Shipping cars to Lesotho

Shipping Cars to Lesotho: The Untapped Market


Car shipping to South Africa can be a costly business. But not with AFL, which can provide you with a personalized shipping solution within your budget and timelines. It may cost you more if you hire a carrier individually for shipping cars to Lesotho, South Africa. You would also have to handle the documentation and customs process, which can be time-consuming. On the other hand, we can expertly guide you and help you submit documents that comply with Lesotho customs. Our company strives to make the shipping process as affordable and smooth as possible. 

Introduction: Why might shipping cars to Lesotho, South Africa, be a good option?

Shipping Cars To Lesotho
Lesotho road sign against clear blue sky

The Kingdom of Lesotho is a high-altitude country located in South Africa. Its economy relies on livestock, agriculture, and mining equipment manufacturing. It also depends heavily on workers’ remittances from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).

Located on the River Caledon and the Lesotho-South African border, Maseru is Lesotho’s largest city and capital. It is also the capital of the Maseru District and the commercial and trade hub of the country.

The major export products of Lesotho include electricity, water, diamonds, mohair, and wool. It is the leading import partner of the US, importing fuel, machinery, vehicles, and construction material. 

Lesotho has rugged terrain and rocky roads, so owning a vehicle is a must to travel from one place to another. Compared with the cars in Lesotho, imported vehicles are comparatively cheaper. It is straightforward and more affordable to purchase used cars from the US and import it to Lesotho. 

Shipping options: What are the different ways to ship a car to Lesotho?

Lesotho is a landlocked country with no seaport of its own. So, it relies on the nearest Port of Durban for its ocean trade. The Durban Harbour is the largest and busiest port in South Africa, handling 31.4 million tonnes of cargo annually.

Due to delays in Durban, Lesotho also uses the facilities of Port of Elizabeth in New Jersey, US. This port is two hours farther south of Durban. Further cargo transfer takes place by rail or road from these nearest ports to Maseru.

For shipping cars to Lesotho, South Africa, international shipping companies usually use two standard methods of transport: RoRo and container shipping.

RoRo shipping

RoRo shipping is the most economical and efficient shipping method used by international shipping companies. It involves driving your car on the RoRo carrier, where it will be strapped securely with other vehicles. You can drive it off when the carrier reaches the destination port. However, your car must be operational to use this method.

Container shipping

If you want to ship a luxury car and goods alongside it, container shipping is another excellent method of transport. You would have to lease a 20 or 40-ft container which shipping companies usually offer. 

The company will place your vehicle and goods inside the container for secure transport. This method provides more security for your cargo but is also more expensive than RoRo. There are two more options to choose from in container shipping:

Private container shipping

Private container shipping involves paying for the entire container. You can place as many goods as can fit inside the container alongside your car. 

This method is perfect to choose for luxury and delicate goods that need additional security. But private container shipping is also the most expensive method for shipping cars to Lesotho, South Africa.

Shared container shipping

If you have budgetary constraints, you can use shared container shipping. You can share the cost of a container with other consumers. The company will place your goods and vehicle in a shared container alongside other people’s goods. 

So, you can ship as many goods as can fit inside the leased space. However, the downside is that it may take some time to reach Lesotho. The carrier will only embark after the entire container fills. 

Cost: How much does shipping cars to Lesotho, South Africa, cost?

The final shipping cost is always an estimated shipping price and can vary depending on various factors. The estimated price can range between $3600 and $7000. There are few regular routes between US and Lesotho, so the shipping cost is partly high.

Customs and documentation: What do you need to do for shipping cars to Lesotho, South Africa?

Lesotho shares its border with Namibia and also its laws. Its rules and regulations also differ from other South African countries. Acquainting yourself with those laws before shipping cars to Lesotho, South Africa, is a must. 

Contact the Lesotho Embassy in the US to learn about the restrictions and laws on imports. Afterward, choose a reputable shipping company. They will guide you on the customs and documentation requirements. 

Customs Tax & Duty: Lesotho, South Africa

Lesotho Customs calculate tax on imported used vehicles based on their value. However, a VAT is applicable on all new and used cars at a standard rate of 15% (CIF value of the vehicle). An import duty of up to 25% applies to all cars (CIF + Duty + Other Taxes).

Restrictions on shipping cars to Lesotho, South Africa

All imported and used vehicles must also undergo a pre-delivery inspection in the US. You must declare every vehicle and goods for proper customs clearance. Failure to do so can result in incurring a penalty. 

