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Old 1 Dec 2010
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Selling Cars in West Africa (Mali

Hi All,

Im going on a trip from London to Mali via morroco and mauratania. The plan is to purchase a vehicle in the UK to sell in Mali. Im not expecting to make money but on doing research i cant even get a rough idea of what they will sell for in Mali!

I understand Japanese cars sell well, left hand drives even better. Its been to much trying to source a LHD car in the Uk so im happy to take the 30% or so price drop a RHD car would go for. The car i will be using is a Mitsubishi Pajero 3.5L 1996 98000miles on clock and i will be paying roughly £1500 here in the UK. What could i hope to expect from Mali?

The same? More? Less? alot less? i wont be in a hurry to sell when i get there to avoid them havin my pants down on negotiation but at this stage ii have no idea on what i could hope to recoup, id like to at least get my plane ticket home!

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

Daniel Rex Pearson
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Old 1 Dec 2010
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Just out of interest, when are you going? I can't answer your question but I'm sure some one will soon.
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Old 1 Dec 2010
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Hi Daniel,
I drove cars to Mali and sold them there. 1000 - 1500 should be possible, rh drive less. I can do Austria Bamako in 8 days, provided I have all visas in advance, no break downs and enough fiches and cadeaux to get me through dozens of check points quickly, driving from sunup till sundown not stopping to eat and knowing the road.

I don`t know if You are in it for the trip or to get there and do whatever in Mali.

If later applies here is my advice for what it`s worth:

1. save yourself the bore of driving for weeks without turning the steering wheel much.

2. a single ticket costs as much as a return ticket.

3. flying is a lot cheaper than driving and saver - think of Aqim in Mauri and the tensions in West Sahara

4. flying allows You at least 2 extra weeks in Mali.

5. driving in Bamako is mayhem: You won`t go a mile without Police stopping You and demanding money. A lot quicker and cheaper and more relaxing to take a taxi especially at night.

6. If touring the country is Your thing, use a tour operator - still cheaper and more hassle free imho.

I hope that helps to make up Your mind

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Old 1 Dec 2010
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Thanks for the replies

8 Days is incredible! ive got 3 weeks!

The reason for going is more an experience of saharan countries and a general adventure rather than actually visiting Mali, thats just simply the end point. How did you go about selling your cars in Mali, just approach a car dealer or did you have some contacts their that might be useful?
Do the police accept Tobacco?

The planned date of departure from London is 1st August 2011 returning on the 21st August (ish) its actually for a short documentary thats being filmed of the journey. some of the crew from the Harry Potter films are taking part.
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Old 5 Dec 2010
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Hi there
I've sold a couple of UK RHD vehicles down there over last year or 2.
I got €4000 for my last vehicle which was a 33 seated Merc bus - pretty old and knackered and cost me €700 so quite a mark up and reckon I could have got more if I'd stuck around for longer. Sold it in 48 hours of arriving in Bamako. It was a bus so was more valuable to them of course.
I'm taking a Toyota 4x4 hilux down before you're due to go so I'll let you know how I get on! 4wds and minibuses seem to be what makes the most money.
There was a guy there trying to sell a fancy BMW without much success.
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Old 5 Dec 2010
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I am only speaking for trucks here, but I know that if the make of vehicle is relatively hard to find in West Africa, it probably wont sell for anywhere near as much as it should.

Reason: spare parts availability. So for trucks, Mercedes NG and SK models are always in demand, but if you turned up with a Mack or a Kamaz, you might not get the price you want.

Not sure I agree with the comment made about driving in Bamako. I personally never found the police or traffic that bad. Infact have never been stopped by authoritites in the city.
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Old 5 Dec 2010
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Yes I would second that regarding Bamako.
Never had a problem with police there though of course it's a hectic African city - but guessing you already know that!
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Old 8 Dec 2010
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want also comment on bamako. drove during day time but also in the dark in the late evening. never stopped by the police. also no road blocks there or something like that. situation summer 2009.
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Old 9 Dec 2010
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Thanks guys for the posts they have been really helpful!

I have a felling it will be fine ariving into Mali from the experiences most people have, as long as i have the correct documentation and dont attempt to buy a visa at the border should be fine

One thing no one has touched on, where exactly are people selling the cars. Using local guides?, Car Dealerships in the area, Im native English speaking so would this be much of a problem in Bomako?

I think ive got a good idea on route, Visa's Kit and Car choice now but struggling to picture how and who im going to sell the car too when i actually get there.

Any help from you experienced folk would be great!
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Old 15 Dec 2010
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You sell it the African way - you just talk to people. Let them know that it is for sale, and they will get on the job right away.
If you have a desireable car you will be harassed to sell it, then it comes down to your ability to discern the serious middleman/buyer from the tire kicker, of which there are millions.
Otherwise the Quartier Fleuve in Bamako is where the dealers are, right in the heart of the city.
Driving in Bamako is not a problem and the police will not stop you or ask for money.

Last time I was in Bamako the market was saturated and dealers were pessimistic, some of them going out of business because of slow sales. So don't count on Bamako at any time, it may be easier elsewhere.
Main thing, enjoy your trip in the heat and make sure you see something more than tarmac and edgy arab car dealers.

Last edited by priffe; 15 Dec 2010 at 17:56.
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Old 15 Dec 2010
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Priffe is right, it´s usually a case of how to NOT sell your car if it´s desireable. Everyone will ask you if it´s for sale from the moment you arrive in Bamako. That was my experience anyway but I was always driving minbuses so maybe more desireable than cars?
If no luck in Bamako head for Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. Still good prices and no more paper work except an easy visa and not much further. Road is bad though, or it was last November.
I also sold in Benin too but the closer you get to the port where all the cars come in, the lesser the price, so I would say Mali or Burkina Faso are your best choices.
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