Shipping a car to Mauritius

Hi all
This is a great forum for anyone planning to move to Mauritius for the purpose of working or staying.
I have spent 5 years (2003 to 2008) in Mauritius as a student and share a deep bond with the island. Shortly, I plan to go back for post graduate studies for about three years or so.
This time, I plan to bring a car for personal use in Mauritius as buying one there is really expensive for a student).
Could anyone (specially Hansa) please get in touch with the MRA and the Customs to ask if it would be possible to let my car in for 3 years by paying the 15% VAT or a security deposit? There's no point paying 100% Customs for something that I plan to take back with me after my course is complete!

I can ship one of the cars that my family owns here in India or can also buy a new one, depending on the brand which can easily be maintained in Mauritius. Options are -

1. Honda City (December 2008 model), 1500 cc engine, petrol.
2. Tata Indica (January 2007 model), 1200 cc engine, petrol.

Does anyone have other suggestions?



Hi Sugam,

For general info, i would suggest that you go through the discussions in the Mauritius forum and read the "Importing car and furniture to Mauritius" discussion.

It might be useful.


Hi Sungam

According to the info I got, you'd be better off buying a car here, as it would cost you less than bringing one from India as you cannot use the bank guarantee in this case but pay full charges!

Dr sahib,

I would suggest tat you buy a car here in the region of 200k to 300k. You could very easily sell it with a depreciation of 20-30% after 3 years if you maintain the car well ( and if it is a Japanese model). Since you have been here for 5 years, I am sure the Natives like Hansa and your friends will help you get a good car!!
Importing a Car here, paying deposit, VAT, then taking it back etc would be a big hassle.

All the best,

Thanks Hansa, Sheetul and Musheer.
Ya, I believe shipping a car there, paying VAT plus the shipping costs adding to that the depreciation of the shipped car would equal or probably be even more than what a car bought in Mauritius would depreciate!

Meanwhile, if any expats want to know anything more about the island, I'll be glad to help as much as I can. :)

hi doc,

the best vehicles in here are: hondas, toyotas and nissan. you get excellent service for the prices and parts easily.

i am maintaining a honda since brand new model(6 yrs from now): i only serviced gear oils, sparks, pad brakes since. :)

as for the duty exemptions, you can request customs, its very difficult though, but i think they can put it on your horsepower, that your duty is maintained.
This case(maintain of duty) will stay on your car, and when you sell it, buyer experiences paying of the maintained duty.That you have to ask customs officers, difficult but can be done, if they're willing to.

have a nice day, i can hear the ice cream van...

cheers bud.

Thanks for your reply islander!
Well, I have observed during my stay there that cars as old as 10 years or even more are very well maintained and flawless.
I guess the most intelligent bet for about 250000 MUR would be a used Nissan sunny or something similar.
However, during my search, I have come across something like a BMW '94 e36 318i for about 190000 MUR. Even though it's more than 16 years old now, still looks a class apart.
What is your opinion on maintaining and servicing an old expensive car like this? Are they generally very worn out and troublesome?


For a car like this, I have a mechanic who's a pro in this matter. You have to bear in mind that spare parts cost a lot more with EU cars than Japs ones.

But if you can afford it, it's a pleasure to drive one of these.When you're back to MRU, let me know, I'll introduce you to the guy.


bmw's are road runners. they run unlike others, twice the mileage without servicing. parts for used europeans you can get, call if you need specific info;

the trouble is in petrol mate. we are rated very expensively due to the last flaw of the country's hedging contracts in imports. if you run long distances, you might end up with a Rs 7,000 note(monthly) on fuel, overall average, for a mean 1800cc engine.

jap cars are more economical.

i'm running a 4x2, ford type. its cool ova long distances, diesel costs are lower; but the comfort and security is different..

anybody here running their cars in used comestible/kitchen oil? there's a guy performing this experiment, from what i hear..

cheers all,

European spare parts are here up to 2x as expensive as in Europe ... and one can't blame only the custom duty for the difference.

I usually order my parts in the EU and relatives there send them to mevia parcel. I pay the VAT & duty and its still cheaper.

