Buying a bike in Southern Africa as a foreigner (UK residents)

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maria41

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hi, maybe this has been discussed before, so apologies if so, I could not find this.
i just got some quotes to transport our 2 bikes from the UK to Cape Town and I nearly had a heart attack. Well, 3,000 pounds, minimum, per bike, for back and forth. That may include most costs like customs etc…. if we pick Namibia or Kenya it is even worse (8,000 or even 9,000 GBP). Prices have gone wild since we shipped to Cape Town in 2018.

So where in ( southern) Africa would it be possible to buy two small bikes ( happy even with 125 Chinese bikes )?
i would look at starting in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa….
The main difficulty of course is registering the bikes to us as it would cause complications crossing borders otherwise.
Any advice, suggestions, contacts, would be most welcome. Buying 2 Chinese bikes from new would be cheaper even if we donate them at the end of our trip! This is crazy but such is life.
thanks again,
Maria

www.franglais-riders.com
 

dw1

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Hi

you can register a bike as a foreigner although it takes a bit of work. It also takes up to 6 weeks to arrange for a "Traffic Register number" Once you have that it is a simple matter to register a vehicle in your name. Below from the Gov website: You might need to use someone here to start the process for you before you arrive so you'll have to send the relevant docs via courier. What is your timeline? I will go to our Traffic dept on Monday and try and find out more for you. Buying cheap bikes is also easy.

  1. Go to the nearest registering authority (RA) and complete the form Application and notice in respect of traffic register number (ANR).
  2. If you are applying for a traffic register number as a foreigner who wants to buy or register a motor vehicle in South Africa, you must submit the following:
    • A certified copy of your passport or a certified copy of your driver license and temporary residence permit or travel document
    • Two black-and-white ID photographs (confirm with the RA or DLTC how many photos is required).
    • Proof of address e.g. utility account. If the utility bill is not in your name, the owner of the bill must make an affidavit declaring that you live at the address and the utility bill must be attached to the affidavit.
 

Tonteldoos

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Just an idea..
Share your idea of what bike you want to buy.. maybe a local want a similar bike which he can then buy and register in his name, you use it for your trip and n takes it off your hands and the end and a pre negotiated price.. win win for both
 

maria41

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London
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Yamaha XT225
Hi

you can register a bike as a foreigner although it takes a bit of work. It also takes up to 6 weeks to arrange for a "Traffic Register number" Once you have that it is a simple matter to register a vehicle in your name. Below from the Gov website: You might need to use someone here to start the process for you before you arrive so you'll have to send the relevant docs via courier. What is your timeline? I will go to our Traffic dept on Monday and try and find out more for you. Buying cheap bikes is also easy.

  1. Go to the nearest registering authority (RA) and complete the form Application and notice in respect of traffic register number (ANR).
  2. If you are applying for a traffic register number as a foreigner who wants to buy or register a motor vehicle in South Africa, you must submit the following:
    • A certified copy of your passport or a certified copy of your driver license and temporary residence permit or travel document
    • Two black-and-white ID photographs (confirm with the RA or DLTC how many photos is required).
    • Proof of address e.g. utility account. If the utility bill is not in your name, the owner of the bill must make an affidavit declaring that you live at the address and the utility bill must be attached to the affidavit.
Hi DW1, thanks for the explanation.
i suppose that this traffic number can be obtained before buying any bikes?
it seems the main thing is to have someone over there to help. It seems doable. It might be my preferred option.
my time line is flexible, late this year, say November or early next year. We can set off any time.

i am also waiting for a polish friend to reply to me. He organisés tours all over the world and I may “piggy back“ transport of our bikes on one of his scheduled trips. He is on tour in Africa at the moment.

can I PM you? Or my email address is my name (maria) at my website.

thanks again,

Maria

www.franglais-riders.com
 

maria41

Pack Dog
Joined
Mar 18, 2018
Messages
259
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Location
London
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Yamaha XT225
Just an idea..
Share your idea of what bike you want to buy.. maybe a local want a similar bike which he can then buy and register in his name, you use it for your trip and n takes it off your hands and the end and a pre negotiated price.. win win for both
Hi Tonteldoos,
thanks for the suggestion.
the problem is that we need 2 identical bikes and would probably finish our trip in Tanzania or Kenya.

Also, if the bikes are not in our names it complicates things crossing borders, especially beyond the Southern Africa Custom Union.
cheers,

Maria

www.franglais-riders.com
 

dw1

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Western Cape
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BMW R80GS
Hi DW1, thanks for the explanation.
i suppose that this traffic number can be obtained before buying any bikes?
it seems the main thing is to have someone over there to help. It seems doable. It might be my preferred option.
my time line is flexible, late this year, say November or early next year. We can set off any time.

i am also waiting for a polish friend to reply to me. He organisés tours all over the world and I may “piggy back“ transport of our bikes on one of his scheduled trips. He is on tour in Africa at the moment.

can I PM you? Or my email address is my name (maria) at my website.

thanks again,

Maria

www.franglais-riders.com
Hi Maria

You can PM me any time.

