Category Archives: QUICK LINKS


What is the rebate?

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 that are used to transport or to be driven by 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.

Rebate item 460.17/87.03/02/04 and 460.17/87.00/04.02 of Schedule No.4, Part 2 of the Customs and Excise Act No. 91 of 1964 (Customs and Excise Act) makes provision for rebate of the full duty on:

“Motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of physically disabled persons, including station wagons (excluding racing cars), adapted or to be adapted to be solely driven by a physically disabled persons at such times and under such conditions as the International Trade Administration Commission after consulting with the National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities, may allow by specific permit.”

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 originates from.  The figure can be confirmed by the vehicle dealer, but it is generally in the region of 10% – 15% of the ‘before Vat’ value of the vehicle.  In order to claim this rebate a permit is first required from the DTI / ITAC. This can save you quite a lot of money, but only if you are willing to follow the paper trail that goes with it.

An individual can apply for a rebate on a vehicle every 3 years.

Who qualifies?

 A person with a physical disability who drives themselves, will qualify if:

  • The vehicle is right hand drive and has been homologated by the SABS to comply with the road safety requirements to register the vehicle with the licensing authorities; and
  • Hand controls are to be fitted to the accelerator and brake pedals; or
  • Brake and accelerator pedals have to be swapped; or
  • Brake and accelerator pedals have to be extended
  • The vehicle must be adapted within 3 months of the date of importation.

When you are being transported a permit will be issued if:

  • The vehicle is right hand drive and has been homologated by the SABS to comply with the road safety requirements to register the vehicle with the licensing authorities; and
  • The organization that applies for the rebate permit is registered with the National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities to care for persons with physical disabilities or the individual that applies for the rebate permit is registered with the International Administration Commission of South Africa to care for a specific person with a physical disability; and
  • The vehicle has been or will be structurally adapted, i.e. the floor pan of the vehicle has been modified to incorporate clamps/clips and an anchorage for the safety harness to hold the wheelchair and person with a physical disability steady and in position when the vehicle is driven; or
  • Railings are fitted to the door and sides of the vehicle for a person with a physical disability to hold onto when the vehicle is in motion; or
  • The vehicle has to be fitted with medical equipment, such as an oxygen cylinder, to allow the person with the physical disability to be transported.


You will be driving the vehicle yourself and;

  • The vehicle is a left hand drive vehicle and has not been homologated by the SABS that it complies with the road safety requirements of the licensing authorities; and
  • The person is too tall to drive any ordinary vehicle but no adaptation is needed to drive a vehicle, except that the steering wheel folds away to allow access into the vehicle, this being a standard design feature of the vehicle that is produced in this way for all persons; or
  • The person has a back problem or disease that has not progressed to such an extent that a special adaptation, except an automatic gearbox or options such as a power steering, is required to drive the vehicle.
  • You are unable to use your left leg but are still able to drive an unadapted automatic car.

You are being transported and;

  • The vehicle is a left hand drive vehicle and has not been homologated by the SABS that it complies with the road safety requirements of the licensing authorities; and
  • No structural adaptation is to be or has been made to the vehicle to transport persons. (Fitting only of a hoist to the vehicle is considered to be insufficient on its own) and / or
  • The vehicle is used only occasionally by a non-registered person / organisation to transport the person with a physical disability

Should you need any help contact Edwina Ludick (011 452 2774)or or at the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD).

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 able to give 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: Download and complete the relevant forms as well as the following information:

  1. DTI application form. There are 4 different types of permits available, and thus 4 different application forms available so please be sure to complete the correct one:
  2. Imported vehicles to be driven solely by a person with a physical disability. (Customs Duty)
  3. Locally made vehicles to be driven solely by a person with a physical disability. (Ad Valorem Excise duty)
  4. Imported vehicles for transporting persons with physical disabilities. (Customs Duty) 
  5. Locally made vehicles for transporting persons with physical disabilities. (Ad Valorem Excise duty)
  6. Motivation Letter – 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. [Rebate Form Letter of Motivation]
  7. Medical Report– this needs to be completed by your Doctor. [Rebate Form Medical Report]
  8. Copy of drivers’ licence. For first time car buyers who do not yet have a licence, a learner’s licence is adequate.
  9. Quotation from the companythat will do the adaptation.
  10. Copy of ID book.
  11. Motor manufacturer’s specification brochure.
  12. 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 being purchased from a dealer in RSA, the dealer need on quote the homologation reference number.
  • If the vehicle is imported directly by a person with a physical disability, SABS must be contacted to obtain a Letter of Authority (LOA).  This application has a cost involved. [LOA application procedure]
  1. 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. [Rebate Form Declaration nominated drivers individuals, Rebate Form Declaration nominated drivers Organisations]


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 in South Africa (NCPPDSA)

Private Bag X10041


82 Andries Pretorius Street
Eastleigh, Edenvale

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

Step 6: The process can take up to approximately 4weeks 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 DITAC 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 within 4 weeks then contact:

Ms Pateka Busika (012) 394 3738 / 3737 / 3736

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: Some companies will organise to have the adaptations done before you take ownership of the vehicle. However you may choose to organise this yourself.  This must be completed within 3 months of the date of importation.

Step 9: Once all the adaptations have been completed, either the dealer or the client must take it to customs to have it cleared.  An appointment must be made for this.  All documentation and the registration papers must be taken to this appointment.  A sign-off letter will be issued.

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 –


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 3 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).

Driving Schools

The ability to drive for anyone with a mobility impairment, living in South Africa, is an essential part of their independence. Without their own transport it is extremely difficult to get to and from work and they remain reliant on friends and family or a driver. However the challenge is how to find a driving school that can accommodate their needs for an adapted vehicle. There are currently only a few driving schools across the country that can accommodate drivers with disabilities, however most of them can only accommodate people who have arm function and no leg function. When an individual is choosing a driving school, their choice should be based on how the vehicle has been adapted and whether it is suited to their disability. Unfortunately due to the variety of needs of each individual, they are often forced to learn to drive in a vehicle that is not correctly adapted for them as it is not possible to accommodate all the different needs.

Where no driving school is available that can accommodate an individual’s needs, they need to first purchase a vehicle and get it adapted accordingly, and only then can they learn to drive. To do this a special motivation is needed for the banks to enable them to get vehicle finance with only a learner’s licence. They will also need to get their insurance pre-approved before the bank will agree to finance them.

CLICK HERE to download a list of driving schools that can accommodate drivers with disabilities.