Hey Hansa,

Am in need of a good Mechanic for my Aircon and car suspensions, will your friend be able to help out??!!
What I have seen is most mechanics, once they realize you are not local, charge quite high.. Any help would be appreciated, as always :)


alisa_ram :

For a car like this, I have a mechanic who's a pro in this matter. You have to bear in mind that spare parts cost a lot more with EU cars than Japs ones.

But if you can afford it, it's a pleasure to drive one of these.When you're back to MRU, let me know, I'll introduce you to the guy.


Yep, no problem. I thought you were in Banglore??

I will be back on monday :D

Ok! See you then!


I have just joined this forum as I am about to move to Mauritius island on a contract. Before I ask my question, I wanted to say how appreciative I am for this forum that has given me so much information which might be difficult to get when I arrive. So I thank all the active contributors here who are really helpful!

I will be arriving in August and based in Grand Baie. In about 1 year time, I would like to import my convertible MGF car from England (right hand drive). Although at first I thought that only cars of less than 5 years old could be imported, my understanding after reading the threads here is that I can import my car against payment of duties but these can be very high.

My MGF is dated of 2000 and although not yet considered as a collector's car, is not in production any more. It is in excellent order with low mileage and is such a pleasure to drive that I cannot get myself around getting rid of it. I know from my MG club that there are 2 MG on the island.

I see that I am advised to use a car importer or freight forwarder to deal with it. As the car will be in a container with personal effects, I am wondering whether someone could recommend such a company, as I will need to clear the customs for the full container when it arrives.

Also, when I visited the MRA website, their values are for cars such as Toyota, Nissan. Is there a different set of values for classic cars?

I thank you for your help


Hi Isabelle,

Welcome on the Mauritius, please note that if you are intending to bring your car in Mauritius, the car should be aged between 18 months and 4 years in order to grant the import permit from the ministry of commerce. But in case you are coming on a residence permit instead of an occupational permit, then you will have the choice to bring your MG and pay full duty and taxes.

hope that this help you



Hello Kurvin,

First many thanks for your quick reply. It confirms what I had heard. I was wondering whether there was a special clause for classic cars or cars that are not produced any more? I guess I'll need to find out once I am there.

I was told that my permit would be dealt with by the BOI and I would get it for 2 years so I assume it's an occupational permit as my understanding is that residence permits are only given to retirees or after 5 years in the country? Very confusing...

Thank you


Hi Isabelle, … ad-or.html

check out this link from Nicola who lived in the UK and looked at shipping a car to Mauritius. Note that your MGF is likely to be 1.8 litre so will be in the 100% import duty bracket. Work out the cost and you will fall off your chair!! The key is the customs valuation which will be way above the UK valuation - usually at least double - hence why to buy a car in Mauritius is 2 to 2.5x the UK price. Although your car is no longer manufactured, they may just take the UK value and double it as a benchmark.
Hope this helps

Hi Andrew,

Thank you very much for this link to Nicola's blog... It is very helpful indeed to hear from the experience of somebody who had to go through it. So I have to expect to pay as much as I paid for my car in terms of customs (I bought my car for £4000 and it was produced in year 2000)! However reading Nicola's blog, it seems that 2nd hand cars are not that great (and are expensive) in Mauritius and renting one is costly so importing mine will probably be the answer.

Nicola is so right to talk about sacrifices when moving abroad in the headline of her blog!!


Hi Isabelle,
You wont pay what you paid for your car in customs, its more:
If your car is 1.6 litre and valued at £4k in UK, then assuming they double that for the reference value to £8k, calc 55% of this = £4.4k. VAT at 15% of (£8k+£4.4k=£12.4k) = £1.86k. first reg at (Rp50k) and age adjustment (Rp10k) = £1.3k. Add them all up and you get: £7,560 in duties and taxes to pay. Add the value that you paid for the car and to have a 1.6 MGF in Mauritius will cost you....£11,560!!
If your car is a 1.8 then its 100% import duty and the total comes to....£16k (£12k of taxes and duty to pay).
Of course when you sell your 'rare' car it will fetch a much higher price in Mauritius. Another issue is that spare parts will need to be ordered from UK and will be expensive. But if you just get away with a oil/filter change then you might be ok.

I am immigrating to Mauritius in the next few months does anyone know how I would go about getting a job in Grand Baie or surrounding area as a Customer Serices Manager ?

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