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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bring your vehicle from abroad or not?

Please post your experience for others to comment and learn from. Please if you can mention the cost benefits, hassles etc


Nicola said...

Before moving to Mauritius we lived in the UK, where the price of everything is a click away on the Internet. For example, our 2003 CitroĆ«n Xsara Picasso was valued at £2,400 (or Rs 120,000) by Parkers (http://www.parkers.co.uk/cars/used-prices/). Relative to Mauritius, cars are cheap in Europe. Unfortunately doing research on the cost of cars in Mauritius is not such an easy exercise.

The shippers told us that exporting our car would add only £500 to the total shipping cost. Once a car arrives in Mauritius, it is valued by Customs whereupon import duties and VAT are applied to that valuation. In our case it was:
- Rs 240,000 (Customs' valuation of the car - note that it is almost twice the UK Parkers value)
Therefore, Customs duties and taxes levied were:
- Rs 132,000 (55% import duty)
- Rs 56,000 (15% of Rs 372,000, being the value plus import duty)
- Rs 54,000 (first registration and road tax)
= total of Rs 242,000 paid (vs. a car that is worth Rs 120,000 in the UK)

Then again, a small second-hand city car costs in excess of Rs 400,000 from dealers in Mauritius. Chances are that we would have ended up with one of those if we did not import ours from the UK. Alternatively, it would have taken a lot of money, time and effort to find the same type of car as the Citroƫn. To rent a small car costs around Rs 25,000 per month, so you also need to add that to the total cost of importation.

There are administrative issues to be aware of. Even if your clearing agent has all the paperwork in place the clearing process will only commence upon physical arrival of the car. The Mauritian authorities will then contact the origin country's authorities to ascertain that the car is not stolen. Seemingly such requests are processed quickly in the UK. Our car was released 20 days following delivery of the container although we have heard that cars originating from certain countries (including South Africa) can take substantially longer to clear. Also, the Mauritian authorities will issue you initially with a temporary licence as the permanent version can only be obtained once the car is insured. Unfortunately the temporary licence is valid for three days only and as the insurance process takes longer than this, we had to apply for a second temporary licence which meant another trip to Port Louis. In the process we also discovered that under a temporary licence you are not allowed to transport passengers (a bit tricky if you have to do the school run) or use the vehicle at all on Sundays.

Manual second-hand cars are difficult to come by in Mauritius. Pretty much all second-hand cars are imported from Japan where vehicles tend to have automatic transmissions. Ultimately the choice of cars is limited if you are looking for value for money. Double-cab trucks/bakkies incur only 10% import duty. It seems that many expat families end up with a double-cab and a little Nissan, a good barometer of value for money in Mauritius. Only ship your car over if your car if you have a special reason or a double cab. It is touch-and-go whether it is worth the money and effort to import a 'conventional' car.

Also note that cars (not trucks/bakkies) with engines larger than 1,600cc attract 100% import duty.

ExpatMauritius.com said...

Thanks Nicola for a very informative and useful blog entry.

Silvio said...

Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life.

Second Hand Cars

Jen said...

Is this still active? If so, did Nicola pay Rs120,000 for the car in UK, then pay Rs25,000 to ship. Total Rs145,000. Then, pay a total of Rs242,000 in Mauritius. Therefore, making the ultimate price for the motor Rs387,000.
That's what I gather, is this correct??

Nicola said...

Hi Jen,
Indeed... weighing this up against the fact that you would struggle to find a decent small car for under Rs 400,000 in Mauritius, let alone a workhorse of a family vehicle like the Citroen Xsara Picasso. Reading this blog entry again (left nearly two and a half years ago) makes me realise that we have not regretted for a single day relocating the car with us. Of course, your requirements may be totally different. Also, please check with a reputable agent as importation laws and duties may have changed since 2009.
Good luck with your final decision, let me know if you have any further questions.

Ram said...

Hi Nicolas, many thanks for your detailed account of importing a car into Mauritius, grateful for your advice on the following: how long you need to be the owner of the car before exporting it to Mauritius, can we send a 10 year old car. I am an expat returning to Mauritius after 35 years in UK and I am thinking of bringing an X5 4x4 to Mauritius, the car is costing me 7000 pounds any idea how much tax or import duty will I pay. I queried it with the customs house in Port Louis but they never came back to me with the estimate. Many thanks for your help. Ram

Nicola said...

Hi Ram,
As far as I am aware there is no limit as regards the age of the car (ours was six years old when we imported) although I know that some countries will not allow the importation of a car under three years old.
In our case the Mauritian valuation was double the UK valuation; you can use this as a guideline when calculating the total cost (see formulae in my first post). Unfortunately Mauritian Customs will only give a valuation upon physical inspection of the vehicle. So this is a very big unknown in the calculation, and could swing in or against your favour. Also, I would recommend checking with a reputable agency as the calculation of import duties and charges may have changed in the last three years.
Good luck with your move!

Anonymous said...

Hi Nicola, many thanks. Ram

Kyoko Nitori said...

Well, for some reasons I do favor of import cars. The best reason who be, when it comes to the pricing of the car these car are quite cheaper compare to the price of local dealer.

Von carl said...

Happy to see your blog as it is just what I’ve looking for and excited to read all the posts. I am looking forward to another great article from you.
free car valuation

Jeanine Spence said...

Excellent article. I was checking continuously this blog and I am quite impressed! Extremely useful info specially the first part. I care for such info much.
cars for cash

http://luckystarautotransport.com said...

Every comments made here really makes sense as it will give ideas and clues whether they will bring their car abroad or not. Hope many will find a way to visit your site!

RightCar said...

Shifting the vehicles from one country to another country is not an easy task. It is quite expensive to do and some people will sell their vehicles while they shift to another country. But before selling, a valuation needs to be done for old vehicles to check the performance of the vehicles and its cost. Valuation of Old Vehicles.

Anonymous said...

Hi, does anyone know if a British citizen is allowed any concession on importing a car from UK to Mauritius. I am a Mauritian and have lived in UK just over 5 years, however am not sure if I do qualify as a returning citizen. But my husband is British and we want to settle down in Mauritius, so I want to know if he is allowed any concessions.

Thanks in advance

Alex Perera said...

Hi I found this forum carry useful information. By the way may I know what are the moving models in Mauritius. if I bring a a moving model, I believe there will be plenty of parts and garages available to maintain the car. Also, does anyone know either Diesel or Petrol is more demanding in Mauritius.

Linton said...

we are major UK and Japan importer/exporter for almost 20 years. We would be happy to supply anyone requiring a used vehicle. visit our site algysautos.com we are a British Company with British customer values.
thanks Linton.

catherine Wright said...

Hello Every one nice to see you all

I have imported car from Japan in to UK. I was looking from many days to buy this one And Finally I got it thanks to local dealer here who have supported me a lot to made this true. Now,I am glad to got this, Japan car import in to UK is the best way to choose your dream vehicle, I did it

Thanks for sharing this

Liz Bronstring said...

Am wanting to bring my 1974 mini Austin .. Is this possible?