Car sales registration | South Africa

Car Sale RegistrationThe procedure of making a used car purchase is fraught with many risks.
Although used cars are generally well priced, the many hidden costs accumulated tend to surface only after the deal is done. Many new owners of pre-owned cars realise afterwards that they should have dealt with someone who offers a guarantee. Any undisclosed problems can end up costing a great deal of money over and above the purchase price, with no recompense from the previous owner.

If you do decide to purchase a car privately, we’d like to offer you some advice.
Take note of the following car buying tips and procedures:
Tips on how to check a car if it is worth buying you can find here: Car Buying Tips


It is important to conclude a sales contract when buying a used car. Registration forms are available at the local traffic authorities. All used cars must pass a roadworthy test, which will cost about R 500.00.This test is best done at AA (Automobile Association of south Africa) Test & Drive Centres or Dekra who work in conjunction with the AA South Africa, which are located throughout South Africa.


Normally you pay the purchase price cash or via bank transfer. It is important to keep the Transaction slip. The transaction slip will allow you to transfer the money back to your account in your home country after you have sold the vehicle. Without this, you could have difficulty changing the South African Rands back into the currency of origin.
An international bank transfer takes approximately 4-6 days.


Within 21 days of signing the contract, the vehicle must be registered at the “Department of Licensing and Registration”. For this you need the following documents:

  • Change of Ownership / Sale of motor vehicle form (Yellow)
  • Roadworthy Certificate (white)
  • Original Registration Certificate(green)
  • Bank Release Certificate (white)
  • Registration papers filled in for licencing and registration (blue)
  • Current License Disc (green)
  • Driver’s License
  • Passport
  • Traffic Register Number (if you don’t have one apply for one at traffic department(white)
  • Address in South Africa
    For the registration you should plan 1 day but your traffic register number could take up to a month or more.


South Africa has no compulsory cover for vehicle damage. This means 75% of drivers in and around South Africa are uninsured. Against this background, and keeping in mind the fact that repairs are very expensive in SA, it is advisable to obtain full comprehensive insurance cover, or at least cover for Balance of Third Party, Fire and Theft. This is almost impossible to do without a permanent address in SA or without a local bank account. Being young also counts against you. Ask Drive Africa for insurance c

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Give yourself enough time to market and sell the vehicle before your departure. The less time you have to sell the car, the lower the price you will have to accept. If necessary, sell your vehicle to a local dealer, even if you get a price under the market value.
When selling to a private person, it makes sense to take someone with you for added security. Don’t let the buyer do a test drive on his own. Only accept cash, and be weary of cheques, as these are easily forged.
For driving to Kenya or Tanzania, you need a Carnet de Passage, obtainable at the AA. To get it you need 100% deposit of the vehicle cost. Does your holiday budget allow this?