A guide for the overseas self drive, self sufficient, vehicle dependent visitor in Africa

Psychologists tell us that a basic pleasure like sitting around a crackling fire on a cold night stems from man's primeval dependency on fire for warmth and security from the unknown dangers which may lurk in the darkness. Perhaps the infatuation with a 4wd vehicle has a similar prehistoric tie. The go anywhere ability may invoke in the driver a subconscious feeling that ties him to the early adventurers who set across an uncharted continent, unsure of their destiny, but certain of their abilities to conquer any obstacles.

Or maybe there is a more pragmatic reason. To have a vehicle that will go through mud, deep sand and ford rivers. It seems people simply don't like to get stuck.

Where to look for a 4x4

South Africa


Click here>> South Africa Road Traffic Signs pdf

             Toll Road Tariffs

              Fines for Speeding in SA


Beware of Royal Motors - Krugersdorp - this is not a reputable dealer!! Read Ripped Off By Royal Motors Decide for yourself.

Beware of Autohaven Hermanus (Ian Wiid) - another disreputable dealer.


International Diesel and Petrol Prices 

SA fuel prices


Any valid drivers license is accepted in South Africa, provided: it bears the photograph and signature of the holder;  is printed in English; and if the license is issued while the holder thereof was not permanently or ordinarily a resident of South Africa for the period thereof; and, subject to the conditions under which such license was issued.  If your license does not comply, you should obtain an International Driving Permit before departure.


While South African law does not normally require International driver’s licenses for stays of less than six months, insurance companies for both long-term residents and rental car customers often require proof of a South African or international drivers’ license in order to honor an insurance claim, even when such proof was not requested at the time the policy was secured.


AAA application for International Driving Permit






               Click Here for a list of current Cruisers listed 

                      Here to change the search criteria.

                      List of Dealers in South Africa


Land Rovers Club of Southern Africa   


Western Wheels Motor Magazine list of dealers




Land Cruiser Club of Southern Africa 


SA 4x4 Community    German language forum, very good information source 


Landcruisers Te Koop  


LandyOnLine     Click on Market in the Top Bar




Cape Land Rover Club  


Land Rovers Club of Southern Africa – KwaZulu Natal   


4 Wheel Drive Club of SA KwaZulu Natal 


Leimers Land Rover   Warren/ Rob  011 795 2507  Honeydew, Johannesburg


4x4 Offroad Adventure Club     Download the latest  newsletter- find in the right hand margin


Autolink      Capetown   Recommended for very good service


The Four Wheel Drive Club 


SA Nissan 4x4 




Hilux 4x4 Offroad Forum 


Auto Excellence        Centurion 


Emmarentia Auto  


Gerber 4WD   Kempton Park  enquire about their kitted out vehicles


Weltrese Forum    


Buy and Sell 4x4  






Land Cruiser 4 Africa


James and Slabbert Motors


Planet Wheels    Joburg


List - Used Car Dealers SA


Independent Dealer Association     Location and Tel #s of its members




Somerset Overlander   used landrovers  Somerset West


Hennie Roux Motors Wellington
  TEL: 021-8732008   0825550598


Surf 4 Cars  


Burchmore's Auctions  Cptn, Joburg, Durban 


WeBuyCars  aka Atterbury Motors  Pretoria


Nissan Patrol forum


Free Online Ads



Beware of companies with Buy-Back Schemes. I have heard of many problems. Most of them recently.

**The three companies below offer a Vehicle buy back option 


Drive Africa**  


Drive South Africa**     

NOT RECOMMENDED - Buy Back or vehicle rental. DSA was involved in a 'Bait and Switch' scam leading up to Twende literally disappearing from their place of business. Buyers were left with expensive vehicles and no recourse.


Twende    out of business, involved with DSA in failed Buy Back Scheme



The Director of Drive South Africa has been contacted and refuses to address in writing issues related to DSA and Twende.   





Dar Hot Wire    Tanzania vehicle dealers, vehicle sales bargains. Platform to buy and sell your vehicle. It has a good selection of vehicles 





Sean Garsten Motors     Nairobi


Schumacher 4x4      



4x4 vehicles for rent and sale in East and Southern Africa. 

Al's Pride        Nairobi

CMC Motors Group      

Kenya Car Bazaar








Aplus Motors


Hyper Cars


DT Dobie  


Village Walk Market mall   Gigiri, Nairobi- near embassies and UN compound

           check Notice board for ads, good vehicles sold in days-cash.

Sarit Centre or YaYa Centre

Noticeboards are currently the most popular way of selling cars. Every town and city in Kenya has dozens such boards.


List of Car Dealers in Kenya




Action Auto      Lusaka 


Live Motor Base   


Translanka Trading Company   


Vehicles International      


Southern Cross Motors 

Hensons Used Car Sales

JDB Motors

Joe Motors Ltd

Keren Motors    tel (01) 24-5024/5    

Zambia's vehicle sales

Essential information for Zambia (Zambia Revenue Authority) :

APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION OF MOTOR VEHICLES Note you will need a mailing and residential address

Motor Vehicle Clearance 1,  Motor Vehicle Clearance 2


H & P Car Sales   Windhoek


Sirkel Motors  





Mechto    Maun  also handles breakdown service in the parks, vehicle servicing and repair

Botswana Vehicles       post under Wanted


Land Rover Maun  Plot 97, Kwena Rd, Industrial Site 

Toyota Ngami Maun  Tsheko-Tsheko Road 



4x4 vehicles for rent and sale in East and Southern Africa. 

Zimpapers Classifieds 


KAR TORQUE (PVT) LTD  Tel: 04-2912746 / 011 863 456 / 091 2 807 291

    6 Nuffield Road Workington Harare-for  20 years, Buying or Selling, Servicing


Wheeler Dealers 114 Citroen Road, Msasa  Cheryl 0912345684/011408704


Auto Action complex 106 Seke Road, Graniteside tel/fax: (04) 710113 Cell: 0912 292 028      


Teclink Motors   Harare


American Motors   Harare


Oasis Motors Harare


Borrowdale Motors Harare




Tandem Motors 3 branches in Harare Tel 870117/8


Mr Cruiser Harare  (alt)    




Link to a list of Car marts






Club of Mozambique    




Kidney Crescent
p.o. Box 51948 BLANTYRE
Tel : (265) 1 677 918, 1 6777 843, 1 674 761 BLANTYRE
Fax : (265) 1 674 417 BLANTYRE



P.O. Box 5132 LIMBE, 31213 LILONGWE
Tel : (265) 8 822 333, 1 643 782, 1 644 123 LIMBE
Fax : (265) 1 643 937 LIMBE



Tel : (265) 1 700 008, 9 912 841 LILONGWE
Fax : (265) 1 726 172 LILONGWE
Buying and selling second hands vehicles from RSA, DUBAI , JAPAN


Lilongwe Chat    This is an excellent source


Carnets, 4x4 Insurance and Yellow Card


Buying & Registering a vehicle in South Africa

The Process

To apply for registration of a used vehicle you will need the following:

A duly completed application form (form RLV).

• Your RSA identity document (if you are a local resident) or an identity document issued by a foreign country (if you are a person not permanently resident in the Republic) or a traffic register number certificate.

• If the motor vehicle is registered in South Africa, the registration certificate concerned.

• If the tare has changed due to any reason, a mass measuring certificate.

• If the vehicle has a new engine or if the VIN/chassis number has changed, a South African Police Service clearance of the motor vehicle.

• If required by the registering authority, proof of the right to be registered as title holder of the motor vehicle concerned. Such proof may be an invoice, a sales agreement, etc. It is advised that you phone your nearest call centre or registering authority to establish whether they accept or require any other document as proof.

