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How to Transfer Ownership of a Car in South Africa? Documents

There’s a very important procedure everyone who owns a car in South Africa must take notice of: how to transfer ownership of a car. Whether you own a car or are about to buy one, you will have to know about this procedure eventually as, changing ownership of a vehicle is done when buying or selling it. As we are aware of the fact that this transaction happens often enough in South Africa, we didn’t want to leave you without this useful information. Next, you’ll read about the requirements, costs and how to make the changing of ownership in a useful way.

What do I need to change ownership of a car in South Africa?

Before even thinking about starting changing ownership of a car, it is of paramount importance you know what you need to do it. The first requirement is, of course, not only having the vehicle but also, having all its documents and papers certifying who is the present owner. In this matter, please make sure those documents are valid and perfectly legible so as to avoid delays on the process. After that, the requirements vary according to few aspects:

  • If you’re selling or buying the car.

  • If you’re a South African citizen or a foreigner.

  • If you also need to change address.

For example, if you’re about to buy the car, you will be asked to present the RLV form and, a roadworthy certificate to the registering authority. Keep in mind two points: you’ll have 21 days to do this errand from the moment you buy the car and, you’re seen as the responsible party to assure the car’s roadworthy.

What documents are required for vehicle change of ownership in south Africa?

As we mentioned earlier, the documents needed to transfer ownership of a vehicle are different if you are the buyer or the seller. If you are selling your car, the documents to present are: the NCO form and the registration certificate. But, don’t get confused as the first document should be submitted to the registering authority but, the second one, to the person who is buying the car. Then, the buyer will be in charge of presenting that document.

How do I change ownership of a car in South Africa?

When a South African citizen buys a car, whether that vehicle is used or new, he or she must notify the SA authority that he or she is the new owner of that car. So, transferring the holder of a vehicle means to register the car under the new owner.

1) Of course, you should start by checking the requirements.

2) Then, make sure to gather the documents you need to present. Specially if you are the buyer as, you need to wait for the seller to hand you over their documents.

3) The moment you have everything set, you have to approach the registering authority you have closest to your house and present all the documentation.

4) Once the registering authority accepts and assesses the application, you will be charged with the corresponding fees.

Bear in mind this information in case you are planning to sell and old car to buy a new one as, you’ll have to know this procedure for both vehicles as the seller and the buyer.

Can you transfer ownership of a car online?

This errand can only be done in person. Even though today there’re plenty of procedures that are carried out online, changing the owner of a car is not one of them in South Africa. This means, you must take the time to go to the nearest registered authority and apply to make the change of title holder. This is why we highly recommend to make sure you have all the forms and documents you need in perfect conditions before starting the process. If you do so, you can avoid having to go more than once. Remember, this is an easy one-day task so, you can do your part to keep it that way. As a result, although you need to do it in person, it shouldn’t take you much time.

How much is it to change ownership of a car in South Africa?



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A common question about making this registration is how much will you be charged. In fact, citizens usually ask if they can have the change of ownership of their car for free. Unfortunately, we must tell you that you will have to pay some fees when doing this procedure. The thing is that the cost will be different depending where you live as, that’s a detail each province decides on. As a consequence, you need to contact your own municipality or city to find out how much do they charge in your area.

How long does it take to change car ownership in South Africa?

Even though you can only go through the change of ownership of your car in person, you won’t believe how fast will be complete. Assuming all the documents are right and in perfect condition, it will only take a day to start and finish transferring the title holder of a vehicle. However, I’ll emphasize on the importance of double checking the documents before going to start the process as, any little problem will surely delay it.

Can you change ownership of a financed car?

To finance a car means that the bank you choose to work with, lends you the money for you to buy the vehicle. Then, you repay that money plus some fees and interest to the bank over an agreed period of time. The problem is that the owner of that car will be the bank until you finally cancel the loan. So, you don’t have permission to sell it as, you don’t own the car. Hence, you can’t make the change of ownership because the actual owner is the bank. You must remember you won’t become the official owner if you don’t pay all the instalments. Only after cancelling every instalment will the bank transfer the ownership of the car to your name and, then, will you be allowed to sell it and, of course, make the ownership transfer. So, to answer the question, no, you can’t change ownership of a financed car.

How to transfer ownership of a financed car?

As we have detailed a moment ago, transferring ownership on a financed car is not a possibility, in fact, it’s illegal. If you have taken a loan to purchase your car and, for some reason, you want to sell it, you will have to find another solution. For instance, you might try to cancel what’s left of the loan. Once you are debt free, you will be the title holder of your new car and you will be finally able of selling it. Only after that, will you be allowed to make the change of ownership to the person buying it.  Of course, this is not as simple as it seems as on one hand, you must have the money, which can be a high amount depending on how far have you gone with the instalments. And, on the other hand, you will probably have to face penalty fees for repaying the credit earlier than stipulated in the loan agreement.

Can I change ownership of my car at the post office?

It’s important to clarify the post office is not equipped to do such task. With no exception, any South African needing to make a change of ownership of a vehicle will have to approach the traffic department as, they are the only one available to carry out the process. But, if you are worried about the time you need to dedicate to such procedure, don’t forget it only takes a day to have it completed.

Transfer Ownership of a Car in South Africa

What is it?

It’s a process that needs to be done when a person buys or sells a vehicle. By this procedure, the vehicle will be registered under the new owner.

What do you need?

You need to complete forms to request the transfer of ownership and to support who is the present owner and who will be the future one.

What to pay attention to?

You must remember you have 21 days to make the transfer.

To conclude, we can assure you that having this information beforehand will surely prepare you better to have a quick and successful experience when being the new owner of a car. Now that you can go about this topic with no problem, you can start thinking about what car insurance you’ll get for your newly bought car. Luckily for you, we are fully prepared to assist you on this matter as well. We can inform you about what’s involved on the different types of car insurance covers in South Africa and, about companies offering them like, for example, FNB. Clearly, you’ll be ready to purchase a car and have the best protection.

Leave your questions or comments

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Questions and Answers

Is it necessary to take your ID?
Of course! For any type of legal procedure, you have to certify your identity.
What exactly is the RLV form?
RLV form refers to a form you need to complete to apply for registration and licencing of a vehicle.
Why is it illegal to change ownership if my car is financed?
Simply because you’re not the owner of that car yet, the bank or lending entity will be until you finish cancelling the instalments.

Leave your rating about How to Transfer Ownership of a Car in South Africa? Documents

(4,67) / 3 Ratings

Rating: 4
Comment: Thanks for clarifying how to change ownership! I’ll do it fast now.
Rating: 5
Comment: It doesn’t seem that complicated.
Rating: 5
Comment: Now I’m ready to get my car.

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