The Zimbabwean market for secondhand vehicles has long been a significant source of affordable transportation for its citizens. However, recent developments in neighbouring countries have posed a challenge to this practice.

Namibia Imposes Ban on Secondhand Cars

As of March 1st, 2023, the Namibian Revenue Authority (NamRA) has imposed a ban on the driving of secondhand and left-hand driven cars in the country. The vehicles can only be transported on car carrier trailers. This decision comes as a result of imported vehicles that are dubiously declared as in transit but end up in the local market, avoiding the payment of import taxes.

The ban will greatly impact Zimbabweans who import secondhand vehicles through Namibia’s largest commercial port, Walvis Bay. These vehicles are driven over hundreds of kilometres through Namibia and into Zimbabwe via Botswana. The increased cost of importing vehicles due to the ban is likely to cause difficulties for many Zimbabwean citizens who rely on secondhand cars as a cost-effective means of transportation.

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Similar Bans in South Africa and Botswana

The ban in Namibia follows similar restrictions already in place in South Africa and Botswana. Secondhand cars imported from Asian countries, for example, must be transported by vehicle carriers from Durban port to the Beitbridge border post. These restrictions have already led to an increase in the cost of importing vehicles to Zimbabwe.

The Future of Secondhand Cars in Zimbabwe

The future of secondhand cars in Zimbabwe is uncertain, as the recent ban in Namibia is likely to increase the cost of importing vehicles even further. The government of Zimbabwe must weigh the benefits of affordable transportation for its citizens against the potential losses from tax revenue and the need to maintain safe roads.

The ban on secondhand cars in Namibia is a costly dilemma for Zimbabweans. The increase in costs will pose a challenge to those who rely on secondhand vehicles as an affordable means of transportation. The government of Zimbabwe must consider the impact on its citizens while also addressing the concerns raised by neighboring countries.