Please note the following:

In order to obtain a mass measuring certificate it is advised that you contact your local registering authority for the contact details of a facility that offers this service.

A South African Police Service clearance will only be issued after your registering authority has issued you with a referral. After the referral has been issued the registration certificate of the vehicle has to be presented to the SAPS in order for the process to be initiated.

The registering authority will perform an assessment on you application and you will pay the fees as prescribed by your province

Below should be all or most of the tools to make this happen.

If a link doesn't work, please contact me so I may correct that immediately.

When you have found a vehicle to purchase, you should consider:

    1) Have a qualified mechanic inspect the vehicle. 

    2) Have AA Test and Drive inspect the vehicle.

    3) The purchase of the vehicle includes a recent Roadworthy

     Certificate. Otherwise, you may be stuck with a vehicle that has

     a lot of work required before getting the Roadworthy certificate.

     The cheaper/older 4x4s are often advertised without one. 

     Nearly all buyers will insist on a road worthy certificate with the purchase of a vehicle.

     4) Have an experienced South African 4x4 offroader

       inspect the vehicle with you. He should  know what to

       look for on this vehicle. 

    5) Codes on the seller's Registration Papers

Code 2- a used vehicle and does not imply any previous accident damage. Gebruik/Used

Code 3- usually a rebuild. i.e. a vehicle that has been written off as a result of an accident. Normally written off by an insurance company. Opgebou/Build up 

Code 4- vehicle has been dismantled for spares.

Written off vehicles are bought from the insurer, repaired/rebuilt and then sold. The bank/finance company is supposed to de-register the vehicle when it has been written off, but this does not always happen. A large percentage of written off vehicles re-enter the market as code 2’s. A common problem (thousands) is that the registration papers show the vehicle as "used-code 2" and do not indicate a rebuild-code 3. 

  6) TransUnion Auto Check - You will need  the VIN, Engine number, Make, Model, Year of First Registration and the Registration Number in order to check a vehicle's history and if stolen. 

When you buy a vehicle, you need to register and license it in your name within 21 days.

If you have a motor vehicle that has not been registered and licensed  and desire to drive such motor vehicle on a public road for purpose of registering and licensing the vehicle, delivery to a motor dealer, testing of such vehicle, driving to or from a place of repairs, reaching an examiner of vehicles or repossessing such motor vehicles, you  must obtain a temporary motor vehicle permit. Submit form TSP1 at the nearest Traffic Office. The application is normally processed on the same day.

  • Complete form TSP1: Application for a temporary /special permit at your nearest traffic office or registering authority.
  • Submit a copy of your  identity document.
  • Pay the prescribed fee.



    Application fee

    Eastern Cape Temporary permit
    Special permit
    Free State Temporary permit
    Special permit
    Gauteng Temporary permit
    Special permit
    KwaZulu-Natal Temporary permit
    Special permit
    Limpopo Temporary permit
    Special permit
    Mpumalanga Temporary permit
    Special permit
    Northern Cape Temporary permit
    Special permit
    North West Temporary permit
    Special permit
    Western Cape Temporary permit
    Special permit

Registering a pre-owned (used) vehicle to a non-resident
To register and license a pre-owned (or used) vehicle, you need the following documents:

     You should have (carry proof of, just in case) a South African mailing address before you start this process.

      Two passport size photos

     Your ID - foreign or otherwise     

  • the (seller's) vehicle registration certificate
  • Seller's Roadworthiness Certificate or Application for Certification of Roadworthiness Form ACR, if the current certificate is 6 months old or older.
  • Form ANR (Application for a Traffic Register Number Certificate) - A traffic register number is issued to foreign citizens who are not in possession of a South African Identity Document and serves the purpose of an acceptable identification number used for road traffic transactions. The traffic register number is required when a foreigner wants to register a motor vehicle in South Africa. This should be one of your 1st steps. Without a traffic register number, you have no hope of completing the registration in your name.
    • Visit your nearest traffic office.
    • Complete form ANR, Application and Notice in respect of Traffic Register Number
    • Bring the following documents:
      • A certified copy of a passport or temporary residence permit.
      • Identity document issued by a recognised authority.

Example of how easy it is to get a Traffic Register Number

Cost of Traffic Register Number Certificate


Eastern Cape


Free State



not available






not available

Northern Cape


North West


Western Cape


For those applying at Traffic Departments not up to speed and up against a wall:

National Road Traffic Act, 1996
National Road Traffic Regulations, 1999
Chapter XIII : Miscellaneous
335. Application for and issue of traffic register number and certificate

1)        An application for a traffic register number for the purpose of obtaining acceptable identification as contemplated in the definition of "acceptable identification", shall be made to the appropriate registering authority on form ANR as shown in Schedule 2 and shall be accompanied by –

b)        in the case of a natural person not permanently resident in the Republic, a temporary identity certificate, an unexpired passport or a temporary permit or other document of identity of a class recognised by the Minister of Home Affairs in terms of the legislation regulating the admission of persons to the Republic.

2)        The registering authority referred to in subregulation (1) shall, if satisfied that the application is in order, allocate a traffic register number to the applicant and issue a traffic register number certificate form RNC ...                

acceptable identification means: b)  in the case of a person not permanently resident in the Republic, an identity document issued by a foreign country or a traffic register number certificate ;


  • Proof of purchase(notarized would be good too) of the vehicle with Notification of Change of Ownership/Sale of Motor Vehicle  NCO <<Click here for form
  • a valid motor vehicle license.
  • form RVL (Application for Registration and Licensing of Motor Vehicle)
  • The buyer of the vehicle must ensure that the license fees for the vehicle are up to date. Complete and submit the RVL form to the nearest motor vehicle registration centre, along with required documents. There is a cost to register the vehicle.
  • If you plan on crossing borders, you will need a Police Clearance RPC form Unfortunately, a blank quality copy is not available. The form is generated when a registering authority performs a 1A1 transaction (Request for Police Clearance). This updates the vehicle's SAPS clearance status to 'Clearance Required'. In the process the vehicle's identifiers and owners details are also printed on the RPC form. The person then takes the form and vehicle to the SAPS who electronically verifies the vehicle details and thereafter will complete the relevant sections of the form. The owner then has to take the RPC back to the registering authority who ultimately clears the record.
  • The correct color of vehicle must be noted as this is a serious offence and causes mayhem at roadblocks.

A registration certificate will be issued to the title holder when the vehicle is registered.


  • R69.00 registration fee
  • License fee. The license fee depends on the weight and tare of the vehicle and is determined at the motor vehicle registration centre
  • All arrear penalties and fees, if the license fee is not up to date. Prior to purchase, check the vehicle's status with the Traffic Department and their NATIS

Registering a built up vehicle     applies to things like an engine conversion or change in VIN/ Chassis # form SOA . Not items like long range tanks, roof racks, winches, aircompressor, dual battery system, ect.

  • To register a built up vehicle you need the following documents:

  • form RVL (Application for Registration and Licensing of Motor Vehicle)
  • your ID
  • form SOA (an affadavit confirming where the parts came from and what was done to the car)
  • form RPC (a request for police clearance) Unfortunately, a blank quality copy is not available. The form is generated when a registering authority performs a 1A1 transaction (Request for Police Clearance). This updates the vehicle's SAPS clearance status to 'Clearance Required'. In the process the vehicle's identifiers and owners details are also printed on the RPC form. The person then takes the form and vehicle to the SAPS who electronically verifies the vehicle details and thereafter will complete the relevant sections of the form. The owner then has to take the RPC back to the registering authority who ultimately clears the record.
  • form RPI (a request for police identification) normally used to introduce a vehicle to the National Traffic Information System.
  • form ADV (Application for deregistration of vehicle)
  • form MMC a weighbridge (mass measuring) certificate
  • proof of title ownership

You need to complete and submit the relevant forms to your nearest motor vehicle registration centre. There is a cost to register the vehicle.


