year.
Vehicle Registration

When you buy a motor vehicle anywhere in South Africa, you must register and licence it in your name within twenty-one days of purchase. To prepare for registering a new vehicle, you must have in your possession:

your passport
registration and licensing form
manufacturer's certificate containing all relevant details about the vehicle
roadworthy certificate
R69 fee
When buying a new or used car from a dealer, they will normally go through all the pain for you. But when registering pre-owned wheels on your own, you'll also need:
vehicle's registration certificate (in the seller's name)
valid motor vehicle license
Licensing Your Newly Acquired Vehicle
Once vehicle registration is achieved, you still will need a license. But before you can move forward, you have to make sure all arrears, penalties and fees attached to the vehicle are paid in full. In South Africa, license fees depend upon the weight and tare of the vehicle so they will vary.
For Licensing Offices and Testing Stations in Johannesburg and area visit the City of Johannesburg website .
For Licensing Offices and Testing Stations in Cape Town and area visit the Cape Town government website.
For Licensing Offices and Testing Stations across South Africa and for additional motor vehicle registration issues visit the South African Services website.
Car Insurance

Now that you have successfully bought and registered your vehicle you will need to consider car insurance which you can get from companies such as Outsurance, Dial Direct, Budget and many more. You have a choice between Comprehensive and 3rd party insurance. It is important to consider whether your car will be automatically insured for hail damage, theft or damage when taking out insurance as this will greatly affect your monthly premiums.