For most of us, the festive season is time to relax, a time we spend with loved ones. We have planned our holidays earlier on in the year and our bags are just about packed. With all the excitement, we might at times forget to make necessary arrangements that have the potential to make or break our holiday plans, such as getting necessary paperwork to travel across the border.

Nelisiwe Baloyi, Head Absa Vehicle Asset Finance, cautions against failing to get your documents in order before you leave to avoid your traveling plans being cancelled. These include documents like a border letter and a bank stamped copy of your vehicle registration.

While your bags may be packed, your petrol tank full and you are ready to hit the road, you should remember that you do not only need a valid passport and driver’s license, but documentation that shows that the vehicle belongs to you and that you have the right to drive it across the border.

“This is part of managing and ensuring that stolen vehicles are not taken out of the country,” says Nelisiwe.

Here are a few things to remember when planning a cross-border trip:

·       It is of the outmost importance to ensure that your insurance covers cross-border travel. Once your holiday destination is set, call your vehicle insurance company to establish if your comprehensive insurance policy does covers cross-border travel. If not, make the necessary arrangements to get that cover.

·       Ensure you to have a bank stamped copy of the vehicle's registration (or license) papers, should your vehicles still be financed by the bank. This can be accessed by calling the Customer Contact Centre on 0860 669 669, at which time a consultant will assist you.

·       If you are not the owner of the vehicle, you will need the border letter, vehicle registration papers and in addition, a police affidavit and a letter of authority from the registered owner, granting permission for the vehicle to cross the border for the agreed time period.

·       Make sure that your identification matches. If your vehicle registration papers show your South African ID number, then your ID document should show the same details.

·       If you will be using a rental vehicle, you must also obtain a letter from the rental company giving full consent for the vehicle to be taken out of the country.

“To ensure you have a pleasant journey, it is important that you have all the required documents for your travelling to go smoothly, and for your own peace of mind. Should you require any assistance, contact Absa Vehicle Asset Finance or the bank with whom you are financed with,” Nelisiwe concludes.