Lesotho law favours the import of only one vehicle per family. Also, the owner must possess the car for at least one year. You cannot import left-handed vehicles into the country as Lesotho only allows right-hand drives. However, there are no restrictions on the import of used cars. But the older the vehicle will be, the more import tax it will incur. 

Documentation requirement

Before shipping cars to Lesotho, South Africa, from the US, you must prepare documentation for customs clearance in both countries. Here are the standard documents required:

  • Import Permit.
  • Letter of Authority.
  • Vehicle Registration Certificate.
  • ID and Passport.
  • Proof of Employment.
  • Original Purchase Invoice.
  • Bill of Lading.
  • Bill of Entry.
  • Year and Date of Import.
  • Value Determination Letter For Used Vehicles. 
  • RIB Form.

Shipping factors: What factors can influence the cost of shipping cars to Lesotho, South Africa?

Several factors can impact the final shipping price of cars resulting in an increased transportation cost. Here are they:

Mode of shipment

Roro Shipping

Shipping cars to Lesotho, South Africa, through container shipping will cost you more than RoRo. Container shipping requires loading/unloading through cranes and involves container and labour work. 

If you include these costs in the shipping price, the overall transportation cost will automatically increase. Whereas you can drive a car on a RoRo carrier without cranes, and there is no need to lease a container. So, the final shipping price is less.

Size and weight of the vehicle

Your shipping price will rise when you ship larger vehicles such as SUVs, trucks, or buses. They take more space and also weigh more. So, the shipping price is calculated based on their weight. Smaller regular cars weigh less and will also cost you less.

Pickup method

The final shipping cost includes the hauling fee if an auto hauler transports your car from your doorstep to the port. But in the long run, a little extra cost won’t matter in front of more convenience. 

Why choose AFL for shipping cars to Lesotho, South Africa?

The laws and regulations of Lesotho differ from other South African countries and are also subject to change. There’s also lengthy paperwork to prepare, and you must comply with the customs to clear your vehicle. 

This can become a nuisance if you are unfamiliar with the rules of importing cars to Lesotho. That’s where an experienced international shipping company like AFL can be of use. Our company tries to make the shipping process affordable and more accessible than you think. Here are the services we provide:

Customs Clearance

If you are shipping your car individually, you may have to prepare lengthy documentation and take care of the customs process yourself. But if you hire us, our experts will assist you in preparing the proper documentation that complies with Lesotho & US Customs. 

You just need to provide all the necessary information regarding your vehicle. Moreover, we will also help you in gathering the current data. To avoid unnecessary delay, our foreign-speaking agent will clear your car in no time at all. 

Personalized shipping process

We specialize in shipping all kinds of cargo, from heavy to lightweight, to South Africa. 

However, each vehicle is different. We understand that each shipment will require a personalized quote depending upon your shipping requirements. Our experts will help you to book the best shipping method according to your budget and timeline. 

Door to Domestic Port

We understand that your tight schedule may not permit you to drop the car at the origin port in the US. But worry not. Our auto hauler can pick up your vehicle from your doorstep and drop it at the US port. 

Irrespective of whether the country is a landlocked area like Lesotho, it’s our responsibility to deliver your shipment to your desired location. So, book your cargo now to the ports of Durban or Elizabeth. We also provide a port to door services and can book inland transport to transfer your car from one of these ports to Lesotho. 


How long will it take for shipping cars to Lesotho, South Africa?

As Lesotho is a landlocked country, you would have to ship your car to the nearest port, Durban or the Port of Elizabeth. Usually, it takes two to four weeks for a shipment to reach these ports from the US. Afterwards, the inland transportation will also take a day or two from these ports to reach Maseru or your desired location. 

Which shipping method will cost me less while shipping cars to Lesotho, South Africa?

RoRo shipping is the fastest and most cost-effective method to ship a car to Lesotho. However, you can use container shipping if you want to send an exotic vehicle. It will be expensive but will also provide more security for your car.

To which ports in South Africa can AFL deliver the shipment? 

AFL specializes in shipping cars and heavy equipment to South Africa. We also cover those routes that other international shipping companies don’t. Our worldwide shipping partners can deliver your vehicle and goods to the Ports of Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, and Elizabeth. Before shipping your cargo, contact us to know if your preferred shipping port can accept your shipment.


Shipping cars to Lesotho, South Africa, requires you to meet the criteria that Lesotho and US customs set. Handling your vehicle or heavy cargo can be a nuisance. You won’t only have to hire a suitable carrier but also take care of paperwork and customs clearance. It can be costly and time-consuming. Instead, if you choose an international shipping company with experience shipping to South Africa, you’ll do much better. They can assist you with preparation and shipping in your budget and timeline. 


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