  • R69.00 registration fee
  • License fee. The license fee depends on the weight and tare of the vehicle and is determined at the traffic department
  • All arrear penalties and fees, if the license fee is not up to date. Prior to purchase, check the vehicle's status with the Traffic Department check the vehicle's status with the Traffic Department and their NATIS

    Before you can register a vehicle that has been altered or rebuilt, you need to obtain:

a police clearance certificate Form RPC see above

  • a weighbridge certificate  Form MMC
  • a roadworthy certificate   Form ACR

There are also additional requirements for vehicles that have been:

  • deregistered
  • acquired from the estate of a deceased person
  • repossessed
  • acquired outside the borders of South Africa
  • previously reported as stolen.

For more information contact the nearest motor vehicle registering authority. eNaTIS

Additional forms that maybe handy

form CNV  (Change of Particulars of/In Notice of Motor Vehicle)  In the case of engine conversion after registration

form NCP  (Change of address of vehicle) Basically for overseas visitors, a change in mailing address in SA after registration

SA Site List for Gauteng Province Registration Authority and vehicle testing stations

Form DL1 Application for South African driving license 

Form ATD Application to have Drivers Test deferred

Form ALA Application For a Letter of Authority to register/license one motor vehicle, which has been newly constructed or modified

Form NVM Notification of Vehicle Model

Form DA65 Registration of Goods for Re-Importation  Although this form is directed to South Africansit might be a handy document to record your equipment that you may be required to declare at border crossings. Following as applied to South Africans effective 3/2008

Form DA65-Any South African(resident) traveller departing from and intending to return to South Africa carrying electrical equipment is required to register the equipment with the South African Revenue Service (Sars) Customs Office before departing from South Africa. The term electrical equipment refers to any device that if purchased outside of SA would attract customs duty when being brought into the country such as (but not limited to):
• Laptop computers
• Cellphones / PDAs
• IPods and
• Cameras

To comply with Sars regulations and also ensure that their transition through the airport is smooth and hassle free, you'll need to:
• Complete Sars Form DA65 in duplicate
• The Customs officer will inspect your equipment, check serial numbers and stamp your forms
• They will retain one copy and will hand you the other, which must be carried with you when re-entering the country.

Other important things to note:
• The forms are valid for one year
• Your form must be valid for your outbound and inbound journey (it cannot expire whilst you are overseas)
• You must ALWAYS have this form to hand when returning to the country

Again- this form DA65 applies only to South Africans


Roadworthy Certificate

A roadworthiness certificate can be obtained from any private or public vehicle testing facility. 

Take the vehicle with your ID and registration papers to a test centre where the vehicle will be assessed. A list of all defects will be noted and handed to you. Most all test centers will retest if returned within 7 days for a substantially less fee, full fee after 7 days. Normally a road worthy test will cost  around R 250, excluding the repairs that may need to be carried out to comply and retesting fees.

The roadworthiness test checks the following aspects of the vehicle:

  • identification and documentation
  • electrical systems
  • fittings and equipment (including mirrors, safety belts etc)
  • braking system
  • wheels (including tyre condition)
  • suspension and undercarriage
  • steering
  • engine
  • exhaust system
  • transmission and drive, instruments
  • vehicle dimensions

Roadworthiness Test Sheet ****

Private Testing Center

  Super Test

Guatang Traffic Offices

  • Alberton
  • Bedfordview
  • Benoni
  • Boksburg
  • Brakpan
  • Bronkhorspruit
  • Carletonville
  • Cullinan
  • Edenvale
  • Germiston
  • Heidelburg
  • Johannesburg
  • Kempton Park
  • Krugersdorp
  • Meyerton
  • Midrand
  • Nigel
  • Pretoria
  • Randburg
  • Randfontein
  • Roodepoort
  • Sandton
  • Springs
  • Vereeniging

    Assistance in expediting the process:

  • Exec-U-Que  This company offers to assist nonresidents in the paper trail, and collection and drop-off for Roadworthy Inspection

  • Que Stop




  • Some South Africans use these companies to expedite the process instead of spending long hours in que. If you are having problems or need to get the papertrail done quickly, it may pay to engage one of them.

    For those souls who have been bitten by the Africa bug and are returning for another safari.

    Renewal of a motor vehicle license:

    The law requires your vehicle to be licensed annually. It is your duty as the vehicle's owner, to ensure that the licence is renewed before it expires.If the licence is not renewed you are liable to pay late licensing penalties and arrears. There is a grace period of 21 days after the expiry date of the vehicle's licence in which to renew the licence without incurring penalties and arrears. It should be noted that local authorities are under no legal obligation to send renewal reminders.
    You can renew your licence at a motor vehicle registration centre. To license your vehicle, you need to submit:

    Alternatively, you can present your licence renewal notice (form MVL2) if you have one. These notices are posted monthly to all motor vehicle owners, six weeks before the licence expiry date. The renewal notice is sent only once to the address registered on NATIS, the National Traffic Information System database. Vehicle owners can confirm their address details at a traffic department. You can renew your licence without having a renewal notice. You can also renew your licence by post. Submit your vehicle's registration number and/or a copy of the registeration papers along with a cheque. * Call a motor vehicle registration centre for instructions on where to post the check and amount. The licensing fee depends on the category, description and tare of the vehicle.

    The licence disc will be posted to the address on the NATIS database.

    If someone else renews your licence on your behalf, you need to ensure that they have:

    • a letter authorising them to renew your licence
    • a certified copy of your ID and their own ID
    • the licence disc or the vehicle's registration papers
    • the appropriate fees


  • SA Vehicle Value Estimators

    Standard Bank,2354,7264092_7270686_0,00.html

    Seems that the other sites (below) are no longer working.

    Mutual & Federal Motor Vehicle Value Tool

    It's geared more towards the needs of the insurance industry and the predicted retail values are consistently somewhat higher than those predicted by the Mead Estimator

    Mead & McGrouther

    Book value estimator that is commonly used. The Mead estimator seems not to be working currently.


    Mutual & Federal


                                          Life is either a daring adventure or nothing

                                                                                      Helen Keller


    Kitting out a 4x4- Overland/Expedition Checklist


    Kinetic strap
    Snatch block
    Tow webbing/snatch rope
    Tree trunk protector
    Wooden blocks

    Air pump or compressor
    Second spare wheel
    Spare inner tube
    Tyre patch kit
    Tyre gaiters
    Tyre gauge
    Tyre spanner & levers
    Tyre v-block?

    Brake fluid
    Cable ties
    Contact/super glue
    Distilled water
    Duct tape
    Exhaust sealing tape
    Galvanised wire
    Gasket cement
    Gearbox oil
    Hand cleaner
    Insulation tape
    Locktite thread fastener
    Motor oil
    Pattex putty
    Water paper
    WD40/3 in 1

    Clutch & brake cylinder rubbers
    Electrical connectors
    Engine mounting
    Filters - Oil, fuel & air
    Fuel lines/vacuum lines
    High tension leads
    Hose clamps
    Nuts & bolts
    Radiator cap
    Radiator hoses and clamps
    Spare 12v battery
    Wiper blades
    Wire & fuses
    Wiring and electrical repair kit

    Tool Kit
    Extension lead
    Fire extinguisher
    Gearbox spanner
    Jerry cans
    Jump cables
    Open-ended spanner
    Pliers-short & long nose
    Pop rivet gun/rivets
    Shifting spanners
    Side cutters
    Socket set
    Spotflame & cartridge
    Sump spanner
    Swiss army knife
    Syphoning hose
    Tie downs/rope
    Transmission spanners
    Utilty knife
    Vice grips
    Voltage meter
    Wire brush/steel file

