A trip like this involves a lot of paperwork and ensuring you have the right documentation is always a battle. We’ll do our best to keep this updated, as paperwork requirements seem to constantly change and so we will share our learnings as we go – hopefully it will make things easier for the next overlander!
Blogs we used
Carnet De Passage
The most important document of the trip – the car passport – which will allow us to take the car in and out of each country. We applied for ours through NRMA in Sydney and paid for basic membership. The cost is based on the value of your car – so here is where it’s beneficial to have an older/cheaper car! Once paid for, It took about 3 weeks to come through. We are still learning as we go, as to exactly who needs to stamp and sign the carnet at which point – but we know now, that the Carnet must be stamped both IN and OUT of every country you travel through – including the country you are leaving! We didn’t realise this had to be done before it left Australia, so had a mad panic when we realised the car had left without the stamp. Fortunately we managed to get this stamped retrospectively.
We used CargoOnline and shipped out of Fremantle to Durban. At the time, the process seemed easy, but we’re now discovering a number of things that the shipping company failed to make us aware of. As the ‘car shipping experts’ we feel very let down by their service as there was little advice or expertise onhand to help guide us through the process 1) The Carnet wasn’t requested until after the car had shipped??? 2) We were not told that the original bill of landing is needed to release your car in the receiving port. This is the receipt/proof that your car has been shipped. Ensure you either request this original document from your agent at the port of origin, or ask that your copy is stamped with ‘express release’ or you can also request a waybill. Fortunately our agent in Durban has worked wonders to get special ‘Express Release’ from the shipping company.
Our advice here, would be which ever company you use, ensure you arrange a face to face meeting to chat through the process and paperwork needed. CargoOnline deemed this not necessary, but in hindsight it probably would have avoided the couple of mis-haps we faced.
The car took 4 weeks to cross from Fremantle to Durban – our shipping agent here, has been amazing.
Lochhead, White & Wormersley NPTY LTD
1st Floor 30 Bay Terrace
Tel# +27 31 337 9271
Fax# +27 31 332 6610
Costs –we have allowed $6,000. This includes the shipping costs from Australia, Total loss insurance policy and the receiving port costs in Durban
Car – simply put, our car is too old to fully insure and so we will be using the Comesa Yellow Card insurance as we cross through Africa.
In South Africa and Namibia, the 3rd party insurance is included in the fuel price, so we will buy this on the border as we cross into Zambia.
Yellow Card Comesa Insurance – we bought ours in Livingstone, Zambia once we’d crossed the border. The Comesa insurance has to be valid for the same amount of time as the Zambian insurance, so we have bought 6months. It cost 240KZW (45USD) and 321KZW (60USD) Zambian insurance.
Personal – most insurance policies only cover you if you begin and end your trip in the same place. As we are British, starting our journey in Australia and ending in the UK, there was really only one company who would cover this – World Nomads. They look to be highly regarded amongst the traveller community, so we’re happy with our choice. It cost around $900 for the both of us for 6months.
As far as I know the Comesa yellow card is only valid for vehicles registered in the participating countries. Otherwise you must buy third party insurance at each border (except for RSA, Bots and Nam).