By Prudence Minayo
Some people prefer importing cars rather than buying them locally. This is because they are relatively affordable compared to buying from a local car dealer, an import is at a reduced price which is a plus for many people. The second thing is that the car is of good quality. The sellers will modify it according to your needs. For example: most Kenyans import from Japan because the cars are of good quality, spare parts are easily available and they are affordable. Since roads in Japan are different from those in Kenya, the sellers will modify the car to suit Kenyan roads.
Who wouldn’t want a car specifically modified for them? Finally, you have a wide access to a variety of cars. A local dealer may not stock all varieties of cars, but in the international market you get variety. Some even advice you on the best car to suit your needs.
Factors to consider
Only vehicles manufactured from 2013 are allowed in the country. Any other manufactured
from 2012 and below are prohibited from this year.
It is always important to make sure that a car is road worthy. The vehicle has to be declared safe for road use. After it is declared safe, a certificate is issued which must be presented at the port when the car arrives.
Left hand drive vehicles
They are not allowed in Kenya except for special use or government use.
Process of importing from abroad
The first step is to determine the type of car you want and then analyze the shipping cost. You may choose to determine the cost by using a Kenyan Duty Calculator
Procedure of using the calculator
I. Direct import box
Check if it is the first time the car is being imported to Kenya. In case it was imported and duty was not paid, ask yourself if you are willing to pay for it. If not check the next car option.
II. Country of origin
From which country does the vehicle originate?
III. Type of Vehicle
Select the type of vehicke or model
IV. Year and month of manufacture
To help the calculator determine the depreciating value of the vehicle
V. Body type of the vehicle
This helps the system to determine tax charged on the vehicle.
VI. Specification of the vehicle
Select provided details that suit your car.
VII. Vehicle cc
The type of engine is usually displayed but if not click on the link to check the actual cc.
VIII. Freight details
Insert freight details and packaging. Also put in the weight in kilograms and shopping volume of the vehicle in cubicle meter. This helps the system calculate the port and handling charges.
IX. Storage free days
There are days the port allows for free storage. After the days have passed, then you start
X. Arrival date
After placing orders and making payments, the arrival date will get displayed on the screen.
XI. Calculate button
Click the button and every payable charge will be displayed.
If you wish to refresh, press start afresh.
1. Import duty is 25%
2. Excise duty – it varies with the category of vehicle:
Private passenger vehicle of petrol engine whose engine capacity exceeds 2500cc (30%).
Private passenger vehicles of Diesel engine whose engine capacity exceeds 3000c (20%)
All other vehicle categories (20%)
3. Valued tax (16%)
4. Import declaration fee (2%)
5. Railway Development Levy (1.5%)
Original commercial invoice
Original logbook from the country of importation that has been cancelled from the
country of origin. This will be required by National Transport and Safety Authority to
give you an original Kenyan logbook.
Original bill of lading
Pre-shipment inspection certificate (certificate of roadworthiness)
Copy of your Pin certificate
Step by step process
Choose the country you want
Identify the right seller
Choose the car and start negotiations
Get a certificate of road worthiness
Await the arrival date
Visit your clearing and forwarding agent
Provide necessary documents and payments
Get your car
Cons of car importation
There are people preying on innocent unsuspecting car buyers by operating fraudulent pages.
They set up fake websites, do all the right things then once you wire them the money they
The process of importation is long and tedious.
The buyer doesn’t get to physically see the car. One doesn’t even get to have a test drive
making it hard to determine if what you’re getting is as good as it is being described.
Car Importation Companies
In case, this long tedious process is not to your liking, you can opt to use a company. Some of the importation companies are:
1. East Africa motors Ltd
2. Delights motor Ltd
3. Freight forwarding service
4. Toyota Auto Mart Ltd
5. Jap Importers Ltd
6. SBT Kenya
7. Be Forward Kenya
8. Toyooet Auto Mobiles K Ltd
9. Auto Kenya
10. Kensville Motors Ltd
11. Eramace car importers and forwarding