When I relocated to Mauritius in November 2011, I needed a car to get around but I didn’t know what the procedures were for me as the buyer. Fortunately the person who sold the car to me was a nice man and he explained everything to me. Two years later, I was in the shoes of the seller and I didn’t have a clue what papers were required for the sale but eventually I learned it all. So this post is to help future buyer and sellers.
When you’re selling a car, you need to do the following:
Find the current resale value of your vehicle
Different make/models have different resale value and in Mauritius, people are obsessed with the year of manufacture. So a car which is 10 years old will be a lot cheaper than one which is just 2 years old. To get an idea on how much you can get for your car, try to look in newspapers (eg Lexpress) for a similar make/model and for that same year of manufacture. Adjust your prices according to the condition of your car but always put your final price a little bit higher than what you’re looking to settle on because buyers will always want to negotiate to get a good deal.
Get a potential buyer for your vehicle
Although friends/acquaintances can help you when you’re selling your car, most Mauritians will check in the local newspapers when they’re searching for a car to buy. Lexpress should be your first choice and it costs Rs54 a day to advertise in the classified section of the paper. It takes 2 days from the moment you’ve paid for the advert to appear in the newspaper and you need to go to their offices opposite L’église Immaculée (Port-Louis) to do that. Le Matinal is another popular newspaper with car buyers too and it’s cheaper than Lexpress.
The younger generation seems to be checking for car adverts on the internet more than the older one. So make sure you’ve got an ad on sites likes MauriceMotors.com, Motors.Mega.mu, Facebook buy/sell groups amongst others.
Sign the Deed of Sale when you get your money
Once you’ve reached an agreement on the purchase price, you can prepare the car sale contract to finalise the deal. Here’s a standard car sale deed for you to use and you need 3 copies of this printed on white A4 paper. They need to be signed and dated by both buyer and seller and you should keep one for you and give the other 2 copies to the buyer.
Regarding the money, a bank transfer to your account is easier but you can always ask for a bank guaranteed cheque or have the money in cash. Just make sure you’ve got hold of the money before you sign the contract.
You can now hand over the keys to the buyer.
Obtain a “Certificat de Gage” for your vehicle
The last thing you need to do is get a Papier de Gage from NTA regarding your vehicle to show it’s not been mortgaged in any way (hypoteque) and there’s no “lien” associated with it, that is, there’s no financial commitment currently on it. It will cost you Rs50 for that document and you will need to bring the Deed of Sale and Horsepower (Registration Certificate) and your National ID card along.
The Certificat de Gage is required for the buyer to register the vehicle in his name and once done, your duties as the seller is over. Congratulations!
When you’re buying a car, the procedures are as follows:
Find cars which interest you
Most people already have an idea of the vehicle they’re looking to purchase. That may be limited to their budget or their personal preference about a particular make. I tend to go for Japanese cars as they’re very reliable and I also look for models which are economic so I don’t end up paying a lot for fuel.
Check newspapers like Lexpress, Le Mauricien and Le Matinal as well as websites listed above. There are also many car dealers such as Asset Plus Motors, Ginza, Salim Motors which is worth a visit for you to get an idea of prices.
Get the chosen car checked by a mechanic
When you’re going to see a vehicle, make sure you inspect it properly. Look for dents and scratches on the body, how clean the interior is and negotiate the price according to the condition of the car. The resale value of a car depends on the make/model, the mileage, age of the vehicle and overall condition.
Once you’re happy, it’s good to get the vehicle checked by a mechanic and have a test drive to uncover any potential problems. Don’t just go with how it looks on the outside as you may find faults which cost you more than you expect afterwards.
Make an offer
If you’re happy with everything, make an offer to the seller. If the seller is looking for Rs300,000, you can make an offer for Rs260,000 if you want and then negotiate on the price until both you and the seller are happy.
Sort out the car insurance, declaration and fitness
You need to get the vehicle insured as soon as possible and if the road tax (declaration) is running out, you need to extend that as well. For vehicles older than 7 years, you need to get a fitness certificate either from the seller or by taking the car to the Vehicle Inspection Centre.
Register the vehicle in your name / Transfer ownership
Once you’ve made a payment to the seller and have obtained 2 signed copies of the Contract of Sale, the horsepower and the Certificate de Gage, it’s time to go to Emmanuel Anquetil Building in Port-Louis to register the vehicle in your name.
Registration fees depend on the age (year of manufacture) of the vehicle and the horsepower and there’s a Rs400 fee on top as well. Documents required are:
- 1 original deed of sale + a photocopy
- Registration Certificate (Horsepower)
- National ID card
For example, a 7 year old car of 1499cc will incur a Rs14,000 registration fee.
Next you need to head over to NTA with the following documents to transfer ownership of the vehicle in your name:
- 1 original deed of sale + a photocopy
- Car insurance in your name
Another fee of Rs400 will be payable for that as well. Now you’re the owner of your new car, congratulations!
As a buyer, you can get a refund for unused car insurance premiums by telling your insurer you’ve sold your car and wish to cancel your current policy. I was with Sicom Insurance and got around Rs5000 back on my comprehensive insurance because 4 months was left. However road tax is not refundable.
As a seller, don’t look desperate to sell your car as people will rip you off if they notice this. Always try to stick to your price and wait for the right buyer to show up if that’s possible.