Cost of Importing a Car in Kenya 2020

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The cost of importing cars in Kenya as at today varies based on some specifications and standards.

Research has it that most of the vehicles used in Kenya are made and imported from Japan, although with some standard check and specifications by the Kenya Bureau of Standards. 

For those who are planning to buy and import a car from Japan or other countries of their choice, or want to go into the car import business, here are necessary tips you will need to know. 

a.  The Age Limit Of Importing Cars in Kenya 

Officially, the age limit of importing cars in Kenya,  is 8 Years and below. This is measured from the time the vehicle was first registered to when it was imported in Kenya.

b.   Right Hand Drive 

In Kenya, the rule is that no left-hand vehicles are permitted except on special approval and such kind of vehicle will only be used as Ambulances or by the Government.

c.  Road Worthiness Criteria in Kenya 

Road Worthiness of the car is another important thing to know as any second-hand vehicle allowed in Kenya must be inspected with every safety check done. 

When the vehicle passes all necessary checks it is issued a certificate and is required at the port when clearing with the custom requirements.

In determining the cost of importing a car to Kenya, the first thing to consider is the cost of the car depending on the brand.

After this, you are expected to pay from £980 for an SUV and container shipping costs from £1,200 – £1,500 for a 20ft container.

Also, the container service incurs additional costs at the port in Kenya. This can cost between 20,000 – 30,000 Ksh.

How much does it cost to import a car from Japan to Kenya 

Importing a car from uganda to kenya

The average cost of importing a used Japanese car in Kenya according to Japan used Motor Vehicle Exporters Association (JUMVEA), is $10,000. 

Other taxation is as follows.

  • Import duty of 25% of the value of CIF
  • Excise duty of 20% of the value of (CIF +Import duty).
  • VAT of 16% of the value of ( CIF + Import duty+ Excise duty).
  • Cumulatively import duty + Excise duty + VAT which sum up to 74% on all vehicles irrespective of engine capacity.

Why do Kenyans love Japanese car?

The following are reasons why Kenyans patronize Japanese cars more than any other brand. 

  • 1. Durability 
  • 2. High Quality 
  • 3. Reliability 
  • 4. Affordability
  • 5. Spare Parts Availability 

What are the Necessary Documents Needed for Import/Clearance of Cars in Kenya

The following are most wanted documents needed to clear a vehicle at Kenya Port:

  1.  Original commercial invoice
  2.  Original Logbook from the seller country
  3. Import declaration form
  4.  Original bill of landing
  5.  Import Duty Cost

What is the Import Duties Charged for Japanese Cars in Kenya

Although directly paid through Kenya Revenue Authority department of Customs Services, here are the list Import Duties charged.

  • 25% of customs value of the vehicle being imported. 
  • Value Added Tax –This is accounts for 16% of the value attained by adding Excise duty, import duty, and Customs value.
  • Excise duty –This accounts for 20% of the sum value of import duty and custom value.
  • IDF –Accounts for 2.25% of CIF value. IDF is payable at a minimum of KEs. 5,000.

Top 5 Best Car Dealers In Kenya 

Here are list of car dealers in Kenya where you can place an order for a vehicle of your choice.

Toyopet Automobiles K. LTD Kenya 

Located along Moi Avenue in Mombasa, you can place an order for both used and new cars as they operate from Monday to Saturday 8 am to 6 pm with phone number 0733 588888.

Trade Car View Customer Center Kenya

Rated 4.5 stars on Google based on the reviews by previous users, the company has what it takes to give you the best value for your money.

They operate from Monday to Saturday 8 am to 6 pm with phone number 0789 337135.

Toyota Kenya

This company makes available the most wanted choice of cars in Kenya which is Toyota, made in Japan.

They operate from Monday to Saturday 8 am to 6 pm. It is located next to the Stadium Roundabout along Uhuru Highway, Kenya. 

Al- Husain Motors Ltd Kenya 

Located in Tangana Road Junction, Archbishop Makarios Rd, Mombasa, they operate from Monday to Saturday 8 am to 6 pm with Phone number: 0725 258282.

The company is rated 5-star and provides low mileage cars, affordable with excellent qualities.

Ukerio Motors Kenya 

This company with track years of experience offers a variety of vehicles both large and smaller options with beautiful customer care.

You can reach them via mobile phone number 0735 144317.

How to use a Kenyan Duty Calculator 

For those who are not familiar with the Kenya’s calculator for calculating duties on vehicles during clearance here is the tips:

  1.  Direct Import Box

Here you will explore the options to ascertain if the car is being imported for the first time to Kenya.

In case the vehicle has already been registered but for one reason or the other duty was not paid on the importation, explore options like EX GK, EX Diplomats, etc it is now left to your choice to either make payments for the duties or opt for another.

  1. Country of Origin

This is the country from which the car/cargo is being sourced.

  1. Vehicle Model & Make

Here you are expected to select the desired vehicle make and model.

  1. Month and Year of First Registration

This will enable the calculator to automatically determine the depreciation rate of the motor vehicle.

  1.  Motor Vehicle body type 

In this box, you are expected to select the Motor vehicle body type; this enables the system to determine the tax category of the vehicle.

  1. Vehicle specification

Here you select the vehicle details that best / closely suite your car.

  1.  Vehicle CC not displayed? Click to type actual CC

Click on this link if the engine capacity of your car is not displayed in the vehicle specification dropdown area. Type your cc accordingly.

  1.  Freight Details

These details enable the systems to calculate the port and handling charges accordingly.

Enter the freight mode and Packaging where applicable.

Enter the weight in kilograms and shipping volume of the Motor vehicle in Cubic Metric (M3) as is on the bill of lading.

  1.  Storage-Free days

These are the days allowed by the port authority or the freight station free of storage charges. Storage charges kick in after the free days are exhausted.

  1. Date of Arrival

After making orders and payment made, the date when the car /cargo is expected to arrive in Kenya will display in this option. 

  1. Calculate Button

On clicking the button after entering the above, taxes and other charges payable are displayed in detail.

  1. Start Afresh

On clicking the start afresh button all previous entries are cleared for new selections and calculation.

Importing a Car from Uganda to Kenya

Importing a car from Uganda to Kenya is cheaper due to the fact that Uganda shares a custom territory with Kenya, and brings in its second-hand vehicles through the port of Mombasa, so therefore, their cars are exempted from some certain Kenyan tax rules making it cheaper.

Although this has raised a lot of concerns by the Kenyan government; according to Kenya Auto Bazaar Association, a lobby group for car importers, most Kenyans have opted to acquire cars imported by Ugandans to avoid high taxes imposed on second-hand vehicles in Kenya.

Clearing and Forwarding Procedures in Kenya

In Kenya, for any goods you want to import, you are expected to follow certain procedures that will involve a clearing agent and cost you some service charge.

The work of the Clearing Agent has processed all the paperwork with your name through the SIMBA Online Platform by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), which will require a number of documents for your freight to go through the entry point.

Basically, you will need the import declaration form, the certificate of compliance (if applicable), and the bill of lading.

Here a list of Clearing and Forwarding Procedures in Kenya:

  • First of all, as an importer, you are expected to acquire the services of a clearing agent.
  • The Clearing Agent, now (2nd party), will process all the paperwork through the KRA online platform.
  • At this stage, you need several documents for your goods to get to the entry point. The most important document include import declaration form, bill of lading, and certificate of compliance where needed.
  • Make sure your clearing agent is licensed by KRA through their customs department.
  • Here, you are required to pay some fees including the CIF and IDF. 

The amount will be 

dependent upon the assessment by the customs department who are guided by the value of the consignment as well as the relevant duty rate. 

  • After due payment, the local imports in containers are moved to different container freight station and a specific vessel as a means of decongesting the port.
  • Upon proper certification and declaration of your cargo by the ports authority, your Clearing Agent is free to collect it.

Clearing and Forwarding Companies in Kenya

  • Seaways Kenya
  • Choice logistics
  • Sheffield cargo logistics limited.
  • Panalpina airflow limited
  • Kentex Cargo
  • Supersonic clearing and forwarding services.
  • KQ Cargo
  • Salihiya Cargo and Shipping Company.
  • Freight Forwarders Kenya.

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