The final hurdle for us was what to do with the landrover when we had finished.. We had toyed with selling it in South Africa however despite this being possible, due to the import laws we would have been unable to sell it for 2 years after it was officially imported. That put that option out of the question, along with driving it back (no money!).
In October we finally settled with shipping it back and after getting in contact with some other Overlanders we emailed Duncan who runs African Overlanders near Cape Town.
By using him we cut out all the nitty gritty of doing it our selves, he made it incredibly easy and whilst I am unsure how much we would have saved by doing it all ourselves, I can't imagine it was much and there was no hassle involved at all. He was fantastic, answering all our questions. It was all relaxed, we were in vague email contact with him up until the end of December when Charles had to give him the paperwork. Intially Charles had to give Duncan a letter saying he could transport the car, a copy of the TIP, drivers licence and Vo5 document stating the car was actually ours!
As we were on a TIP, there was some concern it would be more of an issue going through Customs on both side, and strangely it was easier than having a Carnet (the guys we shared a container with had problems on the UK side delaying the release of all the contents of the container).
Charles and Nev delivered the car to Cape Town docks mid-January, the process being very simple with Customs clearing it for shipping in a very short time.
It was now a waiting game, Charles flew home and began to slowly return to normal life! We finally got the green light to pick up the car on 8th February. This caused another dilemma .. were we going to get it trailored back or attempt to get it MOTd somewhere near and hope we could get there safetly. We were worried it wouldn't pass its MOT! Charles had booked it in for an MOT in Bicester but neither of us were keen for it to be driving from London Gateway all the way home. A friend had kindly given us a quote for a trailor that wasn't actually too expensive (about £250 to get it back) but again Charles felt this wasn't what he wanted to do.
In true Charles style he managed to get it insured the night before pick up (mega expensive.. about £900) for the year and they were in the knowledge that it wasn't MOTd but would be straight away. He also had a look for closer MOT stations and managed to find one he thought was closer to the dock. When he arrived he realised that the MOT station was right next to the car parking lot where the car was so it worked really well - he didn't have to drive out the docks to get there which was a relief. After a chat with the guys who worked there, Ditsy surprisingly passed first time and £30 later she was back in Bicester!
It was very strange having it back, unpacking was like Christmas.. all the stuff we had bought could finally be put into our new house! Whilst the parking was now an issue it was good to have it back and to draw a line under the 'getting the landrover home' saga!
Sadly, we are now exploring the possibilty of selling her .. we only have room for two cars and she isn't a good everyday run around car.. you can't really transport stuff in her and the running costs (diesel, insurance and car tax) are very high! Please contact us if you are interested!
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