    Padlock/keys and chain
    Rescue service numbers


    Fly sheet
    Ground sheet
    Pegs,ropes & poles
    Shade clothe

    Sleeping gear
    Mosquito net
    Sleeping bags

    Bottle opener
    Braai tools
    Bread board
    Can opener
    Cooking utensils
    Cork screw
    Egg lifter
    Freezer bags
    Frying pan
    Gas cooker
    Paper plates/holders
    Paper towels
    Plastic bags/packets
    Pot holder/glove
    Pot-cast iron-flat bottomed
    Pots & pans
    Sharp knife
    Table cloths
    Tin foil
    Travel mugs

    Basin plugs
    Clothes pegs
    Dish cloths
    Dish washing liquid
    Dish wipes
    Handy Andy
    Pot scourers
    Solar shower
    Sunlight soap
    Wash basins
    Washing line
    Washing powder

    Air freshener
    Black bags
    Bungies & tie downs
    Cargo net
    Gas lamp
    Insecticide spray
    Mozzie coils
    Peaceful sleep
    Solar shower

    Cold & water
    Cool boxes
    Hip flask
    Ice bricks
    Katadin filter/tablets
    Tap for cans
    Thermos flask
    Water bottles
    Water cans-10l or 25l
    Water jug
    Water purification

    Batteries - Camera
    Batteries - Immobiliser
    Batteries - Torch
    Extension arms
    Fire lighters
    Fuel dispensing bottle
    Gas cylinders
    Gas disposable cans
    Lamp fuel
    Lamp spares
    Meths/spirit jelly
    Spare bulbs
    Spare lamp glass
    Stove fuel
    Stove spares


    Airways X 2
    Bandage grips
    Clamps & safety pins
    Cold/hot compress
    Cotton wool
    Disposable gloves
    Ear buds
    Eye bath & patch
    First Aid Manual
    Folding cup
    Purified water
    Resusitation valve
    Scissors & tweezers
    Space blanket
    Various bandages
    Webcol swabs

    Anti- diahorea
    Anti- nausea
    Antiseptic liquid & ointment
    Arnica cream
    Burn gel
    Cough Mixture
    Ear drops
    Eye ointment
    Insect repellant
    Malaria tablets
    Muscle relaxant
    Paraffin gauze
    Sleeping tablets
    Surgical spirits
    Throat lozenge/gargle
    Tooth fill
    Voltaren gel

    RGS Expedition Medicine


    Red Tape
    AA membership card
    Booking receipts
    Car insurance papers
    Car registration papers

    Carnet --   SA
    Cheque book
    Credit cards
    Drivers licence
    Duplicate documentation
    Id book
    International drivers lic.
    Medical evacuation details

    Personal Locator Beacon- plb
    Route maps
    Spare passport photos
    Trailer registration/insurance
    Travel Medical Insurance
    Travellers cheques

    General Gear
    Books-fauna & flora
    Camera & film/batteries
    Cell phone and charger
    Contact phone numbers
    Day pack/togbag
    Fishing tackle
    Marking pen
    Playing cards/Games
    Route maps

    Sat Phone
    Sewing kit
    Spare glasses
    Spare keys/Immobilser
    Travel books on area
    Two-way radios

    Before leaving

    Fill-fuel containers
    Fill-gas cylinders
    Fill-water containers


    Aqueous cream
    Contact lens cleaner
    Cotton wool
    Hair brush/comb
    Lip balm
    Nail set
    Razor and blades
    Shaving cream
    Toilet rolls
    Tooth brush
    Tooth paste

    Basic clothing
    Rain gear
    Spare laces
    Sun hat


    Herbs and Spices
    Olive oil
    Peanut butter
    Salad dressing
    Salt and Pepper
    Soy sauce
    Spray and cook
    Stock cubes
    Sun flower oil
    Tomato paste
    Tomato sauce
    Curry Powder

    1-minute noodles
    Baked beans
    Baking powder
    Bread mix
    Bread rolls
    Fresh fruit
    Lemon juice
    Mealie meal
    Pickled onions
    Powdered milk/long life
    Sweet corn
    Tinned fruit
    Tinned onion/tomato mix

    Breakfast, snacks & drinks
    Biltong/dried wors
    Bottled water
    Fruit juices
    Soft drinks

    Cheese wedges
    Sandwich spread
    Tinned tuna
    Tinned corn beef
    Tinned ham
    Tinned mussels

    Cool boxes/Fridge
    Cheese wedges
    Cold meats
    Feta cheese
    Tomato sauce

    Chicken fillets
    Freezer blocks
    Ice cubes
    Lamb chops
    Pre-papared meals

    This is obviously way too much, but it gives one somewhere to start in equiping their vehicle.


    Preparation is an art, not a science, detailed planning necessarily fails due to the inevitable frictions it encounters: chance events, imperfections in execution, and the independent will of the opposition.

    Von Clausewitz, Military Strategist

    A Real Expedition

    A very good read.


    Expedition equipment in 1955

    Well take note of the miscellaneous items taken on a British expedition to Kanchenjunga in 1955.

    25,000 cigarettes, 284 boxes of matches, 120 batteries, 100 candles, 100 bulbs, 100 tool kits, 30 torches, 16lbs of tobacco, 6 hurricane lamps, 3 spring balances, 2 altimeters, 2 pair of binoculars, 1 hairdressing set!

    Source: Mick Conefrey, ‘A teacup in a storm, an explorer’s guide to life’.

    SA Resale values – How it really works

    This has a lot of excellent information including a Buyers Checklist.

    By Robby Roberts- posted 4/06

    So - You want to get rid of a couple of hundred thousand Rand on a good 4x4
    and you don't know where to begin. You've heard a Toyota Landcruiser is
    heavy on fuel, but the best off-road vehicle there is. You want one anyway.
    Where do you start?

    Let's start by talking about resale values.

    Some vehicles, like Mercedes & Toyota for example, have excellent resale
    values. But yet other vehicles in the same category of those makes do not
    hold their value as well. Why?

    It is a mixture of product quality, public perception and my all time
    favourite (which few people understand fully) SUPPLY AND DEMAND. I will talk
    extensively on this as we work through this article. Remember S&D - It is
    the primary driving force in every free market economy. It will ultimately
    override any 'guide' or government intervention, price fixing, etc.

    Nobody understands the public's frustrations and mistrust of dealers more
    than I do. I have been in this industry my whole life and am intimate with
    it. The complexities of establishing vehicle market value overcomes the
    average consumer, banker and insurance agent. Thus was born the idea of a
    book to guide the non-professionals through the morass of valuating

    We have all heard about "book value" - What exactly is it? Who decides on
    the values? Why do some dealers offer below book for vehicles and other
    above book?
    Who determines that a Toyota should have high resale value?

    You do. An item is worth what someone is willing to pay. What resale values
    reflect, is the demand for a particular vehicle. This is why "minimum wage"
    is such a contentious issue - where the state intervenes with the natural
    laws of supply and demand. Ask yourself which is better for a nation: To
    have 90% people employed at R500 pm or 35% employed at R 3000 pm? I won't
    bother answering that one!

    The book in question is called the "Mead & McGrouther Auto Dealers Guide" -
    hereinafter referred to as the AAD or just the 'book'. Let's start by
    erasing some well established paradigms:

    Firstly: The Mead and McGrouther Digests are published monthly. The values
    (as a rule) fall monthly. In certain rare instances they remain static and
    sometimes even increase. The latter happens when the economy is going
    through an inflationary cycle. (i.e.New car prices rising too fast.)

    Secondly: It is true, to a point, that the values are determined by the
    public (supply and demand). However, many hundreds of dealers all over SA
    (including myself) send in monthly sales returns of vehicles, which are
    averaged by M&M, and then a formula is applied to those national figures in
    order to produce a viable set of book values.

