Car Shipping To Malawi

Car shipping to Malawi, South Africa


Shipping to South Africa no longer needs to be a hassle. AFL can assist you by setting the right direction for your shipment. We specialize in shipping to all major destinations in South Africa, such as Malawi, Mozambique, and Swaziland. It doesn’t have to be a struggle if you require car shipping to Malawi, South Africa. Our experts can help you choose a suitable shipping method at a competitive rate. We can handle your documentation and customs clearance process in the US and Malawi without delay. So, you can have the best shipping experience of your life.

Car shipping to Malawi, South Africa: An introduction

Malawi, formerly known as Nyasaland, is a landlocked country in South Africa. Its economy relies predominantly on agriculture, with 80% of its export income dependent on agricultural products. 

Nearly 80% of Malawi’s population works in agriculture to sustain its economic growth. It is also a significant import partner of the US, importing tobacco, coffee, tea, spices, nuts, sugar, machinery, and vehicles. 

The capital city Lilongwe acts as an economic and transportation hub for Central Malawi. It shares borders with Mozambique and Zambia. The second-largest city in Malawi is Blantyre which serves as the commercial hub and centre of finance and commerce. 

Malawi is a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). In 2001, COMESA signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with the US. According to this agreement, both parties confirmed their desire to expand trade and promote a good investment environment. 

Popular ports for car shipping to Malawi, South Africa

Malawi is landlocked, so it uses popular ports such as Maputo, Beira, Dar Es Salaam, and Durban for trade. Specifically, the port of Durban lies closer to the cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe. So you can ship your car to Dunbar from the US, and further on, trucks or vans can carry it to Blantyre or Lilongwe by road.

Types of car shipping to Malawi, South Africa

Car Shipping To Malawi Ports

Before car shipping to Malawi, South Africa, you need to choose a shipping method. There are two shipping options that international shipping companies utilize more often. These are RoRo and Container shipping.

RoRo shipping

RoRo shipping is the most cost-effective and quickest method of shipping. It works by driving the car on the carrier and strapping it along other vehicles on the deck. 

The car is driven off the deck when the carrier reaches the destination port. But to use this option, your vehicle must be operational.

Container shipping

Container shipping is another option to import your car into Malawi. It is a bit higher in expenses but is most effective if you are shipping a luxury. The enclosed container will provide more security to your vehicle. You can also send other goods or items alongside. 

Shipping companies will offer you a 20- or a 40ft container so you can choose one that fits your requirements. However, you can ship only as many items as can fit inside the container. 

There are two more shipping options in the container method to choose from:


LCL or Less than Container Load shipping works by leasing the space inside a container instead of paying for the whole. You would share the container cost and area with other people. 

If you are on a budget, this method could work for you as it is less costly. However, you would have to wait some time to receive your shipment as the carrier will only leave the port until the container becomes full.


FCL or Full Container Load works almost the same way as LCL, except in FCL, you would have to pay for the entire container. The excellent part about FCL is that you can ship as many items alongside your car as can fit inside the container. 

Furthermore, you won’t have to share the container with anyone. But this method is quite expensive, but if you are shipping a luxury car and fragile goods, we believe the extra cost is worthwhile.

What to expect when car shipping to Malawi, South Africa?

You don’t require much to prepare for car shipping to Malawi, South Africa, as there are no specific restrictions. But the Malawian Customs rules are complex. Preparation is necessary for the safety and security of your shipment during the journey and customs clearance.

Your car must be operational if you choose RoRo as your shipping option. Also, ensure a thorough check of your vehicle from your mechanic. Assess for any dents or scratches before shipping. 

Another essential thing to do is empty the fuel tank for the safety of your car until only 1/4th of fuel is left. Furthermore, don’t place anything inside the vehicle except a spare jack or tire. If you choose container shipping, you can place items inside the car. 

Don’t forget to check for necessary documentation with your shipping company. Also, visit the Malawian Customs website for current information on vehicle import tax & duties. 

Documents needed

Like countries worldwide, Malawi also requires some documents to clear the import of vehicles. Failure to produce correct information may incur double tax or a penalty. So you should prepare the necessary paperwork before car shipping to Malawi, South Africa. 

The standard document required is as follows:

  • Identification.
  • Vehicle Ownership Certificate.
  • Registration Card.
  • Passport.
  • Original Invoice.
  • Bill of lading.
  • Employment contract.

