Can I import and sell used cars?

Can I import and sell used cars?


I was wondering if it’s possible to start a business in South Africa importing used vehicles from the UK?

South Africans are not permitted to import second hand cars for commercial resale purposes in the Prohibited and Restricted Goods Index.

Only SA citizens who have lived abroad and owned a car(s) while outside the country may import it/them on their return to South Africa. They are then required by law to keep the vehicle(s) for a period of time before they may sell it/them.

South African companies that are currently involved in the import of second hand cars are selling them directly into other African countries which do not have local industry protection regulations such as we have. The cars are delivered directly to the destination country from their source, i.e. they do not enter South Africa at all.

A list of prohibited/restricted goods can be accessed on the website of the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC), a division of the Department of Trade & Industry.


Rose Blatch
Rose Blatch is the Executive Director of the International Trade Institute of Southern Africa (ITRISA) based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is also the immediate past president of the International Association of Trade Training Organisations (IATTO). Rose led the team that developed the first global accreditation scheme for trade training/education programmes in the early 1990s and has since been directly involved in the formulation of IATTO’s new accreditation scheme. Rose has played a pivotal part in the development of trade skills amongst the business community in southern Africa, and been involved in trade strategy design and the creation of trade facilitation structures for various levels of government. She has also led the national team tasked with producing South Africa’s export qualifications, co-authored books and course material and written numerous articles on trade subjects. A seasoned speaker, Rose has addressed conferences in Europe, North America, Asia and Africa.
  • JH

    Dear Rose may I correct the point that they do not enter SA at all. They do and are sold only to foreign nationals in Durban.