Procedure to claim rebates on adapted vehicles for people with disabilities

For many years the government has allowed a rebate on Customs Import Duties on imported vehicles and Ad Valorem Excise Duties on locally manufactured new vehicles for people who have physical disabilities. In April 2008 a meeting was held between the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities South Africa (NCPPDSA), National Automobile Association Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA), South African Revenue Services SARS and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The procedure laid out below was agreed on by these parties. Over the years, SARS has reduced the percentage of Import duties payable on imported vehicles, therefore the rebate amount claimable has also reduced.  There is no standard amount as it now varies according to which country the vehicle originate from.  The figure can be confirmed by the vehicle dealer, but it is generally in the region of 10% of the ‘before Vat’ value of the vehicle.  In order to claim this rebate a permit is first required from the DTI. This can save you quite a lot of money, but only if you are willing to follow the paper trail that goes with it. 

So where do you start? 

Step 1: Investigate the vehicle market and decide what vehicle you would like to buy, and why. You must look at both locally made and imported vehicles and be very clear reasoning why you are choosing a specific vehicle. At this stage DO NOT place an order for the vehicle. 

Step 2: Speak to the company that is going to do the adaptations for you and get a written quotation and description of the adaptations that they will need to do on the vehicle. These adaptations must be in line with the guidelines issued by DTI.

Step 3: Contact Edwina Ludick (011 452 2774) or ( at the NCPPDSA Head Office and request the relevant application forms. She specializes in vehicle rebates and will be able to give you all relevant information as well as contact details of your local regional offices. 

The following forms are needed:  

DTI Application Form, Medical Report Form and Motivation Letter.

  1. DTI application form. There are 4 different types of permits available, and thus 4 different application forms available so please be sure to request the correct one:
    a. Imported vehicles to be driven solely by a person with a physical disability. (Customs Duty)
    b. Locally made vehicles to be driven solely by a person with a physical disability. (Ad Valorem Excise duty)
    c. Imported vehicles for transporting persons with physical disabilities. (Customs Duty)
    d. Locally made vehicles for transporting persons with physical disabilities. (Ad Valorem Excise duty)
  2. Motivation Letter Template – You need to give a detailed description of the vehicle and be able to describe your disability and explain what features the vehicle has to accommodate your needs. You must also explain which locally manufactured vehicles were considered and why they were not suitable, and give a full description of the adaptation that will be done to the vehicle.
  3. Medical Report Template – this needs to be completed by your Doctor.
  4. Step 3: Complete the above mentioned forms and collect the following information:
  5. Copy of drivers’ licence. For first time car buyers who do not yet have a licence, a learner’s licence is adequate.
  6. Quotation from the company / individual that will do the adaptation.
  7. Copy of ID book.
  8. Motor manufacturer’s specification brochure.
  9. Homologation certificate (available from the dealer) – this is South African Bureau of Standard (SABS) approval of the vehicle for SA roads. If the vehicle is imported directly by a person with a physical disability, SABS must be contacted to obtain a Letter of Authority (LOA). For a second hand imported vehicle, a letter of inspection from the seller must be given to SABS in order to get the LOA. This application has a cost involved.
  10. Declaration of nominated driver(s), Registered Owners or Organisations – this is only for vehicles that are going to be used for transporting persons with physical disabilities. This must confirm who the nominated drivers are, and a copy of their ID must be submitted with the application. Should the driver change at a later stage, the NCPPDSA should be informed.

Step 4: Contact your nearest NCPPDSA office and make an appointment to see a panel of adjudicators. The Panel Report must be included with your application.

Step 5: Hand in all your paperwork – they need the original forms. This can be handed in at the office that did your Panel Report, or can be couriered or sent Registered mail to:

The National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities (NCPPDSA)
Private Bag X10041
Eastleigh, Edenvale
OR 82 Andries Pretorius Rd

They will evaluate whether your claim is valid, then write a report supporting your application and submit the forms to the DTI. 

Step 6: The process can take up to approximately 6 weeks to complete (this depends on which part of the country you are in). By this time, if all has gone well, you will be contacted by DTI and they will make the necessary arrangements with you to have it collected, mailed or couriered to you. If you have not received your permit from DTI in this time then contact Mr Isaac Fenyane on 012 394 3738 /7/8 

Step 7: With your permit in your hand you may now place an order for your new vehicle. It is very important that the date on the permit is before the customs date, if it is not then your permit will be invalid and no rebate will be applicable.

Step 8: Most companies will organise to have the adaptations done before you take ownership of the vehicle. However you may choose to organise this yourself. 

Step 9: When you pay for the vehicle, DO NOT PAY THE FULL RETAIL AMOUNT. You are entitled to only pay the reduced amount (i.e. excluding the rebate amount). It is the companies’ responsibility to claim back the rebate from SARS, this is not the individual’s responsibility. If you are not sure if you were given the correct rebate amount, you are welcome to contact NCPPDSA and they will refer your query to SARS.

Step 10: Once all the adaptations have been completed, either the dealer or the client must take it to customs to have it cleared. Again an appointment must be made for this. A copy of the sign-off letter must be given to the dealer. This enables them to claim back the rebate amount.

Check out the SARS website to find your nearest customs office – – Under ‘Quick Contacts’ click on ‘Customs and Border Posts’, then ‘Harbours and Internal Offices’. 

Step 11: Enjoy your new independence, but watch out for the petrol bill!

Please be aware of the following facts:

  •  No rebates will be issued on commercial vehicles for individual use.
  •  An individual may only apply for a rebate every 5 years. According to the conditions contained in the Rebate item of the customs and excise Act 91 or 1964, the vehicle may not be offered, advertised, lent, hired, leased, pledged, given away, exchanged, sold or otherwise disposed of without the prior consent of the DTI within a period of 5 years from the date of entry under the rebate item.
  • Should a vehicle be stolen or written off in an accident during this period, permission may be granted by the Director General of DTI to be allowed to renew the rebate. Proof of what happened to the vehicle must be sent to the Director General, and the decision will be made at his discretion.
  • For more information on eligible vehicles, eligible users, eligible adaptations and other info regarding vehicle rebates, visit or contact Edwina Ludick (011 452 2774).

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