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Moving to Africa, Guinea, Conakry to be Specific 😊

Hi, my family is moving to Conakry and we will need a good size SUV as per various safety recommendations. I would like to buy the 4Runner here and ship it there (for various good reasons) instead of buying the “Fortuner” (the local equivalent. It has to be a Toyota) there. My understanding is that both these machines are very similar and the 23K dollar question is: will there be a negative impact to importing the SUV. Are the parts the same? Or sufficiently close that the mechanics will be able to procure them easily? Are there any other potential issues I should be aware of (e.g. local regulations, etc.)? Please let me know your thoughts. Stéphane

This sounds like a really foolish idea. The parts will be compatible to some degree but a good chance that one you need will not be. Buy it here ( the United States I assume ) you will have registration and insurance then have to do it all over again when it arrives. Plus shipping is not cheap and I doubt if anyone here on this site even has a clue about the import rules.
Sorry, but you are looking in the wrong place.

Yeah, I’d buy it there, avoid a dozen problems. How could anyone here know if the parts are the same, anyway?

The shipping is included in the company move package and the whole point is to transfer the loan/equity from our car here.

Are you saying you already have a vehicle with a loan on it and you want to ship it out of the country. I would talk to the lender first and I still think it is a bad idea.

You’ll want to contact folks in country about something like this. Maybe the local Toyota dealer. Here’s their web site:

But it looks like a slightly different model, Toyota makes many different vehicles world-wide.

If the car is under warranty here, it might not be covered there, so that’s one thing to investigate.

Yes, my thought was to first ask here, my next move is to call a garage in country. Plan A is we buy here and import using the allotted budget from the move package, plan B is we sell here and buy there and pay 2 car loans for 1 car… who knows maybe somebody else has the experience, hope to read you here! Cheers!

I am going to revise your statement to read as follows:
If the car is under warranty here, it WILL NOT be covered there.

Read the fine print of any “foreign” vehicle’s warranty, and you will see that the warranty coverage is provided by xxxxxxx of America, or something to that effect. If you buy a vehicle in The US, the only country where your warranty might remain valid is Canada, and even that may be questionable in some instances.

Ten years ago an acquaintance wanted to buy and finance a new Jeep Wrangler, then ship it to Nicaragua where he planed to retire. His plan was rejected by the finance companies and the sales staff would not entertain his plan as they were aware loan companies would not allow the vehicle to be exported.

If you plan to ship your vehicle without notifying your finance company, this statement is from U.S. Customs;

Where title evidences third-party ownership/claims. If the used, self-propelled vehicle is leased or a recorded lien exists in the U.S., in addition to complying with paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section, the provisional owner must provide to Customs a separate writing from the third-party-in interest which expressly provides that the subject vehicle may be exported. This writing must be on the third-party’s letterhead paper and contain a complete description of the vehicle including the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), the name of the owner or lienholder of the leased vehicle, and the telephone numbers at which that owner or lienholder may be contacted and must bear an original signature of the third-party and state the date it was signed.

I agree with the others. Having ridden in Toyotas in various countries, the detailed specs are often very different, especially with respect to emission controls and safety equipment. The vehicles may outwardly look the same.

Typically car makers only provide the basic minimum emission gear required by that country.
For instance a chap in my office in Malaysia had a Ford Escort, called the “Laser” there, that still had a carburetor. Another colleague in Venezuela had a Mazda that lacked rear seat belt, as they were not locally required.

A fully emission compliant Toyota will likely be a mystery vehicle to local mechanics there.

Only very expensive luxury vehicles are unmodified, and their owners are prepared to pay a high price for maintenance…

Shouldn’t one of the first thoughts be contact customs, ask the company you work for, the lending company, the insurance company, the Guinea Consul’s office instead of a forum?

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Not sure where all this agressive communication comes from. Here I thought I was writing on the good spirited forum operated by my favorite Saturday NPR show where btw I have heard at least 3 callers call in with very similar questions just different cars and countries. You didn’t need to bother responding if you thought my question was so out of place. Why do you waste your energy like that? Take it easy

You are listening to rerun shows so the info given is out of date by at least 4 years or more. In sept there will almost no shows aired. You are in a legal situation and need verifiable info not what anonymous posters on a forum might offer.

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Thank you! Very useful! Cheers

Why fool around with shipping a car from the US to Guinea? You can buy the car of your choice right there. Guinea is a prime country to purchase almost-new cars stolen in the US and Europe and shipped there.

You’re welcome. Having said that, Africa is a ready market for used European cars. After 5 years or so, Europeans like newer cars and the used ones go to all countries that drive on the right hand side of the road.

In Nigeria we had a European spec Toyota van from Belgium. Local mechanics are quite familiar with these mass produced European vehicles between 5 and 10 years old. Older Mercedes models are quite sought after and many shops will refinish them as new.

So, I would buy a good used or a new vehicle there that meets local specs. In African countries that drive on the left you will find many use Japanese cars (mostly over 10 years old) meeting Japanese specs. Local mechanics often disable safety and emission equipment, but it’s not recommended.

A previous post that many stolen cars end up in Africa is true, but mostly high end models like Mercedes and BMWs.

I’d rather buy a car that I knew was NOT stolen, or at least I had reason to assume it wasn’t stolen

I’d rather buy a new car in Guinea versus a “almost-new car” which was “stolen in the US and Europe and shipped there” . . . to quote you

I’d feel more comfortable NOT supporting car theft :smiley:

But that’s just me :blush:


I’ll have to agree with you db4690 on that one :blush:

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