Cheers
Dewald
 
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Triumph (all models)
hi, maybe this has been discussed before, so apologies if so, I could not find this.
i just got some quotes to transport our 2 bikes from the UK to Cape Town and I nearly had a heart attack. Well, 3,000 pounds, minimum, per bike, for back and forth. That may include most costs like customs etc…. if we pick Namibia or Kenya it is even worse (8,000 or even 9,000 GBP). Prices have gone wild since we shipped to Cape Town in 2018.

So where in ( southern) Africa would it be possible to buy two small bikes ( happy even with 125 Chinese bikes )?
i would look at starting in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa….
The main difficulty of course is registering the bikes to us as it would cause complications crossing borders otherwise.
Any advice, suggestions, contacts, would be most welcome. Buying 2 Chinese bikes from new would be cheaper even if we donate them at the end of our trip! This is crazy but such is life.
thanks again,
Maria

www.franglais-riders.com
Hi there

Have you considered going the other way. I bought a Chinese 150cc in Tanzania when I was stuck there with covid 2020 and couldn't get back to my bike in South Africa. Easy to buy and put in your name there but I didn't cross any borders.
I also had alot of trouble being a kiwi obtaining a TRN in South Africa, the first 3 years I had my bike registered in a South African friends name. Then had a certified letter from them allowing me to cross borders of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia with no problems.

Glenn
 

maria41

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Hi there

Have you considered going the other way. I bought a Chinese 150cc in Tanzania when I was stuck there with covid 2020 and couldn't get back to my bike in South Africa. Easy to buy and put in your name there but I didn't cross any borders.
I also had alot of trouble being a kiwi obtaining a TRN in South Africa, the first 3 years I had my bike registered in a South African friends name. Then had a certified letter from them allowing me to cross borders of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia with no problems.

Glenn
Hi Mr Hat, good to know That it is easy to buy there. That is definitely a good info. We could try that as We’ve never been to Tanzania. Thanks definitely worth a thought. Maybe in a year or two i will look at going down to that region again. So much to explore yet. So far as we have plans for this winter and also going to North Africa next spring/ summer. We could easily ride from home through Morocco, Mauritania to Senegal. Then we will see. It gets very expensive further down with visas.
 

Three Dawg

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Things are settling down a bit now. We shipped our bike back from Cape Town earlier this year for about £1300, which was only about 400 quid more than in 2015. Going out it was about £1500 more, but that was in October last year when things were a bit mad still. As ever, it's a simple equation: cheaper to rent for the duration? Rent. Cheaper to ship (usually 1 month plus) then ship.
 

maria41

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Location
London
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Yamaha XT225
Things are settling down a bit now. We shipped our bike back from Cape Town earlier this year for about £1300, which was only about 400 quid more than in 2015. Going out it was about £1500 more, but that was in October last year when things were a bit mad still. As ever, it's a simple equation: cheaper to rent for the duration? Rent. Cheaper to ship (usually 1 month plus) then ship.
Thanks Dawg, good to know. Which company did you use to ship back? I am thinking we could go back late next year or very early following one.
 

Three Dawg

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Can't remember off the top of my head TBH, but we used Adrian Schultz at Econo Trans in Paarden Eiland. Top bloke (we've used him twice now) and very helpful.
 

Three Dawg

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Damn this five minute edit thing is annoying.

BTW, if you don't know, there is a campsite just outside Cape Town which will store your bike at very moderate cost. They also do shipping at good prices - I have a quote from them somewhere. I can dig the name and the quote if you like.
 

Three Dawg

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Here you go - decent price, might be of use to you anyway. Obviously this is just a snapshot, the cost may change very quickly, but I guess you know that. This price would be for a shared container so you may have to wait until they've rounded up enough bikes to fill one. This is from maybe six weeks ago:


Thanks for getting in contact, I hope we can help.
At present the shipping industry is in a bit of a mess especially with costs and delays. So, prices may change, but what we suggest is that you ship earlier and let us keep the bike in storage for you until you arrive.
We ship considerably more container from Rotterdam than London just because of the number of people in Europe, but either way it will cost £800 with all fees included.
If this of interest, then please let me know.
Thanks


Duncan Johnson
African Overlanders
www.africanoverlanders.com
 

MaddyS

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hi, maybe this has been discussed before, so apologies if so, I could not find this.
i just got some quotes to transport our 2 bikes from the UK to Cape Town and I nearly had a heart attack. Well, 3,000 pounds, minimum, per bike, for back and forth. That may include most costs like customs etc…. if we pick Namibia or Kenya it is even worse (8,000 or even 9,000 GBP). Prices have gone wild since we shipped to Cape Town in 2018.

So where in ( southern) Africa would it be possible to buy two small bikes ( happy even with 125 Chinese bikes )?
i would look at starting in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa….
The main difficulty of course is registering the bikes to us as it would cause complications crossing borders otherwise.
Any advice, suggestions, contacts, would be most welcome. Buying 2 Chinese bikes from new would be cheaper even if we donate them at the end of our trip! This is crazy but such is life.
thanks again,
Maria

www.franglais-riders.com
Hi. I know that Itchy Boots bought her bike from FireItUp and they did all the paperwork for her as a foreigner. Try contacting them in Johannesburg and see what help they can offer.
 
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