    Thirdly: It is a fair and reasonable method to arrive at a market value, but
    it must be borne in mind that the M&M values are only a GUIDE - and nothing

    For example: For a very unpopular vehicle (eg. Korando) I would offer about
    50% less than the Trade (lower) book value, as I know that in order to
    resell this vehicle, my selling price must be highly competitive. At the
    other end of the scale, the resale values of the Toyota Landcruiser are
    incorrect as well. I have paid up to 30% more than the book Retail (higher)
    value for a low mileage Landcruiser. The older the vehicle gets, the more it
    comes into demand (price range) up to the point of about 8 to 10 years old,
    when most cars are fairly tired anyway, at which point values fall off
    dramatically. The ability to finance a vehicle greatly enhances it's value.
    Therefore vehicles older than 8 years lose value rapidly. In the same breath
    let me add, that there are a handful of vehicles that completely defy these
    laws and rules. One of them is the Toyota Landcruiser. Others include
    Porsche and some Mercedes models. The dangerous segment of the market is one
    to two year old vehicles. If the new car franchise decides to run a 'special
    offer' on the product you have purchased, it could ruin the resale value of
    your one year 'baby' as it would make the two prices too close to each
    other. There has to be a considerable gap between the lowest, discounted new
    price and the book retail value of a one year old vehicle to entice a buyer
    into buying used and not new.

    There is a general misunderstanding of what the columns of figures in the
    book mean:

    The Trade/Retail values in the 'book' are meant to indicate the following:

    TRADE: This is the approximate price the book suggests a dealer should pay
    for a vehicle as a trade-in, subject to the vehicle having average mileage
    (these averages can be found on the last page of the book) and then any
    amounts for reconditioning to get the vehicle into showroom condition must
    still be deducted. Plus allowances must be made for local/regional
    fluctuations in popularity and supply/demand variations.

    RETAIL: This is the suggested price a dealer should sell a vehicle for,
    subject to mileage and condition, supply and demand, local fluctuations etc.

    There are a further two columns on each page: H,L, No.
    These figures indicate the following:
    H = The highest price achieved nationally on this specific product
    L = The lowest price achieved nationally on this specific product
    No: The number of units sold nationally of this specific product.

    This helps to establish desirability and trends.

    The column on the extreme left of the page is the original new price for
    that product in that year. This helps to determine how fast/slowly resale
    values have taken place.

    Wakey, wakey --- Are you still with me?

    Then we get to the infamous time lag:

    The supply/demand law takes about 6 months to become effective in the Auto
    Dealer Digest (M&M). That is the realistic time lag. As dealers, we have to
    think ahead of the current market and attempt to forecast buyer patterns a
    half year ahead. It's an inaccurate science, but exactly like playing the
    stock market. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we don't. There are no
    absolutes, no guarantees.

    Finance companies and insurance companies tend to use the digest as a
    "bible" rather than a guide. When we try to obtain finance for a client on a
    Landcruiser for example,(which is always over book), the banks are not in
    touch with the reality of the market place and consequently often decline
    such applications. To correct the equity factor, the buyer has to put down
    an appropriately larger deposit.

    The M&M Auto Dealer Digest is confidential to the subscriber. It is meant to
    be a tool used in the motor trade. It can (and often is) used foolishly by
    well meaning, but ignorant people in an attempt to value their, or other's,
    vehicles. It is a very expensive publication costing approximately R92 per
    month! Like working with a complicated piece of machinery, one needs
    training, experience and expertise before handling these books. Treat with
    caution and even better - leave it to the pro's.

    A dealer will obviously try to utilize/manipulate book values to get stock
    at a better price to increase his margins. He is, after all, in business to
    make a profit. There are many variables in determining desirability of a
    particular vehicle. Demand for a vehicle can also change rapidly. For
    example, the Hyundai range of cars' resale value collapsed when that company
    went under in 1990 or thereabouts. It recovered to some extent, but never to
    the levels prior to the event. When there is a big fuel price hike, most
    cars that are considered gas guzzlers will see their resale values taking a
    dive. BUT the prime driving force is always supply and demand.

    I know what the next question will be. "What is MY 4x4 worth?" That I cannot
    answer as demand/supply can vary from city to city and region to region;
    condition and mileage. Just don't be so naive as to believe that your 4x4 is
    worth book. It might be worth a lot less or a lot more. Most South African
    vehicle owners are actually well read and clued up and not easily duped into
    selling their vehicles for less than what they are worth. I check the
    private ads on a daily basis and most private sellers ask dealer retail
    prices and frequently, even higher. When the phone doesn't ring, the
    advertiser realises that his asking price is too high. There are only two
    reasons a vehicle doesn't sell. One is PRICE - the other is CONDITION. So,
    if you are selling your "baby" and you know it is immaculate in every way,
    and no-one answers your advert, you are asking too much (on that given day).
    Try again tomorrow. Next week. But if, after three weeks, it is still
    unsold, and you are still convinced that CONDITION is not an issue, it is
    time to drop the price. The buyers out there are sharp and wily. They are
    watching and waiting for a good buy. Perhaps it is also worth mentioning
    that someone who has a quarter of a million bucks in his back pocket is
    nobody's fool. He will have done his homework; know what to look for; be
    familiar with the product and looking for the best possible deal. The maxim:
    "There is a fool born every minute" does not apply to buyers in this price

    If you really want to know what the trade value of your vehicle is worth in
    your area, take it to four or five different dealers for valuation. Average
    it out and that's the value. You will find that the values will be in a
    fairly tight band. Those dealers will all know what they are doing. If you
    have a Landrover Freelander, for example, expect that value to be far below
    book value.

    If you think the dealer will make an unfair markup on your car, advertise it
    yourself in the open market.

    To illustrate this definition, we could say that a vehicle might sell for
    more towards the end of the month, when people have been paid, than after
    the first week of the month. Likewise, it would probably fetch more in
    December than in June. It would fetch more 3 weeks before school holidays. A
    cabriolet is worth 30% more in summer than in winter. Capiche?

    The dealer is under no obligation to offer you book for your vehicle. It is
    merely a guide. Tip: Shop around. There are about 6000 used car dealers in
    SA to choose from and triple that number of private sellers on a daily
    basis. Stay informed. Watch the papers. Check these forums. Don't rush into

    One word of consolation: It is quite allright to buy a 4x4 far behind the
    book value, but don't expect to get book or over book for it when you want
    to resell your "bargain" - If you buy behind book, you sell behind book as
    well. The converse applies as well. Common sense and logic shall prevail.

    Someone asked me how the book values are reached. All sorts of external
    factors come to play. Let's say, for example, VW are experiencing low sales
    in the Audi range. What they do is sell a whole stack of them at lower than
    dealer billing to their new car franchise dealers, who license them as
    demo's, and immediately resell them at used car values. However, there are
    no values for cars of the current year model in the book, so how do they
    establish what to sell them for? Three guesses: Supply and demand! You got
    it! It's a fine line.

    Those statistics, when done on a national basis, are often inflated to
    maintain a high resale value of a specific product. How would the guys at
    Mead and McGrouther ever know this? The bottom line is, no matter what
    wonderful formula's and dealer returns (and believe me nearly all the new
    car dealers inflate their sales returns) are sent in to the publishers of
    the 'books', those figures remain only a guide to the uninformed. The
    manufacturers are fiercely competitive in their desire to maintain high
    resale value of their products. They would all love to have Mercedes' long
    standing reputation for high resale value, so they inflate their sales
    figures in an effort to close the gap. It doesn't really work though, as the
    public are the people who buy the products - and what they decide, is the
    final authority on the matter.

