Seven boxes to tick before driving across SA’s borders
Cross-border travel comes with different checks and balances for your car
Cross-border travel comes with different checks and balances for your car. You wouldn’t want anything to jeopardise your border crossing, or to be told that you can’t enter the country to which you are travelling.
Insurance company MiWay Blink provides the following advice before you pack your bags and set off on your journey across the border:
It’s your responsibility as the driver to inform your insurer that you will be crossing SA’s border, and it is the insurer’s responsibility to inform you of what you will be covered for in the event of an accident, a breakdown, or a car getting stolen in the country to which you’re driving.
Your insurance policy has features that apply to the country in which you reside, and the cross-border letter lets you know what you are covered for once you are in another country. The risk factors insured against generally differ from country to country. For example, the crime rate and road conditions may vary, which affects the risk of insuring your car.
The legal owner of the car should be aware of the trip
If your car is still being financed, it is also your responsibility to notify your car financier, which is normally a bank. Until the car is paid off, it belongs to the financier, which should stay informed as to its whereabouts. You are legally required to inform the legal owner of the car that you will be driving it outside the country, and there should be confirmation of permission granted.
Authorisation letter is needed if the car is a rental
If you are travelling in a rental, you need a letter of authority from the car hire company for the same reason as you’d need to notify a financier if the car is not paid off.
Ask if you are not sure
The availability of insurance options such as cross-border insurance, third-party liability and overall cover may differ, which is also why it’s important for your insurer to know before you leave the country. These differ from insurer to insurer and policy to policy, and it’s your responsibility to study your policy to understand the cover you have.
Familiarise yourself with the regions you’ll be driving through
Research the quality of the infrastructure of the country to which you are driving, and ascertain whether roadside assistance will be available to you if needed. It is also advisable to make sure your car is in good driving condition, and that you always have emergency items, such as a first-aid kit, a reflector triangle, a jack, pump and a spare wheel packed in the car.
Valid legal documents
Remember to take your valid driver’s licence, passport and visa, and one for each of your passengers.
Certified registration papers
The car you are travelling in has to be proven as legally allowed to be on the road, meaning that it is not stolen and that it’s roadworthy.
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