Car Transportation: Costs, Tips, and What to Expect When Shipping Your Car to Africa

Whether you’re making a long-term move to Africa, shipping a car to a loved one, or having a new vehicle delivered to you, the entire process of car transportation can seem overwhelming.

Below, you will find cost estimates, helpful tips to prepare your car for shipping, and a brief rundown of what to expect.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car to Africa?

When you’re shipping your vehicle to Africa, you can choose between air or ocean freight. While air freight will get your car there much faster, it’s also far more expensive. Planning ahead and using ocean freight will save you thousands of dollars in shipping expenses.

The cost of transporting your vehicle via cargo ship will vary depending on several factors but usually ranges from about $1,500 to $3,000. 

While seasonal fluctuations in shipping demand, fuel costs, and the size of your vehicle are out of your control, there are ways you can reduce oceanic shipping costs. For instance, if you’re willing to drive your vehicle to the port and deliver it to the shipping company, you can save a significant amount of money.

Before settling on a shipping company, be sure to shop around and compare rates. If your goal is to minimize costs, schedule the delivery in the winter and drive your vehicle to the port yourself.

Tips for Preparing Your Vehicle for Shipping

Once you have selected a shipper, it’s important to know the regulations of the country where your vehicle is going. Each country on the African continent has its own set of laws regarding which vehicles are authorized to enter.

To reduce the likelihood of encountering an issue when your vehicle arrives in Africa, consider using these proven strategies:

  • Inspect your car from top to bottom
  • Thoroughly photograph the interior and exterior of the vehicle
  • Run your fuel reserves down to approximately one-quarter tank
  • Check for any leaks or other mechanical issues

It’s also a good idea to repair any functional damage to your vehicle before shipping it. For example, if your vehicle has a broken windshield, the host nation may fine you or not allow you to register the car upon arrival. 

To avoid setbacks like this, contract with a reputable repair company like American Automotive before arranging your car transportation.

What to Expect During the Process

When you book your car transport with a logistics company, it should provide you with a detailed pre-trip checklist, in addition to a projected pickup or drop-off window.

After your vehicle is loaded, it should arrive at its destination in approximately 30 to 40 days. The shipper may need additional time to unload your vehicle and navigate customs.

When your vehicle arrives, carefully inspect it for any damage and compare your observations with the pre-transport photographs. If any issues arise, promptly contact the shipper and notify them of the incident.

While the information above is just a brief overview of the car transportation process, it can help eliminate some of the headaches associated with shipping your vehicle to Africa.