    Used car dealers know exactly what is happening in the market. They have to,
    otherwise they will be out of business very quickly. Most used car dealers
    are so intimate with car prices, that they seldom even bother referring to
    the book.

    I cringe when I see a potential client arriving at my business driving
    something like a Kia (which unfortunately does not hold it's value) and
    clutching a dog-eared copy of the 'book' that someone turfed out the year
    before, and yes, he expects 'book value' Well, that deal is dead in the
    water. We have to be very diplomatic, as one can imagine. Even that Kia
    owner, thinks his car is worth 'book'.

    My advice to all of you looking for maximum resale value from your vehicles.
    Be sensible and realistic. In general the resale values of most 4x4's
    dropped when the beach ban was made law. Some models resisted that and
    continued to steadily sustain very high demand (Landcruiser, Gelandewagen).

    At the risk of making a thousand enemies, I am going to attempt to list all
    the 4WD's here with what % I think they are worth above and below book
    RETAIL value. This is based on Cape Town market prices at today's date AND
    assuming average mileage and showroom condition. Any vehicle with below
    average mileage is worth more than average price. The converse applies as
    well. BUT ..There are always exceptions to the rule.

    BMW X5 -20%
    COLT -5%
    FORD RANGER -15%
    HONDA CRV +5%
    PAJERO -5%
    TOYOTA RAV +10%
    VW SYNCHRO -30%
    VW TOUAREG -20%

    In general petrol models will hold better resale value than diesel models,
    with one or two exceptions - Isuzu is one of them.
    Older models (3 to 7 years) are more desirable than newer models (1-2 years)

    In the sub categories (model variants) one has to be careful as well, as in
    the case of the Prado's (as an example) the petrol engined Prado carries a
    better resale value than the diesel. Same rule for the Landcruiser range.

    I have not listed some of the 4WD SW's like Volvo and Subaru as they are not
    really off road vehicles. For those of you with plusses on the left of your
    percentages, you probably paid more than book value for your cars and those
    of you with minuses, I hope you paid less than book value.

    This is the current trend. Fuel prices, legislation, and new car trends all
    play a role in the popularity of individual marques. They can all be
    different in a month or a year from now, or maybe even stay the same. Use
    your common-sense. Ask around before taking the plunge and learn from
    others. There is so much free information and advice on the internet. It is
    not necessary to make mistakes with your purchase.

    I find it odd that anyone can be offended by the law of supply and demand.
    (I made this comment after a forum reader expressed dismay that this is the
    rule by which values are determined and that the public are being
    "ripped-off") It is certainly not the dealers, nor the manufacturers who
    decide these things. It is YOU!

    The raw basics of how supply/demand works:

    I am keeping this simple, so that everyone can keep their feet on the ground
    and fully understand the concept.....

    It started thousands and thousands of years when one guy had too many sheep
    and wanted some vegetables. The other guy had too many veggies and wanted
    some meat. So there it was: Supply and demand! Between them they figured out
    how many pumpkins and beans (A) had to pay to (B) for one of his sheep.

    Supply and demand is the cornerstone of a free market economy. The laws are
    amazingly simple. As soon as a product/service is in over-supply, the price
    comes down. Why do you think M/Benz keep their new cars in short supply? It
    is done specifically to create high demand. The current waiting list for a
    new C Class is longer than 8 months. Clever? Nope, just good basic economic
    practice. And they have been doing it for 50 years!

    Then take the Zim Dollar which is in over-supply...........I rest my case.

    Hopefully all the forum readers understand what makes our market tick and
    that the M&M Guide is merely a tool and not the law. Have a look at the Auto
    Trader and see how many Landcruisers are for sale vs. the other 4x4's. Once
    again: Short supply = high demand.

    Most private sellers (a common practise in SA for the last 40 years) put
    their cars on the market at roughly halfway between Trade and Retail book
    values. The logic behind this is that the private seller is unable to offer
    facilities the dealer can, such as finance, after-sales service, warranties,
    AA tests etc.

    A trend I have noticed over the last 3 years when we were in a sellers
    market, was that private sellers have been asking much higher than Retail
    for their cars, and often getting those prices on the more popular models.
    Over the last 6 months with the boom in new car sales, it has now become a
    buyers market and there has been a significant drop in used car demand. The
    result is (*of course) that prices have started falling. The law of supply
    and demand will dictate that used car prices are too close to new car prices
    at present and the gap has to increase in our free market economy. There
    will no doubt, be many casualties along the way, including amongst our forum
    readers. It's what I euphemistically call: School Fees.
    Whilst on the subject of resale values, let me give everyone on this forum
    this bit of useful/useless information:

    All those thousands and thousands of Rands you spend on all those 'must
    have' extras are basically going to add nothing to your vehicles' resale
    value. A stock standard Landcruiser will hold the same (or maybe even more)
    resale value than one with an OME suspension, JTM bumpers, Packing system;
    fridge, etc. People are peculiar in that they prefer to modify their
    vehicles themselves. It's what I call the "virgin factor"

    So, when it comes to the time to resell and upgrade, rather take all your
    extra's off and transfer them to your next vehicle (if they will fit) - it
    will save you a fortune

    A forum reader complained that the sales people at the dealerships always
    work the book figures in their own favour. This was my response:

    Luckily the good man above blessed most of us with a brain to distinguish
    between being sold a pup or getting a good deal with back-up service.
    Remember, it's the salesman's job to sell. That's how he feeds his family.
    The more money/profit he can add to the vehicle, the better his pay cheque
    will be. We can't blame him for that.

    What we, as consumers, can do, is keep ourselves informed - And we do that
    by means of forums like this one. Now isn't that wonderful?

    Next time you talk to that sales chappie, you can tell him: "The extra's
    have no value. Go check the Landcruiser Forum"

    This was a response to a forum reader's complaint about being ripped-off

    [RR]: "A lot of people get caught by unscrupulous sellers - some are dealers
    and some are private sellers. It's a minefield out there. Like I said
    earlier, ask around and word of mouth recommendations are usually the right
    ones. Check the service books carefully, ask for an AA report, get an expert
    to check the vehicle before you buy. If one is going to fork out a quarter
    of a million bucks, one may as well be thorough."

    "A fool and his money are soon parted"

    And this forum reader was unhappy that a dealer had made a large profit on
    his trade-in:

    My response:
    [RR]: "Making a profit is not a sin. No business can survive without making
    a profit. Before we all start using words like "rip-off" etc. let's be
    realistic about it all.

    If you buy any brand new vehicle, the moment you register that car on your
    name, you lose a good portion of money. Probably in the region of R 20,000
    to R 30,000 on a price range vehicle of around R 200,000. Dont fancy losing
    that money? Then you buy a used vehicle, or a demo. A much smarter idea, but
    you don't have the benefit of having driven away in a brand new car with
    that nice new car smell.

    Very few vehicles are an investment, but they do exist. For most of us, we
    lose money on our vehicles. Of course, we forget completely that the vehicle
    has carted us around faithfully for a few years and we have driven it hard,
    on and off road, and then we still expect to get our money back. It's not
    going to happen.

    The bigger the dealer, the bigger his markup must be to carry and pay for
    all those massive overheads. Sometimes it's worthwhile looking at the
    smaller dealerships as well. Many a good deal is to be found. Word of mouth
    (recommendation) is a good way to find out who the ethical businesses are
    out there."

    "The bigger the dealer, the lesser of a good deal you will get. And
    certainly less personalized."

    This was written by a forum reader and represents very sound thinking:
    "I prefer to go to a smaller dealership, firstly, you will get more for your
    trade-in and the vehicles on his floor will also be in a better condition.
    Secondly, the aftersales service is so much better as he has a good name to
    protect. I will also only make use of dealerships who have been in the
    market for a number of years."

    Another forum reader wrote of his bad experience where the sales person did
    not even bother to have a look at his car. He just asked some questions and
    referred to the 'book'.

