Advice on buying a car

I am moving to Lusaka in September. I will need a car and would like advice on the best way to get a car. As far as I have learned so far, I could enter the country with my own car, avoiding some taxes, but requiring transportation from the UK. Buying a Japanese import or buying in country. Would anyone like to offer advice from their experiences?
Many thanks,

Hi Chris,

Welcome on Expat-blog! :)

I hope that other members will be able to advise you on the best way to get a car in Zambia.

Wish you good luck


I, too, am moving to Lusaka (in August) and have similar questions.  I've heard that if you plan on going on excursions to the Zambian countryside, a 4wd is essential.  That being said, as there aren't any ports in Zambia, the selection is limited and they are more pricey than elsewhere.

I've been investigating purchasing a used car from Japan and having it shipped to me in Lusaka, but it's proving to be a headache. (They can only ship to Dar es Salaam and I'm trying to find a way to get the car delivered to me in Lusaka from Dar).  So, if you hear anything (or if anyone on this forum can help), it would be greatly appreciated on my end, as well.


Hi heather, I had a useful contact from Kimm, she used an agent to import a car, it meant that she and her husband had the option to look at the car before that bought it. I have pasted her thoughts here:"We had hoped to buy a car here for $5000-7000 to no avail.  Everyone we had talked to who had bought a car in that range ended up doing thousands of dollars in repairs (and it can be hard to find someone you trust to do repairs).

We looked at importing a vehicle from Japan and Singapore.  Many of our friends here have done that.  The downside is that you have to pay upfront (trusting that the vehicle in the photo will come and that your money is really paying for it) and it takes 2-3 months.  However, two of our friends have down this with good results.  They says Singapore is cheaper, and this was even before the recent disaster.

The option we went with was working with a dealer who imported cars from Japan.  We were told to NOT buy a car that has kilometers put on it here in Zambia because it's likely to have been damaged, so we focused on new imports that had yet to be driven here.  The vehicle we bought was a 1997 (yikes!) with only 35,000k on it.  It seemed too good to be true to me and it was still expensive (about $14,500) but everyone (our ex-pat friends, local Zambians, and the mechanic at my husband's office) said it was a great deal and we should go for it.  Everyone also universally said that you can almost always get what you put into the car back when you leave. 

I was skeptical but my husband has already received two serious offers on the vehicle for $15,000, so it must be true. 

As you probably know, because it is safe here, Lusaka is becoming the regional hub that Nairobi used to be/still is in some areas.  (But you know how dangerous Nairobi's gotten.)  So, there are lots of ex-pats coming in, so I think if you buy a decent car there's an excellent chance of getting back what you buy it for."
The agent they used was Peter Kunda at:  260-977-773-299.  If calling from within Zambia, 0977-773-299.

I will let you know if I find any other information.
Best wishes,

hi heather
you can drive import from dar.port to lusaka.
get transport company to get the car transported to Lusaka on te truck.There are lot of transport co. doing this from Daresalaam.The cost must be looked at by you.It may be cheaper for you to drive it your self.

Hi Mark Mwila!

You should post your advert in Zambia classifieds under Buy and Sell> Cars, Motorbikes.


Thanx Armand. Will do.

i am a car dealer i can help you find good cars...
just send me an email  or add me on facebook.


@yurimoto- please note that free advertisement is not allowed on the site. Thank you.

Hi Chris ,

I have checked out the prices of 4 x 4 on various Japanese importers that ship to Zambia and they do seem pretty expensive and quite old . I would consider shipping one from the uk to Zambia . I am looking into that option , at least I would have a chance of checking the vehicle out and getting a uk warranty on it from a main dealer here .After some research I am looking at a Nissan Navara . There is a Nissan dealership in Lusaka . I would go Japanese for reliability and also most Zambian cars are Japanese so spares etc should be easier to source.
I don't know what the duty is , but I do know cars are very expensive to buy in Zambia

Guys and Gals

Has anyone thought of visiting Dar es Salam and spending some time doing the rounds at the car importers?

I spent some time in Dar and found many importers of second/used vehicles from Japan (right hand drive vehicles).  It could be cheaper than importing from Japan direct.

I am not sure how the Great North Road is now - the road that connects Dar with Lusaka via Kapiri Mposhi!!  Why not drive the vehicle across from Dar to Lusaka and save some money?  You would however, need to look at the safety aspect.

Another way of getting a vehicle would be to visit Dubai, UAE and check the market there - again it would mean having to drive the vehicle from Dar.  What about buying in Gaborone or Jo'burg if these options are still available.  I remember many years ago, people would smuggle mandrax tablets from Zambia to Botswana/SAF and then come back in a spanking new BMW!!!


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Does anyone have recent experiences about buying a car?  Importing from the UK sounds like a huge headache!

Can I import a car from the U.S. where the steering wheel is on the left and drive it in Lusaka? I mean, is it accepted?
Please advise. J

if you did not get any car yet then do let me know if you have any interest in buying a good condition car in a very cost effective price.


I bought a really nice pajero on zammart and am very happy with it,
Have a look at this sight i found it very easy to find what i was looking for

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regards sungani

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what kind of car are you looking for?

I am in and out of Lusaka and need to upgrade my vehicle to 4x4.  Any suggestions on how to sell my current vehicle in Lusaka?

Rgds, Servaas