With several car importers in the business, getting a luxury vehicle has become a stress-free process. Buyers can buy cars from Japan, the UK, or any other country using experienced and the best car importers in Kenya quickly. However, it is essential to learn more about car importation regardless of the vehicle’s origin. This is because the Kenyan government continues to update regulations on the importation of used cars. Keeping tabs with such news helps you import a vehicle seamlessly while avoiding penalties of importation.

Most car importers deliver exceptional services more so in keeping importation costs low and minimizing the wait time. Regularly, different car importers provide news to buyers to import any desired vehicle, mostly focusing on the import duty. That said, this guide helps you familiarize yourself with information about car importation in Kenya.

Car importers in Kenya (Nairobi, Mombasa, Eldoret, Nakuru)

Goods news about car importation in Kenya

Over the years, the government has continuously introduced new laws governing the importation of used motor vehicles. But the Car Importers Association of Kenya has remained passionate to prevent distressing regulation that affects the industry. There is good news to hear when looking to import a car from your preferred car importer.

Suspension of higher taxes on used cars

Car importation has remained a stable business in Kenya for several years. This created a thriving business for car importers in Nairobi, Mombasa, and other cities. However, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) proposed a bid to increase taxes on all imported used cars. Such a step suggests that used car dealers will pay more on duty that the original fees imposed in recent years.

Car Importers Association of Kenya opposed the policy and filed a petition that led to the high court of Mombasa suspending the implementation of the new Current Retail Selling Price (CRSP). Notably, the KRA CRSP priced various vehicle models above the regular rates at local dealerships. The suspension allows dealers to use the old CRSP, therefore pay typical duty rates for all imported vehicles. This will enable buyers to acquire imported vehicles at standard rates from different car importers in Kenya.

Importation costs and taxes

Typically, several factors apply when planning to buy used vehicles from oversea markets, including costs. The cost of importing a car varies based on the model, make, engine transmission, class, fuel type, engine capacity, and year of manufacture. Actual costs often referred to as the CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight), are the vehicle’s price. It also includes shipping costs to the port of Mombasa.

Most people understand this part but find it challenging to determine how to clear the vehicle from the port. The KRA is tasked with determining the tax and paid before gaining full ownership of the car. Current Retail Selling Price is used to calculate taxes paid for second-hand imports depending on the depreciation model. Other taxes may apply based on the bad month. That is, Kenya solely allows the importation of vehicles that are eight years old or newer. If your car arrives in the country past the manufacturing month, you incur additional fees.

KRA offers a depreciation custom cost of 10% each year, depending on the year of vehicle manufacture. The older the car, the cheaper it is in terms of taxes paid at the port of Mombasa. All second-hand imported vehicles are subject to such calculations to determine the total costs paid at the port. Other fees that apply include clearance fees, registration charges, port charges, transportation to specific locations, and import agent fees.

How to find the best car importers

Like most countries, Kenya has several car importers from overseas, facilitating the entire buying and shipping process. The most common include European and Japanese car importers in Kenya. However, Japanese car importers offer the most affordable used vehicles that fit into the budgets of more buyers. Here are some of the tips to tell the best car importers from overseas.

Physical office

Most people looking to buy cars search online to find the best importer in Kenya. Though most of them prove their worth online, getting scammed is often easier. The best approach is visiting their physical office to verify their legitimacy in the business. Visit their offices initially before making any transaction.


When planning to import cars from Japan to Kenya, it is essential to note the time to process transactions to delivery. Car importation takes between 6 – 8 weeks; however, the faster the process, the better. The best car importer provides a clear timeline of the shipping and delivery but be wary of unrealistic shorter periods to importation.

Vehicle condition

Kenya allows used car dealers to import vehicles that are eight years old or newer. Yet, buyers need cars that are in good condition. The best car importer should provide several pictures of the vehicle and the auction sheet to confirm its condition. Those that fail to provide such proofs are likely to have used cars not meeting your standards.

Insurance cover policy

Some used car importers offer various insurances to vehicles, including marine insurances, while others don’t. This cover guarantees protection of the car while at sea in case of damage or loss. Whether you consider range rover import, Volkswagen import, Toyota Hiace 4×4 import, or any other vehicle make, type or model, avoid overlooking marine insurance covers.

Financing options

Car import financing is an excellent option for people looking to buy used vehicles. Mwananchi credit is among the leading lenders offering import financing services to different buyers. The best car importer accompanies financing options to their clients. Besides, it eases financial burdens for buyers by making the importation convenient.

Clearance process

Clearing import cars from the port is nerve-wracking for used car dealers and buyers. As such, the importer should handle the clearing process without incurring additional costs. The best car importer has clearance at the port, facilitating the process. Most car importers in Mombasa and Nairobi help buyers clear their vehicles from the dock.

Kenya used cars conditions

All used vehicles imported into Kenya are subject to certain restrictions to be allowed into the country. Any car that fails to meet these standards are never cleared from the port. However, car importers understand these hence focus on importing acceptable vehicles. Some of these restrictions include;

  • Age Limit: The age limit for cars allowed into Kenya is eight years or newer. This means the cars were manufactured eight years ago or later.
  • Right Hand Driven Vehicles: All vehicles allowed must be right hand driven. However, left hand operated vehicles certified into the country should be special purpose only.
  • Roadworthiness: Used vehicles imported should be roadworthy and safe, among other requirements. These features are inspected at the port before the car is allowed into the country.

car importers in kenya


Can I import a car from overseas to Kenya?

Yes, several used car dealers are available such as SBT car importers and Jap importers ltd to help you buy and ship it to the port. Besides, you can also get assistance with the stressful process of clearing your imported vehicles.

Is the import duty fixed?

No, the KRA uses a CRSP database to determine the amount of tax to pay, including other related charges. Additional costs are delivered to different bodies, such as vehicle registration, port charges, insurance, and agency fees.

How long does It take for the vehicle to arrive into the country?

The period varies between one car importer to another, but the entire importation period is usually 6 to 8 weeks. Some importers can give you a particular importation period of when to expect it at the port.

What are some of the benefits of importing used cars from the Japanese markets?

Imported vehicles tend to be eco-friendly, more fuel-efficient, easier to maintain, available parts, higher-quality cars, reliable, and much easier to import and cheaper. Various benefits exist that make used cars more preferred in Kenya than new vehicles.

How do I import a car from Japan?

Before buying your car, it is essential to decide the vehicle model, brand, budget, and other specs. With several car importers from Japan, choose the right dealer to undertake the entire process, especially helping you make it trouble-free.

Which countries are the best to ship used cars?

You can ship cars from any country overseas, provided they meet the legal requirements to enter Kenya. However, Japan and the UK have remained the top countries shipping different vehicles into the country.

Is it possible to finance car imports in Kenya?

Some loan lenders, such as Mwananchi Credit, allow buyers to get funds essential for financing imported cars. Whether you are looking for UK, Thailand, or Japanese import cars, specific loan lenders can help you gain access to finance import suitable for your overseas car purchase.

Bottom Line

Working with car importers to acquire your desired vehicle from overbroad is crucial, especially when you are unfamiliar with the process. It is, however, essential to learning about frequent good news provided by car importers in Kenya. If you are looking to purchase your first car but face financial problems, Mwananchi Credit Limited can help you through car import financing. Apply your car import finance today!

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