    This was my response:....
    "I meant to comment on your dealer experience described above. You were at
    the wrong dealer. Not a professional, but a rookie who doesn't have a clue
    how to value a car. Start worrying when the valuator walks out with the
    little book in his hand. He is guessing! You will usually find this with a
    younger employee in a large corporation.

    Every industry has it's baddies. I am ashamed when I hear sales people
    behaving like this. All I can say is, you can do better (a whole lot better)
    elsewhere. It reminds me of an old Jewish boss of mine many years back, who
    used to have a plaque on his office wall which read:

    "As the rooster said to the hen, when he showed her an ostrich egg......I am
    not being disparaging, nor critical. I am merely bringing to your attention
    what can and is currently being done elsewhere!"

    Business goes and stays where it's made to feel welcome.
    When making an offer you can always come up, but you can never go down.

    Remember these pearls of wisdom. They don't come cheap.

    Be careful of paradigms and making generalisations. The law of supply and
    demand will always rule supreme.

    How to buy a used vehicle....and avoid some pitfalls.

    In the first section, we looked at how resale values are established and the
    principle of supply and demand. Armed with this knowledge, we can now look
    at the actual examination of a vehicle before we take the plunge and write
    out the big cheque.

    Let's start with odometers. How on earth do we know if the reading is
    accurate? Why do some people turn the mileages back (what is commonly known
    as a "haircut" or being sent to "the fountain of youth" )

    I have been in this business for 35 years and there are many honourable
    dealers who would never even think of turning back an odo, and then there
    are those who have no conscience or qualms about doing it. It usually
    doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out who the bad guys are.

    If there aren't service books AND a contactable previous owner, just walk
    away and take your business elsewhere. In all the years I have been in this
    business, I have rarely heard a genuine case of the books being missing. 99%
    of the stories (mainly from the public !!!!) are pure horse dwang. I can
    look at a steering wheel, upholstery and foot pedals and tell you within
    10,000kms accuracy what the actual mileage of any vehicle is.

    Here is a list of the usual reasons people give me for not having service

    1. They broke into my car and stole my service books (Yeah, right!)

    2. I packed them away in a box when I moved house and can't find them now,
    but I'm sure they are there somewhere. (Who would pack service books in a

    3. The dealer who serviced my car last, did not put the books back. (Highly

    4. They were there last week. I can't believe this! (Yeah, right again!)

    5. The books are in Jhb. They are being posted down to me next week (which
    never comes)

    Ja, ja......and so on.

    In the very rare event that one of these stories might just be true, at
    least one should be able to contact the previous owner and confirm some
    level of truth.

    The reality is, that there are enough used cars in SA to NOT have to buy one
    without service books.

    Even digital odometers are being turned back. I saw a large ad in the Cape
    Ads last week where someone is advertising that he "repairs" and "corrects"
    digital odometers.

    Be careful guys and girls. Have a standard and stick to it. No books - no
    buy. It's not that difficult.

    A forum reader sent in this comment whilst he was verifying the mileage on a
    "Interesting situation which I picked up was that one should also check the
    elapsed date intervals between services. I was interested in a low km LC
    where the 10000 km services were done more or less 6 to 8 months apart,
    exept for the last service which was done 14 months after the previous
    service. In this last period, the same owner all of a sudden only averaged
    700 kms per month, while in the preceeding 6 years he averaged 1600 kms per

    My suspicion was that the speedometer was disconnected during those last
    months. Maybe, maybe not, but I felt uncomfortable, especially after the
    owner became upset when I asked him about it."

    This story is all too common. The new owner analyzed the mileage and time
    intervals correctly. Eventually, logic must tell you that something is amiss
    (or allright). Only problem is, he did this AFTER the sale - Long after the
    horse has bolted. When buying from a private seller the consumer has little
    or no recourse in a case like this. The buyer would have to prove in a court
    of law that the seller had disconnected the odometer with the specific
    intent to defraud. It is an almost impossible task.

    A tell tale sign to look for is the the little service sticker that garages
    paste on the inside of the drivers door support column. The one that tells
    you when your next service is due. Many people forget to remove that and it
    is common for me to catch a potential fraudster out like that. (Just compare
    mileages and dates on the sticker). The clever guys will pull this sticker
    off - and when I see that, I immediately know the odo reading has been
    doctored. So if you have a scenario of 'books missing + service sticker
    removed' you can take poison on it - it's had a haircut!

    Another test is the steering wheel wear. This takes a little more skill and
    experience. The different manufacturers use different materials for their
    steering wheels. Opel, for example, use a recycled material, as does Ford
    and Mazda, which wears out much faster than Toyota or Mercedes. Let's take
    Toyota as an example: If a Toyota's steering wheel is shiny and smooth from
    wear, the car will have done anything from 180,000kms upwards. It's a
    learning process to know and understand the different wear characteristics
    of every car's steering wheel, but it's still the best way for me to quickly
    confirm what the odometer shows. It's what I euphemistically call a QBE
    degree - Qualified By Experience

    It's a process. Finally, if I am satisfied that the car I am buying is a
    genuine one, I do an HPi check, BEFORE writing out the cheque. The HPi check
    is a national vehicle database run by the AA. It will tell you whether there
    are any outstanding ISA's (Instalment sale Agreement) on the car; whether
    the car has ever had a major insurance claim; been written off; been
    scrapped; or been stolen; or stolen and recovered. The cost of this check is
    about R 100 and available from the AA.

    Regardless of how certain I am of a good buy, I still do this check. It
    gives me peace of mind and helps me to sleep well at night.

    Here is my buying check list:

    Starting with a telephonic inquiry:

    1. What is the year model, mileage, colour, extra's etc.?
    2. Are you the original owner? If not, how many owners has it had?
    3. From whom did you buy the vehicle?
    4. How long have you owned it?
    5. Have you had any mechanical problems?
    6. Do you have service records?
    7. Has it been in any accidents? Major or minor?
    8. Where has the vehicle been domiciled? (Areas like Saldanha, Sea Point etc
    would indicate rust probabilities; areas in the platteland would indicate
    dust ingress)
    9. Do you have a settlement?

    The answers to these questions are important and you should pay careful
    attention and listen out for evasiveness or hesitation. The area code of the
    sellers telephone number will give a clue as to which area he is from. There
    are certain prefixes in the Cape that I avoid like the plague and in the
    interests of a long and healthy life, I will not mention them here!!

    If the vehicle is not currently registered in the owners name, be
    ultra-careful. Or if the present owner has only owned it for a short period
    (anything less than six months) you should be very cautious. A short period
    of ownership will normally indicate spec buying/profit taking. These are all
    signs of a possible accident-damaged/insurance company sell-off spec sale.

    Once you are satisfied with the above questions and have now proceeded to
    the next phase which is viewing the vehicle:

    1 Never look at a vehicle when it is wet or in bad light (in a parking
    garage or after dark - especially if it is a metallic colour)

    2. Get the vehicle into good light and look at all the panels from an obtuse
    angle (not from 90 degrees). This will show up any file marks or orange peel
    effect under the paint. A small magnet is useful to locate body putty
    (magnet won't stick). Best light is neon for finding signs of prior body
    repairs. There will be very few cars 5 years or older 100% original. Be
    reasonable about "PicknPay rash" - small scrapes and scratches that have
    been repaired.

    Check all the headlights/tail lights and glass incl windscreen for cracks
    and chips. Feel carpeting for signs of water leaks. Vehicles older than 8
    years often have leaking radiator heaters. This requires the removal of the
    dashboard to repair in most cases and is expensive.

