Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
South African car dealers have started reducing prices of pre-owned vehicles mainly from Japan, Singapore and the United Kingdom at Beitbridge Border Post as they battle to clear huge stocks due low business in the past five months.
It is understood that the high rates of import duty on vehicles at Beitbridge have also resulted in many people preferring to use alternative ports such as Kazungula, Plumtree and Chirundu where the duty is relatively low.
A snap survey over the weekend revealed that most of the car dealers on the South African side of the border have cut prices by between $300 and $900.
On average one needs at least $3000 to get a modest car from dealers on the South African side excluding duty.
The dealers have reduced the prices to between $1, 700 and $2,000. Import duty for most of the second hand vehicles is charged at 96 percent.
Major dealers such as Quest Royal, Wright Cars, Murree Motors and KDG started reducing prices last month to create space for new stocks from Durban.
Quest Royal Investments manager Mr Hayat Hayat said business was very low as they are selling an average of 10 cars per day compared to 40 in the previous five months.
“Business is very low and hence we have decided to review prices in line with prevailing market forces,” he said.
“We have over 400 vehicles of different makes which we want to sell and create space for another stock which is already in Durban”.
Mr Hayat said they were running a series of promotions with a view of increasing sales.
A sales manager at another car dealership, Mr Clemence Mabidi said they were reducing prices to match those coming from Durban or Tanzania.
On average about 200 vehicles arrive in the country through Beitbridge Border Post from South Africa per day while between 70 vehicle imports
are processed at the Manica Bonded warehouse on daily basis.
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority’s Director of legal and corporate affairs, Ms Florence Jambwa said recently that since the beginning of September last year they had been processing a few vehicle imports coming into the country via Beitbridge border.