Is 500kg a good shipping allowance and would you ship your car over?

(18 Posts)
chicaguapa Thu 07-Feb-13 20:15:07

DH is looking at a job in Malawi. In the info it says that they provide shipping for 300kg for DH, 100kg for a spouse and 50kg per DC. They provide housing which includes basic furniture, cooker, fridge/freezer. It says you should consider taking a washing machine, although a maid will do the laundry, and all electrical items you would want ie microwave, coffee maker, TV, DVD player, computer. Then add on bedding, crockery, bikes, toys, towels, toiletries, clothes. Is 500kg is reasonable amount and how do you know when you've reached your weight limit?

Also, and this is a separate question in case you think I might get our car in too wink, would you pay £1,000 to take your own car over? We've had our family car from new but it has a high mileage for the year (08) and various bumps and scrapes as we'd never intended to sell it so never paid to fix them. So we think it's worth more to us than we'd get for it if we sold it IYSWIM. This would be instead of selling it and buying one over there. We'd be going for 2 years.


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LiveItUp Thu 07-Feb-13 22:39:11

500kg doesn't sound like much to me, but I suppose you'd be storing a load of stuff back here (do they pay for that too?). If you think of a holiday case of clothing weighs 15 - 20kg, taking enough for four of you plus house stuff plus bikes etc it could be quite tight.

Regards the car, I went abroad and left my car here, garaged and stowed nicely, so by the time I came back it was regarded as low-mileage! Handy! If there is somewhere you could leave it secure and not too costly (parents garage for example), it is probably worth leaving it here and getting a run-around out there, but that is just IMO.

Hope that helps, and enjoy ...

ripsishere Fri 08-Feb-13 02:00:29

500kg is not an awful lot. Is it possible to find out how much cubic capacity you have and work out whether it's possible to pack the car with loads and then put it into a container?
OTOH, we had friends who shipped a car from Oman to Rotterdam and it was dented beyond repair. It hadn't been properly strapped down.

MarjorieAntrobus Fri 08-Feb-13 02:19:21

DH had 80kg for himself (mostly used on books) then, when I plus two DCs followed a year later, we had 40Kg for me and 30kg for each DC.

So, 180kg total.

That was fine for us, and we were way under limit. DH took a furnished flat but, unlike your situation, ours had washing machine, TV and microwave.

We put computers in our shipment. No bikes.

DH bought bedding, towels, crockery etc here (SE Asia)

I wouldn't take a car. Far too much cost and hassle. Buy or rent at destination.

Salbertina Fri 08-Feb-13 04:28:04

If Malawi is like SA, take yr car! Cars typically 3x more here so many people ship. Just check import tax as high if owned for less than a yr. also ship as much furniture as u can, also more expensive.

Salbertina Fri 08-Feb-13 04:29:25

And car rental high too. Southern Africa different from other places

Mosman Fri 08-Feb-13 05:06:26

I would ship the car actually, I wish we'd brought ours from the UK to Australia


MarjorieAntrobus Fri 08-Feb-13 05:16:49

Ah. The car issue depends on destination then. Yep, makes sense. They are expensive here too, but less than the cost of importing one's own (unless on a retirement-type visa).

spamm Fri 08-Feb-13 05:26:25

Before you take the car, check on taxation. Malawi may be one of the places where they tax car imports very heavily. I am trying to remember if that is the case.

And let me know I you need any help - I know someone who ships cars to Malawi and Zimbabwe.

Which part of Malawi? I would assume Lilongwe but you never know... Remember to look into schools ASAP - how old are your DC? Most of my Malawi friends send their DC to school in South Africa or the UK, so you want to figure that out ASAP. Is schooling covered in the package?

chicaguapa Fri 08-Feb-13 12:55:39

Thanks for all the replies.

We would need to sell the car to buy one in Malawi, so leaving it here isn't an option, which is a shame as that's a really good idea. I just thought that shipping ours there and back would mean we didn't lose out on the depreciation of the car's value due to its mileage and condition as we'd not be cashing it in iyswim. Although we'd need to consider the condition we'd be bringing it back in too.

It's in Blantyre and the schooling is included. I don't think Malawi taxes on bringing in old cars, but I will check. I saw that a few UK garages sell cars to people living in Malawi and then ship them over so that's what made me think of it. So there must be British plated cars there and they drive on the left too.

I don't think you can put contents in the car when you ship it, unless you put it in a container. spamm I would be interested in a quote for shipping from Southampton to Blantyre and how long it would take if you could PM me please. Thanks.

DH hasn't got the job yet though, but I like planning. grin

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Salbertina Fri 08-Feb-13 13:45:13

Did u see my message? Am in SA and wish we'd shipped our car- lost out both ends! Ship it, its worth it down here. Even the oldest banger can be £1,000s

chicaguapa Fri 08-Feb-13 20:14:23

Hi. Thanks. Does SA have the same import duty rules as Malawi? We've owned the car since new so it would be ok.

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ZamMummyInGabs Sat 09-Feb-13 13:00:52

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

chicaguapa Sat 09-Feb-13 14:11:04

Thanks zam that helps me visualise it better. We are fairly light travellers and DC are growing out of the 'toy' stage, so we should be ok with that allowance. We'll also have just under 100kg in total luggage allowance for the plane.

We can see what we can buy from the people vacating the house too re a washing machine, carpets/ rugs. The school has a container for all the teachers going out and they say it would take 2 months, but could take longer.

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complexnumber Sun 10-Feb-13 12:05:46

Check whether the make of car you have is common in Malawi. If not you may find getting spares and mechanics who know what they are doing, a problem.

Things may well have changed, but when I worked in Botswana Japanese cars were the most common, other European makes were less common and therefore harder to maintain

(500kg sounds a huge amount to me (Imagine five 16 stone rugby players), but then maybe I work in a different field that just doesn't offer those sorts of contracts.)

I loved the time I spent in Malawi, definitely try Malawi Gin! Fantastic with a splach of lime and a load of ice.

KatherineKrupnik Sun 10-Feb-13 12:16:44

Might you want a 4 x 4 in Malawi? Lots of dirt roads.

Salbertina Sun 10-Feb-13 12:24:33

Good point about car make- in SA some cars easy to serviced/get parts for, others not. 4x4 always a good idea here!

chicaguapa Sun 10-Feb-13 14:32:26

Thanks. We have a Toyota Verso so Japanese but not a 4x4. confused

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