    3. Open the boot and the bonnet. In the engine bay look for signs of body
    repair. Compare the left side to the right side for originality. If you see
    any signs of repair work around the shock mountings etc. - leave the
    purchase immediately. Also check for original stickers and aluminium makers
    plates. Look for damage to the radiator core or check to see if the radiator
    has been replaced recently (sure sign of a front end prang).
    Check the firewall for signs of rust and/or damage.
    Check the engine for cleanliness and oil leaks. On older vehicles it is a
    good idea to open the air cleaner and check the air cleaner for signs of oil
    Check the oil level on the dipstick as well as the colour of the oil. Black
    and thick oil will indicate a long time since it's previous service. A mily
    white colour will indicate a blown head cylinder gasket (water in the sump

    In the boot, lift the carpets/mats and check for signs of repair/fresh
    paintwork/water leaks and the condition of the spare and presence of
    standard tools and jack. The condition of the boot will often be a tell tale
    sign of the rest of the vehicle. Careful owners, have neat boots.

    4. Get on your knees and look under the vehicle. You dont need to be an
    expert. You are looking for signs of damage/welding/accident repairs.
    Panelbeaters will always neglect a section which is out of the line of
    sight. At the same time, look for oil leaks from the engine, gearbox and
    diff(s). If there is thick black fresh underbody spray on the chassis area,
    be very, very careful as it is often used to disguise accident damage.

    5. Test drive: Never buy without driving it. One can normally feel the
    general drive of a vehicle in a few blocks, but go for a decent drive over a
    variety of terrains. Test all the gears as well as reverse. With automatic
    boxes test the kickdown as well as the overdrive. With 4x4's if you cannot
    get onto gravel, engage Low Range or/or HR and drive it in both ratios in a
    straight line on a tar road. It wont do any harm.

    When the engine is cold, check the oil pressure and again when hot. Look at
    the colour of the oil on the dipstick - it will tell a whole story. Listen
    for engine knocks, tappet noise etc. Rev the engine (petrol) to 4000rpm and
    hold it there for 15 seconds, then give it a sharp rev and check the exhaust
    for signs of smoke. Foir diesel engines, take it to an engineer for a proper
    compression test. If you make a mistake with a diesel engine, it can cost
    you a very large sum of money to rectify.

    Now, tell the seller you will get back to him in 24 hours and if necessary,
    ask him for an option. If he refuses, it usually means he has another buyer
    lined up. Go home and think about it overnight. DO NOT MAKE A QUICK

    At this point, if you are feeling uneasy about some specific point regarding
    the sale - a sixth sense - this is the time to listen to your instincts. Try
    to distinguish between nervousness about spending a lot of money and an
    innate uneasiness.

    The next day, if you are satisfied, make your offer and make it subject to
    an AA report. A genuine seller should have no problem with that. If the
    owner baulks at the suggestion, be concerned! Also be willing to pay for the
    AA test yourself, whether you buy or not.

    BEFORE buying, ask to see the registration certificate. First thing you
    check is the year of first registration. I can't tell you how many people
    falsely believe (wittingly or unwittingly) that their vehicles are newer
    than they actually are. It is imperative that the year of 1st reg. matches
    that which the owner has advertised it as. (Funny thing is it never works
    the other way round - where you score a year!)
    BTW - This qualifies under the definition of fraud.

    Next thing to check is the Code a few lines lower on the Reg. cert.
    It will read one of the following: NEW/USED/REBUILT


    Private sellers sometimes get away with selling a Code3 (rebuilt) vehicle to
    an unsuspecting client. Dealers may not sell a Code 3 unless it is for cash
    and then they have to declare it up front. A Code 3 vehicle may not be
    financed. Insurers also sometimes refuse to insure a Code 3. Watch out for
    adverts where a shrewd seller uses subtle phrases like "coded vehicle" which
    makes it sound like it is colour coded. There are certain segments/elements
    of our population usually limited to specific residential areas and easily
    identifiable names who are fond of this illegal practice.

    The final check on the reg.cert. is the Owner/Title Holder status. If the
    vehicle is fully paid and unfinanced, the name of the owner must be the same
    as the Title Holder. Occassionaly a finance company's name will appear as
    Title Holder even though the vehicle is fully paid. In such a case, there
    must be a letter from the Fin.Co, confirming full settlement. (This MUST be
    an ORIGINAL letter). Do not accept the documents like this. Insist that the
    owner registers the vehicle in his name as owner and Title Holder. Otherwise
    you will be sitting with a registration nightmare and hours in long queues.

    In the event that there is still an outstanding balance on the vehicle to a - insist that it should be settled first, before you pay for the
    vehicle. In most cases the owner does not have the cash flow to do that. In
    the latter case, you should settle the yourself (never pay the owner
    in full so that he can settle the bank - this is when the sh*t hits the fan
    every single time) and only after you have collected the original reg. cert.
    from the, should you pay any balance to the owner.

    Ignore these rules at your own peril.



    Makuti Zimbabwe


    You cannot import any second hand vehicle into SA, but that does not stop you from driving foreign vehicles. Below is a copy of an e-mail from the SAPS Media relations:

    Dear xxxx,

    1. Second-hand vehicles cannot be imported to South Africa anymore, irrespective of the country. Only certain specified vehicles, eg. fire brigades and ambulances are the exceptions.

    2. Your best alternative is to retain the registration in Botswana and renew your licence every year. This way you can still use the vehicle in South Africa. Otherwise you will have to sell them in Botswana

    Kind Regards.

    Supt Ronnie Naidoo
    National Spokesman: Media Relations

    Communication and Liaison Services



    Tel: [012] 393 5506
    Fax: [012] 393 5525/27

    Cell: 082 778 4311


    Buying an Off Road Trailer

    South Africa


    Alugllide Aluminium Trailers

    AluPredator   George

    Alu-star Aluminium Trailers PAARDEN EILAND

    Bantam Trailers  Cape Town


    Big Boys Safari Equipment   Midrand

    B'rakhah    Polokwane

    BSA Trailer


    BurnCo  Bellville, Western Cape

    Bushman Offroad Trailers  Plaston, Mpumalanga

    Bush Nest           Pretoria

    Bushwakka   Worcester

    Buzzard  Durban North

    Campmaster     Naboomspruit

    Camptech  Mooi River, CpTn, Kyalami

    Challenger Trailers

    Chase Naboomspruit


    Conqueror Trailers


    Cross Country Caravans

    Desert Wolf   Pretoria



    Echo 4x4  Centurion

      Richard's Bay

    Fintastic    Edenglen

    Gecho  Westonaria

    Getaway Off-road Trailers  East London


    Griffon Trailers  Zandberg Engineering Blackheath

    Hippo Trailers   Bloemfontein, Free State


    Imagine Trailvan


    Infanta Trailers  Buffeljagsrivier


    Jaguar 4x4 Trailers  Bellville, Cape Town



    Mechter Quads & Trailers  Pretoria

    Mission Outdoor Trailors  Bloubergrant  

    Ngonyama Camper Rentals Waterkloof Ridge, Pretoria 

    Novelle Engineering   Die Wilgers


    Predator Trailers  082-856-0249

    Ramkat Trailers


    Rhino Trailers   Rhino Canopies, Springs


    Rigid Trailers Morne le Roux

    Safari Centre   Menlyn Pretoria, Bryanston Joburg, Goodwood Cape Town, Umhlanga, Vereeniging, Upington. Ermelo, Boksburg, Windhoek

    Torsion Trailers   Meyerton


    Trailer Specialist 


    Travel Light Trailers     Roodeporte


    Valley Trailers


    Vtec Trailer   (alt) (alt

    Wild Dog Trailers


    Schuhmacher    Nairobi


    TRANSPORTING YOUR 4X4 BY TRAIN BETWEEN CapeTown, Johannesburg and Durban




    Map of Johannesburg O. R. Tambo Airport parking