Shipping your car to South Afr

Shipping your car to South Africa? Here’s how best to do it

There is a lot to consider when shipping a car to South Africa. Here’s a quick run-down of how it’s done so that you can make an informed decision.

Shipping your car to South Afr

We spoke to the experts at AutoShippers to get advice on the best and most affordable way to ship your car to South Africa.

Picking the right service can be a challenge. In this article we’ll briefly go over the car shipping services available to South Africa, and why you might choose one over the other.

Shipping options

RoRo (Roll-on Roll-off)

As you might expect from the name, this service involves driving your vehicle directly onto a specialised vessel and securing it to the deck with straps around each wheel (roll-on). On arrival, your vehicle is released from the deck, driven off of the vessel and cleared by customs ready for collection (roll-off). It’s as simple as that.

Why choose RoRo?

  • Cost – RoRo is one of the cheapest options for shipping a car overseas.
  • Speed/efficiency – It is considered the fastest method, and the most convenient way of loading/unloading cars.

The few caveats of RoRo include the inability to ship personal belongings with the vehicle, and the requirement that the vehicle must be in working condition so it can be driven onto the ship.

The typical transit time from the UK to Durban is 22 days.

Sole Use Container

Alternatively, you can choose to have your own dedicated container to house your vehicle for shipment. This is the preferred option for higher value vehicles as it offers an added level of protection. Container shipments also typically depart on a more regular basis than RoRo, and to a wider range of destinations.

Why choose Container shipping?

  • Availability – Container services offer weekly sailings direct from the UK to the main ports of South Africa
  • Protection – Typically container shipping is considered the safer option as RoRo involves storing your vehicle on an open deck and extra handling is required during loading/unloading by port workers. Having your own dedicated container to ship your vehicle offers added security that may be required for higher value vehicles.
  • Shipping personal belongings – You can choose to ship personal items with your car.
  • Vehicle condition – Your vehicle is not required to be in working condition.

One of the drawbacks of sole use container shipping is the added cost of the service compared to RoRo as well as the port fees involved.

Shared Container (R-Rak)

A new method of shipping in containers has become more popular recently. Known as R-Rak, this service allows the shipment of multiple cars in a container using a specialised racking system to more efficiently house the vehicles.

Why choose R-Rak?

  • Safety – R-Rak is widely considered safer than standard container shipping.
  • Lower Cost – As you are sharing the container with others, the costs and fees involved are much lower for the individual.
  • Efficiency – Now adopted by some of the world’s largest car manufacturers due to its safety and efficiency compared to other methods.

The typical transit time from the UK to Cape Town is 23 days, 28 days from the UK to Durban.

Further information on services, regulations and duties for car shipping to South Africa can be found by clicking this link.