Taking your car across the border?

Your bags are packed and you’re ready to go. But are you?

You do not only need your bags, a full tank of petrol and your camera, you also need these items on your pre-holiday checklist:

Apio provides travel tips

Pre-holiday checklist

  1. Check that your insurance covers across border travel. If not contact your broker to make arrangements for this to be included. Provide your broker with all the details of your holiday and they will be able to ensure that you are covered correctly. Some of the things to remember to cover are:
    1. Off-road use if your car is an off-road vehicle
    2. Mechanical and electrical breakdown
    3. Anti-theft device
    4. Medical repatriation for the car and the people
    5. Emergency accommodation following a claim
    6. Emergency repairs to get the car moving
  2. To ensure you will purchase the correct cover, also check the requirements of each country as some insist on proof of insurance being provided at the border post. In addition, some countries require Compulsory Third Party cover to be purchased at the border post.

Be aware that the consequence of not having suitable cover puts the driver at risk should the car get stolen or damaged outside of South Africa. The laws of some countries hold drivers financially accountable for damages.


Once you are secure in the knowledge that you will be covered for all situations, you will need to prepare this list of important documentation:

  1. Bank stamped copy of the vehicle registration papers. Your can financing bank will be able to assist you with this.
  2. If you own your car outright you will need the original registration papers certified by a Commissioner of Oaths.
  3. Make sure that your ID number listed on the vehicle registration papers is the same as in your ID document.
  4. If you are not the owner of the car you will also need a police affidavit and letter of permission from the registered owner.

Carnet de Passages en Douane

Tips from Apio to help with cross border travel

If you are travelling further afield on the African continent, you may need a Carnet de Passages en Douane which is a document used to identify a travellers’ vehicle when going through customs. It guarantees to a foreign government that the vehicle will be removed from the country within the time limit imposed by the country.

The Carnet is valid for one year from date of issue and is available to the Automobile Association of South Africa (AASA) members and non-members living in SA. AASA is the only authorized issuer of the FIA Carnet to citizens of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland. This article on their website provides a detailed list of countries that require a Carnet de Passage en Douane as well as the required documentation: