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Importing Cars in Kenya

Importing cars in Kenya is straightforward, and the following is must-have information while importing any car model in Kenya.

Car Importation Procedure in Kenya

The car importation process in Kenya is systematic, so please don’t be lured to shortcuts. I hear you say short routes get you home faster. Okay, it’s true, but not all quick ways are short. So please, before you lose your hard-earned money or loan to a scammer, follow the steps provided below keenly.

First, importing cars in Kenya requires familiarity with two central regulatory bodies, the Kenya Revenue Authority and the Kenya Bureau of Standards. The two bodies offer you certification and registration, which provides ownership or reselling when a need arises.

Thus, a straightforward way of identifying a legit car dealer is by investigating their obligations to the two bodies. Such a process is not easy, and that’s why AG Internet Clinic is here to offer you this valuable consultation and help you get your dream car home.

The Kenya Bureau of Standards dictates a Legal Notice No. 78 of 15th July 2005, which stipulates the provisions under the KS1515:2000 Kenya Standard Code of Practice for Inspection of Road Vehicles and the Verification of Conformity to Kenya Standards Imports Order, 2005.  


  • For old fashioned like me, old is gold, but not in motors. So please ensure the car is not more than 8 years old from the first registration,
  • Pass through KEBS inspection agents at the Kenyan ports
  • be Right Hand Drive

Importing Cars in Kenya Taxes

After determining your dream car model and searching through its price in the country of origin, the next step is calculating the actual value to get it to your doorstep, and every Kenyan citizen knows that the Kenya Revenue Authority oversees the collection of taxes.

The types of taxes subject to car importation are relative to the car model, manufacturer date, registration, and price. You will notice that all these extra costs vary depending on engine cylinder capacity. By the way, when choosing your engine capacity, it is advisable to calculate the opportunity cost. I mean the value of the forgone alternative as you have chosen to opt-out of public means to use private means. The value of the opportunity costs is relative to your earnings, investments, and the purpose of the vehicle.

Port charges happen at the port of Kenya as directed by the Kenya Bureau of Standards Verification and Importation Standards. Your car is liable to the following taxes stipulated by the Kenya Revenue Authority.

Import Duty Tax

Import Duty Tax applies to hearses and ambulances, which is charged 25% of the actual car price at the country of registration.

Excise Duty Tax

Cars imported for the transport of persons are liable to excise duty tax. Excise duty cars are relative to the car’s internal combustion capacity and the cylinder capacity as stipulated below.

  • 20% is charged for 1000cc and not exceeding 1500cc engine cylinder capacity
  • 25% is charged for 1500 cc and not exceeding 3000 cc engine cylinder capacity.
  • 35% is charged for vehicles exceeding 3000 engine cylinder capacity
  • 25% charge for semi-diesel and diesel cars not exceeding 1500cc cylinder engine capacity.
  • 25% charge for semi-diesel and diesel cars exceeding 1500cc and not exceeding 2500cc.
  • 35% for the semi-diesel or diesel cars with engine capacity exceeding 2500cc

Value Added Tax

Value Added Tax is also applicable when importing your dream car in Kenya. You could be asking, what’s the **ll with these taxes? Calm down, and the government uses your taxes to run the nation’s affairs. The value-added tax is 16% of the total amount calculated by adding all the excise and import duties to the customs value.

If you’re good at “mathematics,” you have a figure by now. Remember, the value-added tax also considers the commissions, warranty fees, financing, and packaging fees.

Railway Development Levy and Import Declaration Fees

May you’re wondering what’s the **ll with the railway! Okay, let us save this story for another day, but be assured that when importing a car in Kenya, you need to pay for the railway development levy, which is 2% of the car price.

After you pay for the railway, it’s time to dig deeper into those pockets and add another  3.5% of the customs value as Import Declaration Fees. Declaration fees? Yes, you must pay for those forms you received from KRA to import that vehicle. A typical Kenyan would ask, so if I come with my forms, the fee is how much? Sorry, this option is not available.

Other Essential Forms you must-have

Please, stop guessing. A certificate of good conduct and a help clearance certificate are not applicable, but the following is a necessity.

A Certificate of Road Worthiness is a must-have. You get the certificate from an authorized and licensed car tester. The certification helps in clearing defects or re-registering the vehicle.

Before settling for the car, ensure that the logbook is authentic. Actually, few people have this exposure because the importing company works on your behalf. But it’s prudent to conduct your investigations for surety and knowledge.

Logbook Authenticity is evident in every country where the original owner is expected to provide the cleared logbook copy. The quality of printing, the watermarks for the country’s registrations, and the VIN of the car are essential in verifying the authenticity.

Every Kenyan Citizen is conversant with KRA. Huh! These initials follow you everywhere but anyway, for you to process the car importation or before you register for driving, the Kenya Revenue Authority Personal Identification Pin is a must.

The original Bill of Landing is another must-have document confirming your receipt. For more information about the Bill of Landing, please return to your form 2 business studies notes.

By the way, have you noticed that after the lengthy and cumbersome 8.4.4, you are now a jack of all trades and a master of none? It gives you a character development of “bora upate doo,” or maybe that ‘s why we have many shortcuts in Kenya. Probably CBC will save our generations from this menace.

Finally, you cannot go through the KRA and the KEBS without the Original Commercial Invoice.


KRA, KEBS, and car importing cars provide direct services to save you the agony. AG Internet Clinic also links you with the sellers and negotiates the prices for you, tests the car, and helps you acquire it in Mombasa. Our contacts are in the website link

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