Customs procedures in Malawi, South Africa

New to eight-year-old vehicles are liable to 25% import duty, 55% excise, and 16.5% VAT. The tax rate will increase depending upon the year of make and seating capacity.

Larger goods carrying vehicles not older than 15 years are liable to 10% duty, 5% excise, and 16.5% VAT. Also, different import tax rates are applicable on heavy vehicles based on Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) and year of make. 

Restrictions on car shipping to Malawi, South Africa

Old Vehicle Shipping

There are no import restrictions on the age of cars. However, vehicles older than eight years will incur more tax according to their age. Malawi is a right-hand drive country, but there is no prohibition on the import of left-hand drives also.

You can ship only one car per family, and your vehicle ownership should be for more than one year. If your ownership is less than six months, you would need an import license to ship it to Malawi. 

Also, the Malawian customs don’t require any inspection or certificate of Roadworthiness. But the value of your vehicle must not exceed K500 in the local currency.

Factors that can affect car shipping to Malawi, South Africa

Several factors can affect the final shipping cost while car shipping to Malawi, South Africa. Many of them are also not controllable. So it’s always wise to leave some extra bucks by the side in case you need them. These factors include: 

Shipping method

Choosing a shipping method has a significant impact on the shipping price. For instance, selecting RoRo shipping can cost you less, whereas the container method may increase the shipping rate. 

The cost is higher because a container requires labour and machinery for loading/unloading cargo. If you also add the cost of hiring the container, the final shipping price will automatically rise.

Vehicle weight and dimension

While shipping a larger vehicle such as an SUV, minivan, or truck, the shipping rate will be more than when transporting smaller cars. Carriers base the rate of shipping larger vehicles on their weight. 

While shipping cost for smaller vehicles is based on Cubic Meters. Heavy vehicles also require large containers, which is another reason for an increase in the shipping price. 

Peak season

During the peak season, there is more demand for shipment and less availability of carriers and containers. For instance, the shipping cost is generally higher between August and September and January to February. 

Why choose AFL for car shipping to Malawi, South Africa?

Car shipping to Malawi doesn’t need to be intimidating with the right shipping company by your side. With decades of experience shipping to popular destinations worldwide, including South Africa, AFL can handle your cargo without trouble. Regardless of your shipment’s weight and size, we strive to make the shipping experience as smooth as possible. 

The services we offer include:

Customs Clearance

If you hire our services, you’ll have the advantage of working closely with our expert agents. They’ll listen to your needs and guide you about the necessary paperwork for customs clearance. 

Unlike other shipping companies, we won’t leave you alone to arrange for documentation, customs clearance, and import tax payment. Moreover, our foreign agents in Malawi will clear your car at customs in no time at all. 

Door to Domestic Port

You might be unable to drop your vehicle at the US port due to your busy schedule. But worry not, as our auto haulers can pick up your car from your doorstep and drop it at the port. 

From there onwards, we’ll take care of your shipment. If you require port-to-door services in Malawi, we can also arrange them for you. We guarantee to provide you with a smooth shipping experience from transport to shipping and delivery of your cargo. 

NVOCC Services

People sometimes confuse freight forwarder services with NVOCC services. But an NVOCC company not only arranges the transport of goods from the origin to destination but also provides many more services. 

AFL is an NVOCC company that can book shipment, arrange for origin to destination transport, and negotiate rates with carriers. We also assist with loading cargo, documentation preparation, and handling the customs clearance process. An NVOCC 


How much time will car shipping to Malawi, South Africa, take?

On average, it will take around three to six weeks to reach Malawi. Allow some additional days for document processing and customs clearance process. Malawi is a landlocked country. So, you would also need inland transportation from a port in another South African country to your desired location, which can take some time. 

How much will it cost for car shipping to Malawi, South Africa?

The shipping cost is an estimate and can vary due to several factors. Excluding the variables that may increase the shipping cost, it will take around $3200 to $6200 to ship your vehicle to Malawi.

Which shipping option should I choose for car shipping to Malawi, South Africa?

Choosing a shipping method depends significantly on your shipping budget and requirements. RoRo shipping is the most economical and used option. But if you want to ship a luxury car with some items alongside the container method can also be a good choice.


Car shipping to Malawi, South Africa, from the US has never been easier due to complex Malawian customs rules. There is also lengthy documentation to take care of, and the long customs clearance process can take a toll on any shipper. Malawi is also a landlocked country, so arranging for inland transportation from the port of another country can be a huge problem. But with an experienced and reliable shipping company, everything can be a breeze. 


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